A case against vendor-locking optical modules

Jérôme Nicolle jerome at ceriz.fr
Mon Nov 17 18:11:48 UTC 2014


I'm having a discussion with Arista, trying to explain to them why I
_can't_ buy any hardware unable to run with compatible optical modules.

My points are :

- I need specific modules, mostly *WDM and BiDi, some still unavailable
in their product line

- I run at least two other vendors on every locations and can't stack up
every spare optics for each of them, neither could remote-hands safely
re-program optics to match a specific vendor when needed.

- I have an established relationship with a trusted optics supplier,
providing support, warranty and re-coding hardware for their entire
(impressive) lineup. And this supplier is still 2-5x times cheaper than
any vendor-labeled optics even with NFR-like discounts.

Based on these points, I discourage every customers of ever using
locked-in equipments, and forbid them on my own network. Of course,
Arista can't be pleased because their hardware never stepped chord in my
customer's networks. But they seem to deliberatly miss my points every
time the subject comes up.

What are other arguments against vendor lock-in ? Is there any argument
FOR such locks (please spare me the support issues, if you can't read
specs and SNMP, you shouldn't even try networking) ?

Did you ever experience a shift in a vendor's position regarding the use
of compatible modules ?

Thanks !

Jérôme Nicolle
+33 6 19 31 27 14

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