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New open source router aims to compete with Cisco and Juniper

This week, bloggers look into an open source router project, Microsoft's acquisition of Deis and McAfee's new role in the market.

Drew Conry-Murray, writing in Packet Pushers, looked into the Free Range Router (FRR), a new open source router offering that is looking to challenge Cisco and Juniper. FRR isn't new; it came about as a result of a split within the Quagga open source community. Contributors such as Cumulus Networks, Big Switch and 6WIND, frustrated by the slow pace of Quagga's development, decided to form their own community, offering FRR as an alternative. The open source router, currently in version 2.0, is designed to run on Linux and Unix operating systems and offers support for a variety of routing protocol daemons, including intermediate system to system, Border Gateway Protocol and Open Shortest Path First.

Other capabilities include 32-bit route tags to Border Gateway Protocol and Open Shortest Path First and support for RFC 5549, which enables FRR to perform next hop addressing for IPv4 or IPv6. The group is currently working on 3.0, which will support MPLS and EVPN VXLAN. According to Conry-Murray, Cumulus will include 3.0 as an option to its Cumulus Linux OS.

Dig deeper into Conry-Murray's thoughts on the FRR open source router.

Microsoft's Deis acquisition a challenge to Amazon, Google

Torsten Volk, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates in Boulder, Colo., explored Microsoft's recent acquisition of Deis -- a company that makes management software for Kubernetes, including Workflow, Helm and Steward. According to Volk, the move is an opportunity for Microsoft to gain talent and technology and boost container management, enabling it to compete with Amazon Web Services and Google.

The acquisition of a small startup like Deis suggests that Microsoft takes container technology seriously, according to Volk. The Deis acquisition also gives Microsoft added leverage because Google Cloud currently uses Helm software. "Microsoft has acknowledged that the days where the OS was a meaningful differentiator are over. Today, it is all about getting customers as quickly as possible to adopt Azure," Volk said. "Tight container integration of MS Visual Studio combined with simplified container management on Azure are the two critical components for Microsoft's differentiation strategy," he added.

Read more of Volk's discussion of the Deis acquisition.

The McAfee of tomorrow

Jon Oltsik, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass., wrote about McAfee's prospects going forward. Oltsik said he was always confused by Intel's acquisition of McAfee, but now that McAfee is set to be spun off as an independent organization, he sees "real strengths" in a competitive market. According to Oltsik, McAfee's greatest strengths are its strong legacy of product integration, its position as a cybersecurity staple, its wide-ranging portfolio and strong brand reputation.

ESG research indicates that 64% of enterprises are consolidating the number of vendors that they conduct business with, which could give McAfee a chance to expand its role with current customers. Nonetheless, Oltsik said that McAfee will have a lot of work ahead of it. McAfee will need to boost its enterprise offerings, focus more on endpoint and cloud security and expand in the small-enterprise market to succeed.

"Finally," Oltsik wrote, "McAfee must hit the road and visit its biggest customers who felt neglected at times during the Intel years. CISOs at these companies need some schmoozing and details about McAfee's vision, innovation and investments for the future. McAfee will also need to communicate clear six-, 12- and 18-month goals and then report to the market on progress. If McAfee can meet or exceed its goals, the sky is the limit."   

Explore more of Oltsik's thoughts on McAfee. 

Next Steps

Open source SDN controllers to know

Examining the best data loss prevention products

Using Microsoft containers with Docker

Dig Deeper on Network Design

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