Open-Source Networking

The writing is on the wall.

It destroyed them. It put them out of business in what seemed to be a matter of seconds. The disruption was there in front of their noses, but they missed it. Blind faith created a belief that the future would be business as usual. Wrong.

Companies like NorTel, Yellow Cab, Kodak, Blockbuster, Borders, and countless others, all got sacked by the nastiest of foes: disruption. Middle men removed. Business models turned upside down. Commodity services revolutionized. The old guard left behind. The same upheaval is happening with IT. Big forces are at work: cloud, virtualization, mobilization, containers, and open-source. Are you ready?

Service providers face great opportunity - and risk - at the same time. Two things have always been true, and now the need for accelerated adaptation to both are greater than ever.

First, the need to provide more for less. Consumer and business customers demand greater data movement speed for less cost. In fact, customers aren't explicitly asking for it yet, but the growing expectation is that secure network services should be a commodity - like power or water. The amount you need, when you need it, where you need it, and turned off when you don't need it. Billed to match. In that coming world, only the most nimble, cost effective service providers survive. The rest meet a Darwinian fate.

The second is to thrive. As the world moves everything to subscription, service providers must address new customer needs to grow top-line revenue. Service differentiation is paramount. Differentiation must be easily and quickly adapted to the needs of each customer - however unique.

Addressing these forces will not happen through methodic evolution. Just ask the aforementioned brands - who are now but a distant memory. Responding to these forces will happen through revolution. Through disruption. Time to take advantage of the disruptive force right under your nose: open-source secure networking.

Wrecking Ball Demolition Disruption resize

open-source Networking

What was once thought of as “software for hobbyists by hobbyists,” open-source is now ready for prime time and is now being leveraged by forward-thinking enterprises and service providers.  By deploying open-source networking software, organizations are able to gain several benefits:

036-dove  Freedom

Most commercial software is a black box that can not be altered or adjusted. With open-source, developers are free to adjust and add to the code because it is transparent to everyone. Additionally, vendor license agreements limit the ways in which the product can be used. With open-source, the community learns from one another and inspires new innovations, providing organizations with the freedom to create a solution that best suits their IT infrastructure needs.

036-turn  Flexibility

Often times, vendor software needs to run on vendor hardware - built upon proprietary chipsets and ASICs. open-source allows organizations to break free from vendor lock-in. Costs are dramatically reduced because it leverages generic silicon, and even white boxes.

026-team-1  Synergy

In the open-source community there are countless developers and users who are working to fix, advance, and validate code. Users are involved in the development of the software and play a pivotal role in the feature roadmap. With so much community involvement, bug issues are dealt with rapidly, leading to shorter waits for the next software release. And unlike closed software platforms, if a vendor goes out of business, the code will not suffer the same fate. The community owns the code and can continue to progress its development.   

controls-9  Control

Nobody knows your network ecosystem requirements better than you. open-source gives you the ability to easily adapt and/or integrate it as needed. It puts your network in your hards.

open-source is leading the disruption for service providers. It slashes the high cost of proprietary solutions. But more importantly, it creates  the right balance of flexibility and control required for long term business success.

Ok, probably for anyone reading this primer, that much is understood. But, repeating the basics serves a purpose. It gives us a baseline for discussing what is more important - and that is how IP packets are processed.

From Projects to Product

open-source technology is only getting started in secure networking and Netgate® TNSR® software is one of the first breakout commercially-ready solutions built on top of open-source projects. The TNSR software packet processing platform delivers superior secure networking solution performance, manageability, and service flexibility by productizing these projects.

TNSR software utilizes numerous open-source technologies including:’s Vector Packet Processing (VPP), and the Linux Foundation’s Data Plane Developer Kit (DPDK), strongSwan IPSec Management, Free Range Routing (FRR), Clixon, Kea, Unbound, and more. The TNSR software platform leverages all of the aforementioned cutting-edge open-source technologies by fusing them all together into a single ready-for-primetime product.

TNSR software can route up to 14 Mpps (the maximum packet rate for 10 Gbps) in software - per processor core. Management by third party orchestration platforms is easily achieved via a RESTCONF API. Applications including high-performance firewalls, routers, virtual private cloud (VPC) interconnects, high speed traffic monitoring and more can now leverage exceptional secure networking performance, dramatically lower total cost of ownership, and service expansion freedom without being enslaved by expensive, inflexible, vendor lock-in alternatives.



Want to learn more about TNSR?

Whether you're sending information internally or across the world, you want it getting there fast and secure. TNSR software gets your important data there quicker and safer than anything else with fully productized VPP.
TNSR: The Solution

Stay up to date

There’s always something new with open-source, secure networking and TNSR software. Keep up with us by visiting our blog, social communities and newsletter.


Get a view into how open source is disrupting secure networking and changing the technology landscape.

Netgate Blog

Netgate Newsletter

Discover the latest announcements, product information, and industry news with our monthly newsletter.


Netgate Newsletter

Social Communities

Twitter Circle Logo LinkedIn circle logo Reddit Circle Logo Facebook circle logo instagram circle logo