North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Networking Pearl Harbor in the Making

  • From: Michael.Dillon
  • Date: Tue Nov 08 05:13:02 2005

> How do the operators/engineers explain to 'management', or whomever 
> 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 
> 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 :) )

It's a variation of the classic insource/outsource question. Do you
do the training in-house because it is mission critical to the business
or do you outsource it to a vendor focused training organization. 
If you outsource training then you hire CCIEs to run a Cisco network
and JNCIEs to run a Juniper network. But it is not the only way.

If you choose to run a dual-vendor network such as Juniper and Cisco
then you could still outsource training but since the cost of training
is based on a model of one *CIE per person, it probably is not
cost-effective for each person to get both the CCIE and JNCIE.
Someone who considers training to be an inhouse responsibility 
would not pay for employees to get their *CIE but would instead
pay for an internal training program.

I suspect that this inhouse training model will work best in small
and midsize companies but that larger networks simply can't afford
the complexity because they are less able to hire and maintain
clueful managers.

> Just curious as I'm sure there are folks stuck in an all vendor X shop 
> 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 
> management agree to purchasing new devices :)

Management has probably made the vendor decision based on high-level
business reasons that involve strategy, stock price, and marketing
in addition to the low-level reasons of fitness for purpose and cost.

I don't expect that any large company will change unless some
crisis hits them that forces them to review their decisions.

--Michael Dillon