You say it is BS and then speak of it as if it is the norm.
When a company needs reliability it will invest in known working solutions. I'm sure other solutions work well.
Would you advise that one use one brand of APs with another vendor's Wireless LAN Controller?
Sure it will work. (Well it should work).
It's not what I'm going to fight my chain of command for. Not hardly.
You may sound astounded but I like empirical evidence.
The truth is I've seen many companies come and be the best and be gone not long after.
Casualties of war - sales and public opinion being that war.
You may not like my opinion and that is fine. However, I assure you it is more of the norm than not.
As far as crying to Cisco for help...
I call a vendor after I've worn out my extent of troubleshooting based on a given product line.
I'm a newbie to Wireless but not to networking.
I assure you I know my way around "systems" as well as any.
Umm.... A quick look for books and materials for Aruba... comes up pretty close to empty.
A search for classes comes up with a very few scant offerings.
What do others offer?
Cisco's had a Wireless Certification and Education Program for more of the decade.
You call things you don't like kool-aid or perhaps if you don't like the opinion.
The fact is Cisco is entering the Wireless Certification realm now as well and other vendors who have certifications will be feeling be feeling the cold wind blow - as if the training market was not hard enough before.
I'm not open to one-offs, except in the extreme case it is necessary.
I'm not saying there are not excellent solutions out there. It's just not my responsibility to keep up with all of them.
If you want to and you are a "Wireless Professional", that's fine with me.
I'm a "Networking Professional" and Wireless is a subset of the total equation - while I may have as many Wireless devices on the network as we do network switches for example, the simple truth is this: they are still a subset and not quite the set.
Even us networking folks are only a "necessary evil" when it comes to the bottom line and to the C-Suite. So they don't care if it is Cisco, Nortel, or Foundry for example as long as it works.
How many jobs require Aruba for a skillset?
I just ran a search on Monster: 38
Now if I'm an employer and need to staff my network.... what are the odds I'm going to find an Aruba specialist?
Leaves me to depend on consultants at best or other vendor certified professionals (mostly Cisco by the way).
Who's talking more BS here, you or I?
Companies need support. Like it or not that is what it comes down to.
Cisco provides support.
You call it kool-aid but I call it "water"...
The fact is the company's network is bigger than one person's ego. Always will be.
Example: When I leave my employer, you can absolutely be certain they will find a suitable replacement - he/she may be better, maybe worse, may even be clueless but rest assured they will find another warm body.
I liken that to product selection. If I endorse a product without specific need for a special feature - and take it over the prevailing competition (like say Aruba over Cisco) - both are fine products. No doubt.
Both are near equal products (both will claim some sort of superiority)... however which is more likely to have the same product line or support year after year?
That won't do it for you...
Which is more likely to be bought by a bigger fish in the ocean?
Look you are a Wireless specialist and I'm sure you have seen various situations that require a custom solution or as you mentioned in another post where one vendor clearly prevails over another in a given situation or avenue of technology.
That's perfectly fine. Everybody's gotta eat.
My perspective is biased and will typically revolve around a few things:
1. The incumbent product will have a margin of favor.
2. The new product will have to do equal or better.
3. I'm not inclined to look for new solutions and be involved in bake-off after bake-off (I have work to do.)
4. I take the whole network as a vantage point and not bits and pieces. Example: If the network were Foundry/Brocade I'd favor Meru as a wireless solution.
5. Mixing and matching network components will never be something you'll probably ever see me advocate.
I'm very much a person who make checklists, project plans, and repeatable success stories.
I used to love custom PCs until I realized there was no money in trying to keep up with the components and trying to keep track of every snafu, bug, or workaround in the industry.
Just doesn't make sense.
I see you feel differently. That's fine.
In this case, I'd have to say, we should probably agree to disagree.
Now if I were saying I'd choose Aruba and none other... I'd see your point a lot more clearly.
I'm all about "sustained superior performance" and my career is a marathon and not a sprint. I think most networks I've worked on prefer the marathon approach.
High end gamers - they love the best of the best. But crash more than most.
I leave the ego at the door and do what is going to work more often and is proven to do so.
Well I thought this would get tasty, Darby entertaining as usual, gota love you.
Just as an aside I am not aware of any vendors aps or controllers functioning with another vendors, I think there was a solution form Bluesocket that had some cross platform capabilities biut it certainly wasnt main stream.
The funny thing is I'm the guy who was trying to get my company to take a look at Trapeze since it looked like they had a decent high availability solution.
Last year I was the only person in my team interested in giving a Meru WLC a shot for an evaluation.
I'm not quite as stubborn as I may sound.
However, once I've selected, I'm not likely to retract either without good reason.
Example: Today I got my quotes for the WCS Licences and WLC Controllers - one product was EOS and the others are said to be EOS soon too.
