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Byte: The Open Source Conundrum

May 19, 1999, 12:40 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Henderson)

"The open source banter seems to be pestering me. I see several sides to the argument, all valid from the perspectives of the arguers. I refuse to get in the middle of it. Instead, I found an interesting pro-open source argument in the form of a product."

"This past week, I was in Las Vegas for NetWorld + Interop. Although this isn't really a Linux show, it plays in the arena I've been running for several years: internetworking. Linux as an NOC host technology is now legendary. But unfortunately, lack of commercialization doesn't fit the N+I model right now."

"Nonetheless, Linux keeps popping up on the show floor. The most interesting Linux application came in the form of a router from Xylan/NBase. It's an open source model. The idea is to add value to the platform (admittedly a proprietary bus) which uses the Linux 2.2 kernel as a multi-CPU packet-forwarding engine. The frame/bus is proprietary on the inside, but much of the software guts consists of plain vanilla 2.2."

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