North American Network Operators Group

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Re: seeing the trees in the forest of confusion

  • From: Tony Li
  • Date: Sat Apr 26 22:22:44 1997

[email protected] (John Hawkinson) writes:

> Every vendor necessarily (and rightly so!) provides all users enough
> rope to hang themselves with. 

I disagree stridently.

While it's certainly in the vendors best interests to cater to the whims of
their customers, the ethical, responsible and far-sighted vendor also has
other responsibilities.  In the case of BGP, the most common usage of the
product is to interconnect within the wider community.  A community that
has a diversity of talent and experience.  And a community that the vendor
would like to retain as customers.  

Violating the basics of the protocol are not a reasonable, ethical,
responsible, or intelligent way of accomodating the customer.  And
sometimes, just sometimes, when the needs of the customer conflict with the
needs of the community, the customer loses.  Better that than the entire

As an example, a certain vendors BGP implementation does not (did not?)
support the oft-requested 'sed on the AS path' for precisely this reason.

That said, there is also a question of intent.  We should be careful not to
confuse accidents with incompetence or maliciousness.  Vendors make
mistakes ;-), some of which can be misconstrued in a rush to place blame.


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