Ascend GRF400

Warning. only the end of this is truly relevant to nanog, IMO. Clobber
the message now if you want to avoid a mini-rant about ascend.

I'm a right tool for the right job person myself, so I'm glad that
people have found ascends to work for them, but I have to interrupt the
love-in long enough to point out
  - the grf is not all of ascend. maybe they finally got things
  - ascend CPE equipment is constantly shipped with incorrect
  - ascend CPE equipment has poor design on the human-interface
   and the electrics. That is, people will, can and do plug the
   wrong cable into the wrong port which in turn fries the unit.
   They have a very smooth RMA process, which says something about
   how often it has to be used.
  - software-of-the-week releases that are rife with regression
  - nigh-abandonment of product with no warning: see software
   version 5.x for the p400 series? see it coming anytime soon?

All that said, we have had good luck with scend on the higher-end gear,
MAXes et al, so maybe the GRF is done right. But that's a co$tly

Lastly, the bit that's really relevant, how to the GRF-users automate
things in their networks? I'll cast a hairy eyeball on claims that
"cisco-free" is a good thing until I see other products that give high
flexibility on route tuning and a method to programatically alter
configs. Asking for vendors to have a common programatic interface is a
bit much to ask, so I'll settle for sane, regexp-parsable files...

Disclaim, disclam; affiliation, not representation; etc etc.