Onega are fans of Open Source software though we are aware that this is not a be-all and end-all in business. Philosophy aside, you have to first ask yourself if an open source project makes economic sense - i.e. weigh up (cost of software aside - Open Source does not necessarily mean no cost) the cost of ownership, support options and if it is the best tool for the job. Open Source projects can be really good, or they can be rubbish!
So, general points on Open Source aside, I recently have been learning about VYOS. This is a Fork (spin out) from Vyatta, which in turn packaged Xorp then Quagga network projects and others to create a fully-featured Open Source router.
Onega have been using Vyatta since 2006, which was early in its conception. We were the first ISP BGP implementation of Vyatta globally and we've been very happy with the software which offers features and protocols that normally are only found on the 'big iron' network equipment such as that from Cisco, Juniper or Extreme, but at a much lower price point (and running on standard X86 / X64 Intel based servers). Vyatta was purchased by networking giant Brocade (best known for their Fibre SAN routers) in November 2012.
When we first bought into Vyatta, the cost was approx. £220 a year for a three year enterprise subscription - then Approx £450 a year for a similar Enterprise support and update subscription upon renewal and now, at renewal under Brocade (who bought Vyatta out) has gone up to approximately £900 a year. So every three years the cost has doubled. I'm not sure if it can sustain being doubled again. I guess this is as a result of going from a young and aggressive company being disruptive to the mainstream networking industry through to being a mature part of a big player.
Considering that our need of support for the Vyatta routing software has been quite minimal over time (two primary support tickets in just under ten years is not bad) and given our familiarity with the protocols and the product, the value added makes us question if we need the full Brocade support. Since having been purchased, Vyatta branding has been dropped and so have all references to community and Open Source.
Thus, I was very happy to discover Vyos - www.vyos.net -recently. This is an Open Source fork of one of the later Vyatta Open Source releases and it is actively updated, developed and supported. This is in use at thousands of sites around the world and looks to be just the ticket for Onega's own network use to upgrade our older Vyatta routers. An Intel based server with a modern processor and appropriate network interfaces (typically fibre, gigabit Ethernet and 10Gbps Ethernet now) will provide an excellent and very high throughput server compared to a traditional Cisco router, with more flexibility for upgrading where needed, and no vendor lock in.
We also make use of the excellent MicroTik (www.microtik.lv) routers for wireless and smaller networks and their OS is available separately to their hardware to do similar jobs. But for core networking, Vyos looks like it will fit the bill. Full kudos to the team that continue to work to make it a success in the Open Source project space.
Well worth a look if you are in need of router upgrades to see how this would work in your case. Onega have good experience at implementing and supporting these solutions and they are very much production ready and proven with years of solid core networking use here at Onega and around the world.