Vyatta Inc., the startup with attitude vying to take on the mighty Cisco Systems Inc., is seeking to expand its toehold in the networking market with the introduction of a larger router and security networking appliance — and at a fraction of the cost of comparable Cisco gear.
The Belmont, Calif., company, which describes its customers as smarter and better looking than those of its giant competitor in its press releases, debuted its 2501 appliance last week at LinuxWorld Conference & Expo. The 2501 has nearly twice the horsepower (1.8 GHz versus 1 GHz) and more expansion slots than its 514 predecessor, which was introduced last March.
Although Cisco has overwhelming market share, Vyatta’s pitch is its eye-popping price advantage (it’s about a tenth of Cisco’s cost). In addition, the functionality of Vyatta’s router is in software, which is easy to upgrade, versus Cisco’s proprietary hardware boxes, which can only be upgraded via replacement.
Rob Whiteley, the principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., said the new router is better and more powerful than its predecessor and would enable Vyatta to go after more than the low-hanging fruit of small companies and branch offices.
The 2501, in contrast, has the additional processing power and throughput required for medium to large networks and could function as a link to a wide area network (WAN) or a security appliance.
Vyatta will never be large enough to meet all of most companies’ needs, Whiteley said. But the growing acceptance of open source products and the current budget-shrinking economy should help Vyatta’s cause, he said. Ultimately, Vyatta’s success will depend on its ability to offer additional services along with its routers, he said.