Open-source routing technology is promising to have the same impact on networking as it did with operating systems. It offers companies an alternative to high-priced, inflexible products from proprietary vendors. That's good news to growing organizations searching for new solutions in today's $8 billion per year enterprise-router market.
Priced at a fraction of the cost of closed-source products, an open-source router is a device or software that forwards data packets along networks. Connected to at least two networks and located at gateways , these routers ensure that data continues to flow between networks and that it's forwarded to the correct location. By making its source code publicly available for any user to download, compile and execute, open-source routers allow IT managers to freely make modifications in accordance with their needs and requirements.
There's more than one way to deploy an open-source router. Some vendors allow companies to convert a standard Intel Corp. PC or server into a router and firewall by simply downloading a solution from the company's Web site. Others sell entire router appliances with open-source technology pre-installed.
The following are just a handful of the benefits of open-source routers:
A number of different vendors offer open-source router options. The major players include:
Open-source router technology may deliver flexibility and affordable pricing, but there are drawbacks to parting ways with a proprietary product. Here's what you need to consider when deploying an open-source router:
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