10Gbps Routing + Security for under $5k, and it's not from Cisco or Juniper

Vyatta is putting the pressure on large vendors, when will customer give them a chance?

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Vyatta has been out for some time and has been doing a good job at providing open source routing and switching to the masses. They have been besting Cisco in the branch/data center space with a better product and price, now they have brought that to the enterprise and service provider space with the release of the 3500 Series Router/Firewall.

In this blog we are going to take a look at a comparison between Cisco and Vyatta on price and technical specifications, then ask why are companies not saving money with Vyatta?

The Vyatta 3500 Series Router and Firewall:


            Up to 3,000,000 packets per second (64-byte packets)

            Up to 8,000 simultaneous IPSec VPN tunnels

            VPN forwarding at 900Mbps

           Up to 20Gbps forwarding performance

Primary Features:

            Routing, Firewall, VPN, Intrusion Prevention

            Hot swap redundant power supplies

            4 x 1GbE onboard Ethernet ports

            4x PCI Express slots - 16 additional 1GbE or 8 x 10GbE

Let's take a look at some comparison between the Vyatta 3500 Series and the Cisco ASR 1006

Vyatta 3510                                                               Cisco 3510 ASR 1006

$4,595                          Base Price                                $75,000

2 RU                             Space Required                        6 RU

$1,500                          Single 10GbE port                     $20,000

$200                             Dual 1GbE port                         $10,000

$6,295                          TOTAL                                   $105,000

Just so people did not think I was picking on the ASR 1006, below we have a few more comparisons

Vyatta 3510 / 3520 Appliance                            Cisco 7200VXR

Price $4,595                                                      Price - $30,000-$36,000

L3 forwarding: 3,000,000 pps                              L3 forwarding: 2,000,000 pps

Throughput: 20Gbps                                          VPN forwarding: 260 Mbps

VPN forwarding: 900 Mbps                                  Max VPN tunnels: 5,000

Max VPN tunnels: 8000

Vyatta 3510 / 3520 Appliance                            Cisco ASA 5550

Price $4,595                                                      Price - $13,500-$60,000

L3 forwarding: 3,000,000 pps                             L3 forwarding: 600,000 pps

Throughput: 20Gbps                                          VPN forwarding: 425 Mbps

VPN forwarding: 900 Mbps                                  Max VPN tunnels:5,000

Max VPN tunnels: 8000

Vyatta 3510 / 3520 Appliance                            Cisco ASR 1000 Series

Price $4,595                                                      Price - $50,000-$180,000

L3 forwarding: 3,000,000 pps                             L3 Forwarding: 4-20,000,00 pps

Throughput: 20Gbps                                          Throughput: 2.5 - 20Gbps

VPN forwarding: 900 Mbps

Max VPN tunnels: 8000

I think the numbers really speak for themselves, but I took it one step beyond that and started to use the product as well as test with a few customers. We used the free version from the Vyatta web site and tested on a small server in the office. Using a VMware workstation with Vyatta loaded on to it, the software worked very well and did not have any problems.

Getting the word out and having that one big win from a large enterprise customer switching from Cisco or Juniper is all Vyatta really needs to prove they belong. Vyatta is joining a good group of open source companies like Asterisk that have moved more into the main stream. But the more interesting part of the Vyatta story is no one has purchased them yet, Cisco and Juniper cannot buy them as then customers would ask for lower prices on routers. A good play that I see would be Riverbed buying Vyatta, if this happened then Riverbed could have its own routing, firewall and vpn appliance running on the RSP Platform. Before you ask; yes it has been testing by me with a customer who wanted to replace all Cisco routers in every branch office. It worked very well in evaluations.

The bottom line is and as I tell all of our customers, ROI is the big decision point when picking any network gear. If you cannot get an ROI on what you buy then don't purchase it. If you can save 4k-50k by using Vyatta over old Cisco gear that you are going to replace soon, then that's a good ROI for any CFO. I would like to see an open test between all routing companies at Interop, see who have the best product for the money. But that will never happen as the large companies have too much to lose. 

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