20

Yes, I think physical cabling would be on-topic We've had some questions regarding physical cabling. The ones which were closed would remain off-topic (home networking, vague, etc) even if physical cabling were on topic. That's good; I'm saying it seems we are already allowing physical cabling.


20

Advanced routing protocols like BGP, OSPF, IS-IS, VXLAN and EVPN on platforms without a paid support option (like Quagga, Mikrotik, FRR). To me it feels 'wrong' that questions about these protocols, which this people on SE should be able to answer best, are considered off topic only based on the fact that there's no commercial support. Currently off topic, ...


18

Enterprise/Service Provider Networks – Questions one would encounter while operating, maintaining, purchasing, or managing an enterprise / service provider network. The question should be about the operation of your own network. Enterprise, in this case, means a "business organization", which could be large or small. Examples: Q: BGP - Better Enterprsie ...


18

Network Design – This category deals with how to design networks with on-topic network infrastructure. Assuming there are multiple network infrastructure technologies or implementation choices which can achieve the same design goals, questions about the nuances or implications of those technologies are on-topic. For example, a valid Network Design ...


17

Cloud-based networking, such as Amazon VPC configuration, NAT gateways, VPN configurations, BGP routing, load balancing, etc. Also Azure virtual networking, and similar offerings by other cloud providers. Admittedly, there will be overlap with questions on the basic compute and application services these vendors offer, and those would best be answered on ...


14

Questions about Unix / Linux Servers which are running Network Protocols or a Firewall – Questions about firewalling or network protocols such as OSPF running on linux / unix servers... to qualify under this category: The system must not be purpose-built by a vendor specifically for routing / switching / firewall purposes The system must not have ...


14

Tools used by Network Engineers - Questions about tools specific to Network engineering. Examples: Q: Wireshark filters for OSPF Link State ID Q: Why don't iperf, scamper and path MTU discovery packet captures agree on the path's MTU? Q: NMS with advanced user management Q: Monitoring Network Traffic Q: Network monitoring and mapping software ...


13

"Prosumer" Networking Gear – Questions regarding products that aren't exactly "consumer" grade, because they have the option for a token support contract. They are also a little too cheap to be widely used and understood - i.e. "48-port Netgear" switch, such as the "Netgear Prosafe 48-port GS718TS". Examples: Q: Problems Connecting Catalyst 2960G to ...


13

Model/Product Line Features/Differences – Features supported in the different models of a given product line, with different software versions, licenses, etc. Examples: Q: What is the difference between all the switching modes on 6500/7600? Q: What's the difference between CRS-1 and CRS-3


13

Services that are required for normal operation of a network such as DHCP, DNS, RADIUS, etc. Currently mostly off topic (unless on a platform such as IOS), and should be on topic. Other related meta discussions: here, here, and here.


12

Lab Scenario: Questions about a lab scenario involving equipment we normally consider valid If you're studying for the CCNP (or another networking certification) at home / work and want to ask why a lab scenario you are building is broken, or need help configuring something; these questions should be on-topic. Even though lab questions are on-topic, we ...


11

Network Protocols' Design/Theory – Network protocol questions, like 'Why does Cisco's bgp process pack update packets in path attribute groups like this?' or ' Why does OSPF use this next hop address for these external LSAs?' Application level protocols (example, host / server protocols above the TCP / UDP / ICMP PDUs) are explicitly off topic. Examples: ...


10

Clarification of "protocols above L4 in the OSI model are off-topic" to specifically mention routing and tunnelling protocols, which should all be on-topic. L2TP is on top of UDP BGP is on top of TCP I don't know that anyone would disagree: I'm just trying to make the rules clearer.


9

Since this is a forum for professional networking, I consider helping people to bypass network policies (for a network over which they have no control) to be unethical. I have to think how I would feel if that were my network since an anonymous OP may actually be a user on my network. Questions related to bypassing network security or policies, except ...


