Vyatta, Digium, partner to combine open source networking and VoIP

* Open source networking and telephony gear users get good news this week

Users of open source networking and telephony gear will get good news this week, as Vyatta and Digium have entered into a joint development and marketing agreement.

Vyatta makes the Open Flexible Router platform, an open source, Linux-based enterprise WAN router, which uses the eXtensible Open Routing Platform (XORP) software stack. Open source firewall and VPN technology are also in the package. Digium develops the popular Asterisk open source VoIP platform, a Linux-based IP PBX, voicemail and telecom server, used widely in education, government and private enterprise.

While the two companies are not announcing products yet, they will be working on integrating their router and IP PBX systems. Later this year, users could expect to see a unified platform that could deliver, WAN connectivity, security, remote access and VoIP services, features and applications in one nice, neat open source package. (An all-in-one appliance is not much of a stretch to consider, since both vendors currently offer their code pre-loaded onto hardware.)

This combination could seriously challenge incumbent, proprietary enterprise infrastructure companies such as Cisco, Juniper or Nortel, who offer all-in-one WAN/security/VoIP boxes for businesses. (Cisco and Nortel uses their own technology in their ISR and Secure Router platforms; Juniper partners with Avaya.) Vyatta claims its open source router customers can see as much as a 90% cost savings over Cisco or other vendors. Asterisk users have said they save thousands of dollars on VoIP rollouts over Avaya, Nortel and Cisco with the open source IP PBX platform. It will be interesting to see what Vyatta and Digium can cook up together.

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