Untangle Goes Open Source (GPL)
Earlier this morning we formally announced that we are open sourcing Untangle's network gateway platform. Untangle is a virtual networking platform, which runs network based applications that make it easy for businesses to Block Spam, Block Myspace, Block Spyware, provide secure remote access and run 9 other Untangle apps. In building the Untangle Platform and applications, we used more than 30 open source projects like SpamAssassin, Snort and OpenVPN, and now we're proud to be joining the GPL club ourselves.
Untangle isn't about kinda-sorta-PR-splash open source either. We're going whole-hog GPL for the Untangle Platform and 12 of the 14 applications that run on it, which represents 95% of Untangle's source and 500K+ lines of code. And we believe that truely embracing open source means embracing transparency so we're also posting our bugtracker and making it easy to download and build the sourcecode. We've benefited greatly from other open source projects and we wanted to give something back to the community that had real value.
The secret sauce is the Untangle Platform which is about “virtual pipelining” and management features. Untangle's virtual pipelining enables a data packet to be processed by all of its applications (spam, virus, web filters etc.) without requiring CPU context switches between the processes. The net result is that Untangle runs on any cheapo Intel/AMD compatible off-the-shelf x86 PC with 2 NICs. (For example, you could almost certainly turn the desktop you are using to read this post into an Untangle server by simply adding a second NIC.) We think its crazy that other vendors lock their customers in with proprietary hardware appliances when off-the-shelf-hardware prices have been falling so dramatically.
The Untangle Platform is also about management because the best open source technology isn't always the most user friendly. So we built a GUI for all 14 applications based on an intuitive "virtual rack" metaphor, network & user based reporting and automatic signature updates into our platform. Furthermore, Untangle supports SNMP and Syslogs for ease of management in deployments with multiple servers. While we do offer live support and some additional advanced management features as a commercial add-on, the GUI, reporting, logging, SNMP and Syslogs are all open source.