Multi-vendor strategies [was: Re: Benefits (and Detriments) of Standardizing Network Equipment in a Global Organization]

Chris Grundemann cgrundemann at
Thu Dec 29 15:43:07 UTC 2016

On Thu, Dec 29, 2016 at 10:05 AM, Randy Bush <randy at> wrote:

> > I apparently wasn't very clear. In the layered approach to multiple
> > vendors, you would (obviously) choose your layer definitions to avoid
> > such delicate interdependence.
> can you describe in useful detail your operational experience doing
> this?

I'll certainly try.

As one hopefully fairly clear example; at a large (US-nation-wide) metro
Ethernet provider, we standardized as follows:

L3 devices (aka core, customer edge, and Internet/peering edge routers)
were all from Vendor A
 - These devices spoke OSPF, BGP, and RSVP with each other.

L2 devices (aka metro ring switches) were all from Vendor B
 - These devices spoke STP with each other.

L1 devices (aka optical transport) were all from Vendors C or D (individual
markets got to choose which, but they could only have one each)
 - These devices inter-operated with each other at the optical layer.

Basic network security was handled by devices from Vendor E
 - These devices collected netflow data and flagged alerts

DNS was handled by software from another vendor on servers from yet another
vendor, etc...

Is that enough detail to be useful?

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