North American Network Operators Group

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

  • From: Jon 'tex' Boone
  • Date: Fri Dec 21 16:01:14 2001

Irwin Lazar <[email protected]> writes:

>    We find the general trend is to go single-vendor whenever possible,
>  primarily to reduce support and management costs.
>  Engineers/Operators generally want single vendor, management
>  generally wants best of breed (to put pressure on suppliers).

    That's ironic.  I started out in a multi-vendor environment and for
  the last two years I've been working in my first single-vendor

    In all of the multi-vendor environments I worked in, it was the
  management pushing for single-vendor (deeper discounts) with the
  technical staff pushing for best-of-breed (reduced need for
  out-of-hours support).  

    I think you should get the best of breed for core function devices
  (provided you stay within budget).  Non-core functions can be from the
  same vendor as the core, as long as they are with-in a reasonable
  delta from the best-of-breed.

      - For WAN purposes, core function is core and distribution routers
        and should be best of breed.  Customer routers, switches, hubs,
        etc. could come from the same vendor or a different one provided
        they are of acceptable quality.

      - For Enterprise/Data Center environments, core function is more
        likely to be distribution router and/or switches, with other
        other devices taking back seat in the decision making process. 

    Multi-vendor environments rule, but are harder to scale with a small
  finite-clued staff.  :-)  Single-vendor environments are easier to
  scale in a manner disproportionate to the clue of the staff running
  the network.

Jon Allen Boone
[email protected]
CCIE #8338