Cisco backtracks on open source

After promising to turn the client software for its Cisco Trust Agent into an open source application, the company is now back tracking on the plan.

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After promising to turn the client software for its Cisco Trust Agent (CTA) into an open source application, the company is now back tracking on the plan.

Bob Gleichauf, CTO of Cisco's Security Technology Group, said that the company has not made up its mind yet about the future of the CTA software.

"Where I misspoke was speaking in terms of CTA going open source as if that's a given, and that was incorrect. That was my mistake," Gleichauf said. "It has been part of a discussion of a number of different options available to us, but it's not a viable option at this time," he said.

A more circumspect Gleichauf said that, in earlier comments, he was just speculating that CTA might be turned into an open source component. "Open source was one thing that's a way of dealing with various components as work toward an integrated solution," he noted

He declined to discuss the pros and cons of going open source with the CTA client, a desktop software agent that is used to enforce security policies on machines that seek access to networks.

However, Gleichauf did say that he was concerned about the reaction of Cisco customers to comments he made to InfoWorld at the RSA Conference in early February, saying that Cisco would "open up" CTA within two months so it could devote development resources to other areas of NAC.

"We don't want partners and customers to think we're pursuing that. That was a mistake," he said. "Customers need to know how to prepare for any new initiative or technology or product. What I did a disservice to on everyone was stating something as a fact that wasn't a fact and that can affect planning, whether a funding decision or a build decision or a partner decision."

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