Is Cisco equpiment de facto for you?

George Bonser gbonser at
Mon Jan 10 13:54:25 CST 2011

> From: Andrey Khomyakov 
> Sent: Monday, January 10, 2011 11:36 AM
> To: nanog group
> Subject: Re: Is Cisco equpiment de facto for you?
> There have been awfully too many time when Cisco TAC would just say
> that
> since the problem you are trying to troubleshoot is between Cisco and
> VendorX, we can't help you. You should have bought Cisco for both
> sides.
> I had that happen when I was troubleshooting LLDP between 3750s and
> Avaya
> phones, TACACS between Cisco and tac_plus daemon, link bundling
> juniper EX and Cisco, some obscure switching issues between CAT and
> Procurves and other examples like that just don't recall them anymore.

On the other hand, the other vendors are generally willing to bend over
backwards and sort out interoperability issues and often have technical
resources that are just as experienced on the Cisco gear as the Cisco
techs are.

And while Cisco might have at one time done the "you should have bought
Cisco (click)" act, I don't get that impression these days as more
networks have equipment from mixed vendors for very specific parts.
There are reasons why one might choose to purchase gear from different
vendors in a "best of breed" approach.  One might have load balancers
from A10 or Citrix, a firewall from Juniper or Palo Alto Networks,
access switches from Arista, core gear from Brocade and maybe even a
couple of Cisco boxes here and there where they make sense.  Having one
single vendor for no reason other than to simply ease troubleshooting
might be a valid reason in some networks but doesn't make sense in
others.  If you don't have the technical resources to sort out issues
in-house, sure, it might make sense to let the vendor do it all and in
that case you will need a network from one vendor.  Different vendors
have different things they do very well. A network might want to
leverage those good aspects in their network design.

It basically comes down to the type of service you are offering and how
much money you have.  For a "best of breed" network, you might have to
pay a little more for in-house talent.  For a homogeneous network, you
might sacrifice performance in some areas for savings on talent.  It
just depends on what is important to you.  No one vendor, in my
experience, makes the very best gear at the very best price in every
portion of the network.

That isn't Cisco specific, it goes for practically all vendors.

More information about the NANOG mailing list