Skip to main content

Why there will always be a higher rate of major incidents on Cisco based networks

There are two underlying fundamental problems in Cisco based networks that will always cause them to be the cause of a higher rate of major incidents compared to alternative vendors. The problems are related to the high number of features that the vendor shovels into it's code. The higher the count of features, especially those that are unused, the higher the potential for faults. Additionally, unlike JUNOS, IOS does not have a single linear code versioning methodology. This results in deployment and configuration issues. Nearly, 14 years ago, I learnt the benefits of a single linear code versioning methodology from Madge Networks adapter software, called LAN Support Software (LSS). Although, there were ISA, MCA, PCI and EISA adapters they were all supported by the same single version of LAN Support Software. This had a great impact on reducing the rate of major incidents, a lesson which Cisco still needs to learn. These are the benefits of LSS in which IOS has no related equivalence:
  • Largest range of Operating Systems supported in a single release.
  • Single, high performance, ‘UniDrivers’ for PCI and PC Card adapters. This means that for most operating systems, a single driver supports Madge Token-Ring adapters.
  • Microsoft ‘signed & certified’ drivers for Windows XP, 2000, Windows ME and NT4
  • Enhanced server support: NetWare, PCI Hot Plug, Adapter Mirroring
  • Support for legacy OS/2 & DOS NDIS environments
  • Support for Linux, Solaris, HP-UX and MAC OS
  • Upgraded and Updated installation and configuration utilities
  • Supports advanced features of Madge adapters, such as ACPI power management and Wake-On-LAN.
  • Adapter mirroring for Windows and NetWare increasing server resilience and fault tolerance.
Yes, it is token-ring and token-ring is dead, but the lessons learnt are definitely not! In his blog, Tony Rybczynski, of Nortel, writes in a fuller and detailed substantiation of these views:
"Unfortunately, data networkers buy technology based on the Cisco feature list (who have hundreds of features that seldom are used by any given customer) rather than on their feature requirements.
As a result, they pay premium prices, and create unnecessary complexity which can impact performance, security, reliability and TCO.
On reliability alone, it’s no secret that software complexity (multiple versions of IOS, features you don’t use, and resulting config errors) is a major contributor to failures."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Madge Networks, the token-ring company, went titsup

There I was shooting the breeze with an old mate. The conversation turned to why Madge Networks which I wrote about here went titsup. My analysis is that Madge Networks had a solution and decided to go out and find a problem. They deferred to more incorrect strategic technology choices. The truth of the matter is that when something goes titsup, its not because of one reason only, but a myriad of them all contributing to the negative consequence. There are the immediate or visual ones, which are underpinned by intermediate ones and finally after digging right down, there are the root causes. There is never a singular root cause for anything but I'll present my opinion and encourage everyone else to chip in. All of them together are more likely the reason the company went titsup. As far as technology brainfarts go there is no better example than Kodak . They invented the digital camera that killed them. However, they were so focused on milking people in their leg

Flawed "ITIL aligned"​ Incident Management

Many "ITIL aligned" service desk tools have flawed incident management. The reason is that incidents are logged with a time association and some related fields to type in some gobbledygook. The expanded incident life cycle is not enforced and as a result trending and problem management is not possible. Here is a fictitious log of an incident at PFS, a financial services company, which uses CGTSD, an “ITIL-aligned” service desk tool. Here is the log of an incident record from this system: Monday, 12 August: 09:03am (Bob, the service desk guy): Alice (customer in retail banking) phoned in. Logged an issue. Unable to assist over the phone (there goes our FCR), will escalate to second line. 09:04am (Bob, the service desk guy): Escalate the incident to Charles in second line support. 09:05am (Charles, technical support): Open incident. 09:05am (Charles, technical support): Delayed incident by 1 day. Tuesday, 13 August: 10:11am (Charles, technical support): Phoned Alice.

Updated: Articles by Ron Bartels published on iot for all

  These are articles that I published during the course of the past year on one of the popular international Internet of Things publishing sites, iot for all .  These are articles that I published during the course of the past year on one of the popular international Internet of Things publishing sites, iot for all . Improving Data Center Reliability With IoT Reliability and availability are essential to data centers. IoT can enable better issue tracking and data collection, leading to greater stability. Doing the Work Right in Data Centers With Checklists Data centers are complex. Modern economies rely upon their continuous operation. IoT solutions paired with this data center checklist can help! IoT Optimi