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How an Extinct Zebra Could Upend the Networking Market

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Open Source Routing Zebra

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The Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) has created a project to stabilize the code base for Quagga, an open source networking program, and offer commercial support to vendors using the code.

The initiative, called the Open Source Routing Project, could lead to the development of an inexpensive, open source router. Quagga has languished without an organized community, but large and small vendors have been experimenting with the code.

Google turned to the ISC for assistance in creating a community around Quagga because it wants to use less expensive, highly programmable routers in its network. The Open Source Routing Project is sponsored by Google, but it also is in discussions with Yahoo! Additional potential sponsors might include Internet service providers, other Web businesses, and Silicon Valley companies.

Google has created an open source router called the Open LSR, which is a combination of merchant switching silicon, a commodity server, the OpenFlow protocol, and the Quagga open source code. Google plans to use Open LSR in its core network.

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