Benefits (and Detriments) of Standardizing Network Equipment in a Global Organization

Leo Bicknell bicknell at
Thu Dec 29 15:44:45 UTC 2016

In a message written on Wed, Dec 28, 2016 at 01:39:59PM -0500, Chris Grundemann wrote:
> An alternative multi-vendor approach is to use 1 vendor per stack layer,
> but alternate layer to layer. That is; Vendor A edge router, Vendor B
> firewall, Vendor A/C switches, Vendor D anti-SPAM software, etc. This
> doesn't address the bug impact issue as well as it alleviates the vendor
> "ownership" issue though...

While a lot of people seem to be beating you up over this approach, many
folks end up in it for various reasons.  For instance the chances a
vendor makes both a functional edge router and a high quality firewall
are low, which means they often are sourced from different companies.

But I think the question others are trying to ask is a different
hyptothetical.  Say there are two vendors, of of which makes perfectly
good edge routers and core routers.  What are the pros to buying all
of the edge from one, and all of the core from the other?

I have to admit I'm having trouble coming up with potential technical
upsides to such a solution.  There may well be a business up side,
in that due to the way price structures are done that such a method
saves captial.  But in terms of technical resilliance, if there's a
bug that takes out all cores or all edges the whole network is down,
and there's actually 2x the risk as it could happen at either layer!

Leo Bicknell - bicknell at
PGP keys at
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