North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Followup British Telecom outage reason

  • From: Alex Bligh
  • Date: Mon Nov 26 19:13:23 2001

easier said than done when everybody wants every fancy new feature 110%
solid and yesterday.
Not everybody.  What I want more than the fancy new feature is: honest
schedules and honest self-appraisals.  A vendor who promises me what they
think I want to hear or maybe even what I really do wish I could hear is
not as valuable to me as a vendor who tells me the bold bald truth no
matter how much it hurts my proposed rollout schedule or how much it might
help one of their competitors who can deliver $FANCY_NEW_FEATURE earlier.
It took a long long time for one router vendor in particular
to pay any attention to a number of high-spending customers
who said 'stop implementing the {3,4}-letter acronym du-jour
protocols, or at least stop trying to integrate them into
s/w we want to run, just fix the bugs the the s/w train we all run'.
The lesson seemed to be learnt for a little while, then spent
the next year trying (unsuccessfully) to abandon that release

I can only assume what drives them is the either (a) desire
to support slideware protocols early, and in code people
actually try and use, (b) the knowledge that such slideware
protocols, in aggregate across a large network, eat more router
horse power, and thus sales-$$$, for those gullible enough
to implement them, or (c) some combination between the two.

I guess some time someone will realize routers are both
hardware, and software, and shock horror both, if done
well, can actually add value. [hint & example: compare the
scheduler on, say, Linux/FreeBSD, Windows 95 (sic),
and your favourite router OS (*); pay particular attention
to suitability for running realtime, or near realtime tasks,
where such tasks may occasionally crash or overrun their
expected timeslice; note how the best OS amongst the
bunch for this aint exactly great].

(*) results may vary according to personal choice here.

Alex Bligh
Personal Capacity