At 08:55 AM 26/05/2006, Marcus J. Ranum wrote:

>Chris Blask wrote:
>>An interesting proof of open source philosophy would be Enterprise-viable open source solutions large and small that would compete with commercial offerings.

>I believe that open source solutions are also a factor in the consolidation
>and eventual demise of security as an "industry." By offering a "free" alternative
>they remove wiggle room from the small start-ups at the bottom of the
>economy - if you're trying to compete with Symantec or Cisco you get
>crushed between "huge" on one side and "free" on the other. "Traditional"
>business customers are going to go with the mega-player because it's
>the safe bet, while the technically clueful ones will mount an in-house
>open source-based effort. The net effect is that "free" becomes the enemy
>of "good" by preventing the small vendor from being able to offer a
>high-quality low-cost solution.

I don't know, the network-buying community doesn't seem that simply stratified. There are lots of levels in between, and at the very least there is one in the middle where you don't have the expertise to deploy fully open-source nor the desire to go completely mega-corp.

Management infrastructures are key to keeping a healthy competitive playing field. Megacorps should have to fight for device sales even inside their own "XYZ Powered" networks because a customer likes NetScreen (or homebuilt) better than PIX, and the management strucuture supports it.

At the end of the day, this standards-based (open source, call it what you will) philosophy either works or it doesn't, and I guess we'll find out in the end (if there is one). It's early enough that neither of us needs to shelve our opinions, yet. :~)



In the new world of work passion and expertise are the Rosetta stone.

- Julie Anixter

Chris Blask

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