The network infrastructure sector is a competitive space. Router and network appliance manufacturers are faced with the challenge of providing rock-solid hardware while making sure their devices are flexible and configurable enough to meet a wide range of user needs.
Not long ago, open source software in the enterprise was a contentious topic. Conference panels and industry experts questioned the integrity of mixing open source with commercial and proprietary code. Would it unlock a pandora's box of developer pain and sub-par software?
In 2005, Scott McNeely of Sun Microsystems quipped that open source software was "free like a puppy is free". Just as you can pick out a puppy from the pound without paying expensive breeder fees, you can download and use open source software without buying a single license. But puppies become dogs, and dogs need food, toys, training and lots and lots of love. The same goes for open source software.