I have previously blogged here and over at Packet Pushers about EIGRP not really being open. Since then I have changed my mind and albeit EIGRP is not quite there, I would consider it moving forward in a next generation deployment.
I reached out to Donnie not long after the original post. I asked some questions of the motivators behind the change. I firstly appreciated Donnie’s response and it make me ponder about Cisco’s stance. Donnie and his team believe in EIGRP and its ability to really posture EIGRP to be a real next generation routing protocol. IPv6 and large, scale driven networks are great use cases for EIGRP and this is the angle that is approached. An ideal deployment would be an IPv6 green-field deployment which takes full advantage of the power of EIGRP. The feature parity is almost there versus IPv6. What is an important consideration too is the fact that DUAL computes IPv6 without modifications.
In the Packet Pushers EIGRP episode with Donnie and Rus, as a listener all I wanted to do was rush out and get some EIGRP going in my lab. The enthusiasm for the future of the product was heartening. The strong commitment to the development of the product to be competitive in the IGP space was superb. If the energy exuded in the interview comes to fruition then OSPF could have some competition. What also got me also intrigued was the ability to apply network smarts via EIGRP. The notion of costing routes based on the actual power cost was crazy. It is a power, cost aware network, based upon routes. Adding another layer of smarts which as far as I am aware would be the first of its kind.
I have definitely come around to looking at EIGRP again when the time for an upgrade comes. Due to the proprietary argument becoming null it is good to see a viable competitor to OSPF. Donnie did mention on numerous occasion that Stub features and others would be eventually standardised so when this occurs uptake will increase. So don’t quite rush out and replace your production network but a transition to EIGRP could be something worth considering in your 2 year plan. Even with SDN coming, which honestly, seems to be focussing on the DC, we still will need routing protocols no matter the level of software abstraction. SDN isn’t replacing everything.
If you’re interested in more EIGRP goodness then check out the BRKRST-2336.