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Vyatta is a San Mateo company comprising a stealthy group of developers who have been building an open source router to challenge San Jose networking giant Cisco. This morning it has opened itself to the public. Here is a press release we got last night (downloads file).

As usual, when it comes to things telecom, Om beats us to the punch, and has already offered superior analysis here in his Business 2.0 piece.

No one is safe anymore, Om makes clear in his additional blog post:

The versatile open-source application can direct data traffic for a giant corporation as easily as it can manage a home Wi-Fi network. And that’s what makes it as disruptive as a leaf blower in a feather factory: Vyatta’s router will cost about a fifth the price of comparable models from big networking equipment makers such as Cisco Systems.

Vyatta is one of the many start-ups that are bringing open source disruption to the highly profitable and closed world of networking. While open source software movement has ravaged the bottom lines of companies like Sun Microsystems; networking behemoths like Cisco and Juniper have continued to enjoy fat margins they earned even before the telecom crash of 2000. Even today, a big portion of their IT budget goes into networking gear. Routers, switches, firewall devices, and even VPN boxes cost thousands of dollars.