North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Networking Pearl Harbor in the Making

  • From: Blaine Christian
  • Date: Mon Nov 07 12:34:51 2005 hacker.html
Cisco, Juniper, or vendor "X".   We all benefit by having "genetic
diversity" in our routing/switching systems.  I have been bit hard,
as many of us on this thread have been bit, by bugs in vendor
software/hardware.  Support your IETF!  Don't use proprietary
protocols and insist on interoperability.  If you have the
wherewithal install at least two different vendors for your critical
services.  Then make them play nice together!
How do the operators/engineers explain to 'management', or whomever asks,
the 'training issues' that always crop up when more than one vendor are
proposed? Has anyone had good luck with this arguement? (my answer is sort
of along the lines of: "Its just a router, no matter the vendor and they
all have command-line help" but that's not always recieved well :) )

Just curious as I'm sure there are folks stuck in an all vendor X shop who
look over the electronic fence and see vendor Y with 'so much better' or
'so much faster' or 'so much more blinkly lighty'... and try to have their
management agree to purchasing new devices :)
Well, the last time I just whined a lot ? <grin>

Seriously, we actually put together a presentation that described a series of major events that have occurred through the use of monoculture networks/systems and stated that for many financial/ security reasons it is best to maintain at least two vendors.

We covered the following

o Security Implications: How monoculture networks/operating systems are prone to attack.
o Financial Impact: How managing multiple vendors can reduce long term expense.
o Stability: How monoculture networks/systems are prone to network/ system wide failures.
o Viability: How existing technology is capable of interop and how we, the engineering team, were capable of making it happen.
o Customer demand: How our customers actually "felt better" about our service as a result of it's genetic diversity.