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Bridging VLAN trunks on RouterOS

Some 4 years after being posted, this question of mine concerning 802.1q VLAN interface/trunk configuration on Mikrotik/RouterOS devices was closed as off-topic.

Considering that the question seems very much on-topic and was upvoted, favourited and ultimately awarded the Famous Question gold badge, this had me a little surprised.

Just to be clear, while Mikrotik is well known for their consumer grade wireless routers, this question was about their line of rack mounted, arguably carrier-grade, aggregation routers.

I was hoping someone could help me understand exactly what places the question outside the scope of the site, how the question may be improved or which StackExchange site might be a better fit for such questions.

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On the What topics can I ask about here? page, it explains that your question must meet the requirement of "hardware that has a paid support option (enterprise/provider class products, some small business class devices)," and MikroTik does not offer that.

There are actually several questions here about why MikroTik is off-topic. We experienced a flood of MikroTik questions, and people were pointing to previously asked MikroTik questions as precedent, when, in fact, the previous questions should have been closed as off-topic.

I'm not sure when the optional, paid support requirement went into place.

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    We, for one, purchase support for Mikrotik routers from the same company that provide our Cisco and F5 support. I don't know the intention behind that statement, but it does not say that support must be offered directly from the manufacturer. As you already know, partner based support is a viable model used by many of the top vendors, Cisco included. – Roy Jan 11 '18 at 14:14
  • In this answer, @YLearn explains the resoning: "The key difference is that vendors who provide paid support for their own product have a vested interest in the product." – Ron Maupin Jan 11 '18 at 14:18
  • Noted. Although there is some difference between community supported open source software (Tomato) and a hardware manufacturer offering support via certified partners (Mikrotik). Also, I would try to consider if a flood of questions might not suggest an actual interest for the topic among the target audience. – Roy Jan 11 '18 at 14:33
  • Unfortunately, as he points out, the line that is drawn is not perfect, and we are open to other suggestions, but they must be a simple method. We have had some convoluted and complex suggestions on how to determine which hardware is on-topic, but those will fail with the users. Feel free to suggest an alternate method so that people can vote on it. – Ron Maupin Jan 11 '18 at 14:37
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    As far as I can tell, there is no need to change the letter of the law, just the interpretation. If a product has commercially available support options it could be seen as being on-topic. If that product is actively used in enterprise networks, there is no reason to keep it out. MikroTik is used by dozens of Fortune 500 companies. Just at my workplace alone we provide services to 45 of the top 46 oil companies in the world using Mikrotik equipment side by side with Cisco, Huawei and F5. If you cannot discuss the technology you use in your daily job, then there is not much left to discuss. – Roy Jan 11 '18 at 14:49
  • @Roy, while I agree that MikroTik is more on the white side of the gray area, it still doesn’t qualify based on the rules set forth by the community. I can’t let the commercially available support argument pass as DD-WRT (and other products) also has it from third parties and that is definitely on the black side of the gray area, if not purely black. I keep hoping MikroTik will add support so they get included (like Ubiquiti has for their UniFi line), but for now it remains off topic here. Please read my full answer that Ron pointed out. – YLearn Jan 11 '18 at 18:21
  • @YLearn I would have though that support from certified partners and the 30 day support on direct purchases would count for something, but I do see the difficulty of allowing enthusiast hacks like DD-WRT and Tomato to run wild. Just out of curiosity, how/where do you fit the Cisco Meraki product lines? – Roy Jan 11 '18 at 20:06
  • @YLearn Are you familiar with the MikroTik partner training and certification program? This is not just some random third parties deciding to provide support for an otherwise unsupported product. MikroTik trains and certifies partners and provide direct support to these certified partners, so that they can in turn support end-customers in their respective markets. See mum.mikrotik.com/presentations/CO10/day1/04-edmunds.pdf – Roy Jan 11 '18 at 20:25
  • @Roy, Meraki has paid support; unless their model has changed (I don't believe it has), the support is inclusive to the subscription that is required to operate the system. As for MikroTik, yes I am aware. However, many vendors have partner training/certification programs of some fashion, but this is not the same as support, development and engineering being part of the same organization overseen by the same management. A partner will never be able to engage resources internally to resolve hardware/software problems the way vendor support can. – YLearn Jan 12 '18 at 0:34
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    @YLearn, yes, Meraki does offer support, but it is not a "paid option" and it is not tied to the hardware, on that part they only offer RMA. I only mentioned it because it is, like in the case of MikroTik, an unconventional support model that does not quite fit the rules set forth by the NE community, and one that I have personal experience with. – Roy Jan 12 '18 at 9:07
  • @Roy, I would disagree. If an organization doesn’t pay, they don’t get Meraki Support. Just because Meraki bundles the license and support costs inseparably, doesn’t in any way mean you are not paying for the support. And yes. It is certainly tied to the hardware, as is the licensing. Further, it is Meraki/Cisco that provide the support, not a third party. – YLearn Jan 12 '18 at 11:18
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    @YLearn If an organization doesn't pay, the equipment does not work at all. Nothing optional about it. With other Cisco equipment you typically have the option of purchasing direct support from Cisco, support from a certified Cisco partner, support from an unrelated third party or run without any support at all. Clearly the Meraki support model is different. – Roy Jan 12 '18 at 11:23
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    @YLearn I think what I'm trying to say here is that which support model a company chooses is their business. MikroTik is clearly invested in their products and have a working support model through their distributors and network of partners. Paid support is available and limited manufacturer support is bundled with direct purchases. As for the community rules, the language clearly states that support must be a an option (which you say is not important) and does not say that the support must be provided directly from the manufacturer (which you say is important). – Roy Jan 12 '18 at 11:48

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