9

TL;DR: No. More complete answer in response to comments by this user. Tomato USB based Router - Enterprise features at fraction of price. Just because a product has "Enterprise features" doesn't make it an enterprise class of device. Certainly either of these firmwares may be arguably better than vendor provided firmwares, but that doesn't make them ...


8

Content Delivery Networks – Examples: Q: How to switch to a different Google Global Cache? Q: Is it possible to disaggregate traffic to CDNs to find out what users are doing?


8

Certification questions have been deemed off-topic since before beta. In my mind, there is little difference between certification and homework questions, and they should be off topic whether they are multiple choice or not. Personally, homework questions are a bit worse to me as I am not here to do some college student's homework for them. Getting an ...


8

Production Troubleshooting Scenarios: Troubleshooting questions can be challenging to handle well on Stack Exchange, because they are so situational. However, they are welcome Please back up answers with facts from the question Please do not answer with speculation about the problem. If something is unclear, ask in a comment. Good / Bad subjective - The ...


6

I want to add to Brett's position on this, which is: historical questions are valid as long as there is a way to give a concise, accurate and fact based answer. We have to draw a line somewhere. Historical questions, like all others, should exhibit a compelling reason to be answered on NE. I could come up with a long list of trivia questions, which ...


6

Ignoring the "spaminess" of the example, this is a valid concern that I appreciate you have brought forward. I do also want to say this is one that Mike and I have discussed privately, as well as with other moderators from other SE sites. First, as Mike has noted, we are actually doing very well for a SE site of this age. The stats are generally decent to ...


6

I'd like to see virtual host switches (VMware ESXi and MS Hyper-V) added to the 'on' topics. These switches share a lot of logic with their physical cousins - and need to interface with them - but do have their own flavor. On-topicness (is that a word?) should be limited to the switch configuration on the host, not including other host configuration items. ...


5

NOTE: Ultimately Stack Exchange concluded that the particular question you asked about is link spam; after investigating the other questions from the same user, I saw that they rapidly posted the same question (including the bogus Cisco PoE switch hyperlinks) across five different Stack Exchange sites. Those hyperlinks were: Technically incorrect (i.e. ...


5

The question of which port(s) to use in an application is up to the application developer. The choice of which applications to use is up to the business management. The application deployment is up to the software and server engineers. None of the above has anything to do with network engineering, and this site is for network engineering. Before Network ...


5

Modify the help center text to say: hardware that has a paid support option from the manufacturer (enterprise/provider class products, some small business class devices)


5

Overlay networks, such as torrent or bitcoin, should be explicitly off-topic. There have also been questions about other proprietary or open source overlay networks, but this topic has not been explicitly addressed in the past.


4

Interview questions are generally being used to gauge two things: a level of knowledge and how a person thinks. In the first case, I view this somewhat like test/homework questions (which we don't allow). So my stance personally is about the same as my stance on homework questions. In summary, the actual interview question is a no, but questions about the ...


4

The help section is always open to improvement and like many of the SE communities will likely change over time. 1) Why open this forum to purchasing questions which lead to manufacturer recommendations? Isn't that a pandora's box? If you read further down, product recommendations are explicitly off-topic here (and at most SE sites). While product ...


4

As long as you NEVER reveal that you're talking about a residential setting, perhaps. However, the instant the truth is known, the question will instantly, and permanently, be off-topic (aka "closed".) Why? Because there are a million things that go wrong in residential wiring. (often the result of (a) work of people who don't know what they're doing, (b) ...


4

For the purposes of this answer, let's consider two possible categories of questions: A-questions. There is a legitimate need for the questions we have already listed as on-topic; furthermore, Stack Exchange offers useful improvements over many network engineering resources which are traditionally mailing lists (i.e. cisco-nsp and such). B-questions. There ...


4

I think physical layer is clearly 'on topic'. Its right there at the beginning of the OSI model and its where most troubleshooting begins. There are also design discussions such as top-of-rack verse middle-of-row data center designs, stack-able switches verse chassis. etc


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