Open Source Investment: Citrix Attacks Cisco Systems
Citrix Systems has found a new way to be a thorn in Cisco Systems’ side. Indeed, Citrix is among the investors pumping money into Vyatta — which positions itself as the open source alternative to Cisco Systems. The Citrix-Vyatta relationship involves networking, cloud computing, virtualization … and money. Here’s the scoop.
This is Vyatta‘s third round of funding, and it includes a combined $10 million from Citrix and such existing Vyatta investors as Comcast Interactive Capital, Panorama Capital, and ArrowPath Venture Partners. As part of the investment, Gordon Payne, senior VP and GM manager of the Delivery Systems Division at Citrix, has joined Vyatta’s board of directors.
The Citrix-Vyatta relationship seems to focus on networking, virtualization and cloud computing. According to a Vyatta press release issued today:
Vyatta runs on standard x86 hardware and can be virtualized with modern hypervisors, including the Citrix XenServer virtualization platform. Vyatta delivers a full set of networking features that allow customers to connect, protect, virtualize, and optimize their networks, improving performance, reducing costs, and increasing manageability and flexibility over proprietary networking solutions. Vyatta has been deployed by hundreds of customers world-wide in both virtual and non-virtual environments.
Translation: Citrix is trying to disrupt Cisco’s networking empire at the very same time that Cisco and Citrix increasingly compete in the online meeting and collaboration market (Cisco WebEx vs. Citrix’s GoToMeeting).
Who Is Vyatta?
Vyatta currently represents a small threat to Cisco’s networking dominance. However, Vyatta does seem to have momentum as a provider of open source networking solutions.
Vyatta had roughly 100 channel partners as of August 2008, and The VAR Guy thinks the company’s partner program has grown significantly since that time. Also, Vyatta landed on The Open Source 50 — a report that tracks the most promising open source partner programs.
Cisco Embraces, Replaces Open Source
Meanwhile, Cisco is finding new ways to embrace open source while continuing to compete with various open source startups.
For example, Cisco has been working closely with Linux developers as part of an Application eXtension Platform (AXP) programming contest. Also, Cisco on June 4, 2009, quietly announced a new product that interoperates with open source IP PBXes.
Despite those efforts, The VAR Guy believes Vyatta and Digium, in particular, represent long-term threats to the Cisco empire — much in the way that Linux has been chipping away at Microsoft’s Windows empire.