[TriLUG] No more Linux on WRT54G???
rick.denatale at gmail.com
Tue Nov 15 09:57:10 EST 2005
On 11/14/05, Greg Brown <gwbrown1 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > The real reason may well have to do with the threat that Openwrt and
> > > the like pose to Ciscos business model, since lots of WRT54s with FOSS
> > > software replacements seem to be displacing more expensive Cisco boxen
> > > in commercial applications.
> > >
> I disagree 1000%. When you boot an AP-1200, apply layer up layer of
> VLANs, RADIUS auth, as well as a 1000+ line tftp booted text config
> (though it can all (or most) be done via the web config) plus TACACS
> and every other protocol found in a true enterprise network you will
> know that a WRT54G running OpenWRT would NEVER be able to handle the
> load nor should it have ever been asked to do so.
> Linksys = home or SMB (look at Cisco's link roadmap and VoIP products
> announced recently)
> Cicso= Enterprise (or anywhere untested, unproven code should be deployed).
Yes, but I think that there are some applications where the
requirements are more than those in a home/soho environment but less
that a full blown enterprise environment. Internet cafe's and hotel
applications come to mind.
Without open source solutions on appliance hardware, these would
require more expensive "industrial strength" solutions. With them, it
seems that lots of folks are successfully deploying those customized
appliance boxen and nibbling away at the small end of that market.
I think that there might be a parallel to what happened 20 years ago
when personal computers were considered toys and you needed a
mainframe to do serious stuff.
I had a good opportunity to observe (and to some small degree
participate in) IBM's odyssey through the PC revolution. Back when
the PC was a skunk works project, the prevailing view within IBM was
that IBM would never come out with something to compete with the like
of the Apple ][. Then when we did it was viewed pretty much strictly
as a home computer, and home computers were toys. This attitude led to
such raging successes as the PCjr <G>.
The strength of IBM was seen in the huge cash cow of its market share
in REAL computers. The 360->370 architecture and it's descendants
ruled the roost. There were some in IBM who thought that the PC
needed to be warped (no not that warp which came later) to fit better
into that world. This led to such further huge successes <G> as the
PC/XT370 and PC/XT3270. If anyone else remembers those, I might want
to sign you up for my computer trivia team.
Some of us, both inside and outside IBM had an inkling of where things
might go even back in those early days of the mid-1980s. For example,
there was an IBM employee microcomputer hobbyist club up in
Poughkeepsie even before the advent of the IBM PC. We had a talented
guy who drew the covers for the newsletter. I vividly recall one
cover which depicted mainframes as dinosaurs, while the more agile and
nimble mammals (depicted in the form of Apple's and CP/M machines with
legs and arms) were busy stealing the dinosaur's eggs (in the form of
mainframe disk packs).
The split between IBM and Microsoft came about in no small part
because of the lack of a common vision over OS/2. IBM felt that they
had all this mainframe expertise which needed to drive the system.
That's why for example OS/2 and Windows used different graphics
models. Windows was targetted towards the emerging wysiwyg/desktop
publishing arena where the coordinate system was oriented to work well
with text (y increases down the page), while OS/2 PM was based more on
mainframe graphics which were primarily CAD based.
Meanwhile, the old mainframe architectures HAVE been pretty much
relegated to dinosaur status. Time and techology have moved on. The
techology once seen as hobbyist or home oriented has been applied by
new companies to revolutionize the IT industry.
IBM has devolved from the company you went to buy enterprise hardware,
to being primarily a successful services company. They still sell
server hardware, but it's now mostly microprocessor based, either on
Intel or PowerPC hardware, even the zSeries (the sole descendant of
the old mainframes) makes a lot of use of PC technologies, and has a
much reduced market share.
Could IBM have stopped this from happening? Probably not. The
introduction of the IBM PC in 1981, was seen by many as legitimizing
personal computers. If IBM hadn't done this, it might have delayed
the revolution, but I suspect that it wouldn't have stopped it.
So it might be that Cisco is in a position today which is similar to
IBMs in the 1980s, or maybe the 1990s.
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