The fact is, we are standardized on a particular set of models. So there is not much need to go to mattresses for a bake-off over this one.
AssureWave 6.x is the next move. However, only after careful testing. Kool-aid is not always sweet enough.
Just a quick note, are you running all 4400s. I havent put 6x on a 4400 but it srewed up the ports on a few 2100s I deployed, made the port default to auto auto, you could not hard set the port speeds.
Now code 7 is announcedand is coming in May, not sure if it will assure wave or not but just a heads up.
If they have fixed that particular feature then I will be putting 7 on a few controllers to see how it goes, if its not fixed then I will leave it.
Yep someone broke the code in a pretty basic way.
Fine we will agree to disagree. Two points though, first I was not just talking about wireless. Sure I am a wireless professional and I am quite happy being known as that and not as a networking professional. I do however have a large amount of experience in seeing what Fortune 1000 companies are using in their networks, and I can tell you honestly its not 100% Cisco. Sure Cisco is there but its there because of the strengths it has on its own merits, not because as you put it, its the default. Secondly I call something Kool-aid when you drink the companies marketing line rather than use your own brain to think about why their product is better, its got nothing to do with if I like it or not. I like some of Cisco's products and will willingly recommend them if the situation calls for it. My last point is that you continuely refer to support as if no other vendor but Cisco does this. Its a plain fact that more companies than Cisco do have support and some like Foundry for example have excellent support. In the networking side, what do most top tier ISP's use? No, not Cisco, they use Juniper because of reliability and Juniper's excellent support.
You are correct there are other vendors and they each have their own niche.
I have a particular soft spot for Cisco. Especially when the are hiring they advertise for CCIE's and not necessarily JNCIE's.
Foundry? What can I tell you the techie who is a rep for my area(state?)... he's a CCIE too (in fact, I hold the position at my job he held previously).
I'll agree Cisco does stand on its own merit. However, that technical merit armed with the support and the educational powerhouse that it is today... is very hard to beat on mostly any day.
There are companies that have their niche. Foundry typically makes the argument for pure throughput and lower cost per port. Noted. However, they lost me on QoS features. I won't hold that Rapid Spanning-Tree bug against them... Ouch!
I don't have a lot of Juniper experience. So it is truly hard to judge them. If an employer ever gets around to actually requiring Juniper in my neck of the woods... maybe I'll have an opportunity to voice more of a point of view.
I did find it very thoughtful... better yet "revealing" that Juniper is/was willing to give away its certifications to people already certified with Cisco. No doubt that was classic.
The shame is that Cisco never offered to give free certs to Juniper certified professionals... not sure why exactly.
Back to Foundry... I find it interesting that Foundry not only supports EIGRP (a Cisco proprietary protocol) but also fully supports CDP right along with FDP - The Foundry Discovery Protocol will actually pick up CDP.
CDP does not offer the favor for Foundry. Hmm.... Is that a good or bad thing?
Thankfully there is a non-vendor alternative these days to both CDP and FDP.
I have to agree there are Fortune 1000, Fortune 500, and even named companies that do choose to use other products in addition to Cisco or even in lieu of Cisco. I've seen this as well. I've sees the insides and privileged info of a few hundred companies of this caliber by now and can speak intelligently on the matter.
Remember Wireless was not "Core" business during all this time. However, most of the companies I have direct knowledge of (meaning I have had access to all diagrams, documentation, even justification for, and the thought processes for...) are mostly Cisco.
Don't get me wrong...
I've been around for a while. Proteon, Allied Telesyn, 3-Com, Nortel (Northern Telecom), Cabletron (Entrarsys), Foundry, Extreme (Mostly Apple Network), HP, and probably some others...
I've had to support or upgrade these networks... and get them out of the way... all for Cisco.
I've yet had to forklift Cisco out of a single network and in fact, not one instance comes to mind from anyone I know of ever having mentioned doing so. I know a lot of people - country to country and globally.
Now that I say this, maybe someone will come forward, but up till now - not a single case.
Cisco IOS is built for intelligence and it is on that merit, the reason I say it is the default.
When I once worked on Motorola's network... I used Nortel's wireless at the time (circa 2001).
When I worked on IBM's network in that same year... Cisco for wired and Nortel for Wireless.
I think we used Nortel due to cost and at the time all the NICs were pretty much Proxim cards anyway (I remember Proxim maybe I've forgotten). Same for some of the AP's we took apart like Lucent and I want to say Dell too and it seems like all of the contenders used the same NIC to mount the AP too.
Orinoco stood out as I recall. I still have my Orinoco NICs.
I guess I'm not totally inexperienced with other vendors as you can see and I'm sure I left our another baker's dozen.
I'm just have my preferences and that preference is Cisco for most things (so it is my default choice). I can spend more time trying to figure things out but I barely get any sleep now as it is.