Steve at pirk,
I fail to grasp the concept in your argument.
You do realise, do you not, that your $$$$$ black boxes from your favourite brand name vendor have software running inside of them do you not ?
Case in point for example, the recent LINX issues.... it wasn't the hardware that gave them the headaches, but the software running on it sure did !
Well depending on your "black box", your millage will vary.
Their wide use of ASIC eliminate a lot of the headache of pure software implementation.
Buffer, timing, expected results, etc.
Their "real" sofware only represent a small part of the device and is mostly relegated to management and some L4 to L7 handling.
So yes, ASIC/FPGA devices have "software" their result and behavior are predictable and the system is more stable because of it.
PS: Yes, CAM lockout, bad RAM is still a pita for them.
It is quite a thing to say that because everything can be categorized as "software" that someone point is invalid.
And gets you, in return, the headaches of buggy hardware, where
bug-fixing is just a bit harder than "load the new release".