North American Network Operators Group

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RE: Single-vendor vs. best-of-breed network

  • From: Marc Pierrat
  • Date: Fri Dec 21 15:37:47 2001

>What, if anything, makes a multi-vendor (wide-area) network
>successful and worth the risks over the "safe" single-vendor
>network nobody gets fired for buying (you can probably guess
>what vendor Powers my network now). 

I like thinking of where an organization wants to be on a risk/reward spectrum.  Newer and/or point solution vendors exist to leapfrog the status quo and give you an advantage, which they do very well.  This is particularly true on the optical side, where lasers, components, and software have all changed dramatically. The price you pay is risk.  If you don't have capacity problems or take an incumbent role, then you would prefer a defensive, conservative strategy favoring the single-vendor solution.

Smaller providers wanting to do more for less or be more aggressive in general would prefer the best in breed because of a higher risk tolerance and greater desire to advance the network.

Take this risk/reward concept and combine with some of the other posts and I can imagine a spreadsheet or graph that matches your company objectives (ie: double capacity) with vendor capabilities, reputation, etc. that lets you assess your risk tolerance quantitatively.

Hope this helps.

Marc Pierrat
[email protected]