Cisco: All the open source that's fit to ship

Cisco is getting into open source in a big way, without making much of a fuss about it.

If you were to rate the companies that use the most open-source software in their products, who would be top of your list? Red Hat, given that it's a pure-play open-source company? IBM, given its massive investments in Linux and Apache?

Or how about Cisco, with this impressive list of open-source licenses used for software embedded in Cisco's security appliances?

This list includes just the licenses for the APA and PIX security appliances, and doesn't cover the open-source software embedded in other Cisco products, like Unity Connection. It also doesn't address the open-source work that Cisco has done with its new open source-based IP Alliance. All of these build on Cisco's support for open-source Etch and other products.

There's also a growing body of open-source code focused on extending the functionality of Cisco's products.

When did Cisco become an open-source company? Hint: it didn't. It has just allowed more and more open-source software to pervade its products, making open source business-as-usual for Cisco (and its wide range of customers). This will be how open source grows: product by product, many of which will have a proprietary veneer but with open source at their core.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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