Linux-based networking software vendor Vyatta has introduced a new partner program that the company says will deliver double-digit margins for partners and offer them an alternative to products from Cisco Systems and others.

Called the Vyatta Ready partner program, the San Mateo, Calif., company said the program will target x86 VARs and independent hardware and software vendors.

“What Red Hat has done for the operating system, Vyatta is doing for the network,” said Keith Hartley, vice president of alliances at the software vendor. “Standard hardware is less expensive than proprietary. You can run our software on a variety of hardware platforms. We are delivering the industry’s first open networking initiative.”

Hartley said the company is looking to partner with resellers of x86 systems. Vyatta’s software offers the data router, VPN and firewall, and is extensible to include other Linux applications including the popular ones today such as VOIP (voice over IP).

The Vyatta partner program offers deal registration on its partner portal, lead sharing and marketing support in the form of competitive presentations and cheat sheets that show the solution’s benefits over similar offerings from companies such as Cisco and Juniper Networks.

“There are many other players in the networking space, and we are radically different,” Hartley said. “We are the only one that takes x86 and brings it into the networking space.”