My question got closed by Ron Maupin with the justification that it contained the Mikrotik tag (the question was on-topic). The justification was that Mikrotik doesn't offer paid support, which is technically the case. They have lists of certified consultants, who offer paid support. They also have free support for the first 30 days after a purchase, which I would consider paid (you have to buy a device to get it).
Now before anybody says "Well that's the rules", I want to point out that I realize that. This question is about why the rules are the way they are.
Anyway, that's a specific case. My more generic question is, why? If a vendor doesn't offer paid support, doesn't that make this site all the more valuable? And should we start counting certified consultants officially listed on the vendor's site as paid support?
Now before anybody says "Well that's the rules", I want to point out that I realize that. This question is about why the rules are the way they are. Why has the community decided to put this rule in place, and does the community think that the above is a reasonable exception?
EDIT: Ron Maupin pointed me to this answer explaining the decision. (TL;DR: Too many people posted questions about SOHO/small business networks with a single segment, and this was a way to try to weed those out). So the why has been answered.
- Does the community believe that the exception above would be a reasonable one that does not counteract the purpose of the rule?
- Another potential solution: Rather than rule out the hardware, why not rule out the networks? Perhaps rule out "Networks that have fewer than 3 routed segments".
- A third potential solution: Keep the current rule, but make it essentially say "The vender must offer paid support OR the device must be capable of some business-grade protocols such as OSPF, MPLS, BGP, and RADIUS."
These are just potential ideas, all with their own flaws, but I personally feel that there's something wrong if Mikrotik doesn't have a place in network engineering - it's absolutely enterprise class. (If you need more justification that this is the case I'd be happy to expand on it.)
EDIT 2: What if we had a checklist? "On-topic if it meets at least X out of these Y criteria." Potential criteria:
- Vendor has paid support option
- Product has enterprise protocol support (I'll leave what protocols specifically up for discussion)
- Vendor offers hardware with their software pre-installed
- Vendor certifies consultants to act as paid support
- Network in question has >2 routed subnets
I'd like to point out that I completely understand and agree with the reason for the rule, just not the rule itself. I don't want a site like this flooded with "help my internet doesn't work" or "how do I port forward".