Coolest NON-IP routable protocol?

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Dec 2nd, 2008
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My dad worked for DEC when I was a little kid, so DECnet is hereby deemed the coolest protocol.

AppleTalk is second.

IPX is in LAST PLACE, Banyan VINES is second-to-last.

So in the middle we have XNS and Apollo. I don't know much about either of them but I've heard good things.

Besides TCP/IP, DECnet, AppleTalk, Apollo, VINES, and IPX are the only routable protocols I've heard of. Are there others? Are they cool?

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Harold Ritter Wed, 12/03/2008 - 05:47
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I would add ISO CLNS and SNA to the list. Are they cool? It depends of your conception of cool ;-)


CriscoSystems Wed, 12/03/2008 - 10:14
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A CCNA like myself should know better than to bare the gloves against a frickin' CCIE, but I still ask, nay defy you, to explain how native (non-tunnelled) SNA comes to be considered ROUTABLE protocol.

Giuseppe Larosa Wed, 12/03/2008 - 11:10
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hello Seth,

but are you the same person that defined ridicoulus CLNS in another post some days ago ?

What happened ?

Have you changed your mind or I misunderstood your previous post ?

I may be wrong but DECNET phase V is roughly CLNS

coolest = most frozen (unused)

or the most fashionable ?

Best Regards


CriscoSystems Wed, 12/03/2008 - 12:20
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Ciao Giuseppe

I don't even remember my post about CLNS. Probably I was angry and feeling frustrated after studying IS-IS for my BSCI exam; the same way I blamed the world finance crisis on the decline of Ethernet II. (And of the Commodore 128 while I'm at it. Why not.)

But part of the whole hoo-ha about Cisco routers is that they can handle the lot of them, they can appear to be DECrouters to a DECnet, they can appear to be Macinti on an AppleTalk segment, and can route IP and the other protocols all on the same box at the same time. That's just too cool for words. I want to make sure there's variety like that in my lab; that I'm getting the most from my amazing Cisco box.

One of my enemies at work is (was) Novell-certified, which is why I decided to hate IPX.

marikakis Wed, 12/03/2008 - 13:58
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Another perspective might be this one: the question "Coolest NON-IP routable protocol?" is a trick question. I mean it has a hidden contradiction, because if it's not IP, it can't be cool ;-)

I was lucky enough to start working when most of the burst of various technologies began to decline. I worked for an ISP and at some point we had only one IPX customer. We were tunneling IPX for the customer across the IP backbone. The day we were told we can remove the tunnel was a day of happiness for us.

I think the decline of various technologies shows (among other things) a degree of maturity in the networking field. It's easier for networking personnel to manage the knowledge and the network. It's easier to choose a stable IOS if your needs are very specific (as opposed to supporting everything there is). And as cisco says "it's a great time to get cisco certified"!

Availability of many ways to accompish the same goal is not always desirable. If you disagree, I will respond in Ancient Greek ;-)

Kind Regards,


Collin Clark Fri, 12/05/2008 - 06:36
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There was nothing cool about supporting AppleTalk, nor IPX for that matter. Those two are fighting for the bottom spot in my experiences. I still have nightmares about those dang MAC's, guess that's why I still don't like them :-)

CriscoSystems Fri, 12/05/2008 - 11:15
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Katsamani, Clark - you two, me, in the alley, 5:00 TONIGHT.

marikakis Sat, 12/06/2008 - 11:54
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"To laconizin esti filosofin", which means "using few words shows deep thinking of things":

Had I seen the invitation earlier, my ancient greek mother would have been in the position to escort her daughter (instead of a son) out the door with the phrase "i tan i epi tas", which means "either win or be brought to me (dead) on your own shield (never leave the fight)":


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