Vyatta readies for virtual machine explosion

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CEO Kelly Herrell and Vyatta look to exploit x86 architecture for branch, cloud VMs

Vyatta wants to turn the network hardware world on its head by delivering Layer-3-and-up network functions on standard Intel x86 hardware, achieving breathtaking cost savings. The side benefit of that approach: the ability to deliver the same functions as virtual machines, which has perhaps even bigger implications. Network World Editor in Chief John Dix recently caught up with Vyatta CEO Kelly Herrell to see where he sees all this going.

You're out to shake up the network world. Give us the back story.

We started off with the belief that networking from Layer 3 up is really a CPU problem and commercial, off-the-shelf x86 hardware was ready to drive a hole in the center of the traditional network hardware market. What was needed was a fully functioning network operating system that could sit on that and give people an open alternative to propriety products. And based on the commercial and the community uptake of our offering I would say we were right. And it is getting even better. The x86 architecture is rapidly becoming a superior price/performance hardware alternative in networking; the packet processing performance on x86 increased 100X in the last four years.

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