Vendor lock-in has been an issue in networking for the entire time I’ve been working in the field—since the late 1980s. I well remember the arguments over POSIX compliance, SQL middleware standards, ADA, and packet formats. It was an issue in electronics, which is where I worked before falling into a career in computer networks, too. What does “vendor independence” really mean, and what are the ways network operators can come close to having it? Frank Seesink joins Russ White and Tom Ammon to rant about—and consider—solutions to this problem.