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威廉·伊格(William "Bill" Yeager),思科赖以起家的多协议路由器真正的发明人。

思科的创始人是斯坦福大学一对年轻教师——莱恩·博萨克Leonard Bosack)和桑迪·勒纳Sandy Lerner)夫妇。1980年,莱恩和桑迪喜结良缘。莱恩在进入斯坦福大学之前,曾在DEC电脑公司工作,他想通过研究将校园内使用DEC电脑的部门用网络联结起来。在研究过程中一个新伙伴的加入,使莱恩枯燥的研究工作有了同盟。他就是斯坦福大学物理系毕业生,已成为学校电子工程系的系统程序员的柯克·拉菲德。

当时的柯克·拉菲德当时对自己的工作感到厌倦,所以,很有兴致地加入到莱恩的研究当中。据柯克回忆,莱恩经常加班到很晚,这引来了桑迪的怨言,因为他们只有晚上才能在一起。有时候莱恩会早走一会儿,他对柯克的解释是他不得不去参加“家庭政治活动”。

莱恩和柯克试图让斯坦福大学的局域网相互连接,并让它高速运转。最终,他们取得了成功。他们设计了一套可以自动将一个系统命令模拟成另一种系统能解读的命令,他们将这套系统做成硬件(电子元件)放在一个方盒子里,这个用于数据格式转换的小盒子,他们将其称之为“多协议路由器”,它能把数据包从一台计算机传送到另外一台计算机上。思科的第一个网路由器就这样诞生了。

在莱恩、桑迪和柯克对网络着迷地进行研究的同时,斯坦福大学的其他人有在进行着同样的工作。在思科的第一个路由器诞生之时,斯坦福大学的研究员比尔·耶格尔(Bill Yeager)已发明了一种多协议路由器。莱恩和柯克得到了耶格尔的源代码。柯克将这种软件进行了改良。柯克给软件增加了IP协议,加了这个IP协议的软件后来变成了思科的互联网操作系统。它出色的技术优势能让人们跨越广阔的局域网进行“交谈”。

这种被称为“多协议路由器”的金属盒子最早的服务对象是夫妇俩工作的斯坦福大学。1984年上半年,这种新型的联网设备,将横跨16英里的斯坦福校园内原本不兼容的5000台计算机网络联在一起,形成一个统一的网络。斯坦福大学变成了一个统一的“网络王国”,人们之间可以利用计算机自由地传递信息,不知是否又成全了很多像莱恩与桑迪一样渴望通过计算机传递爱意的情侣。后来人们才总结说,这对年轻夫妇将斯坦福大学变成统一“网络王国”的成功,标志着互联网时代的真正到来。

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威廉·伊格简历编辑本段回目录

威廉·伊格(William Yeager)(born June 16, 1940, San Francisco) is an American engineer. He is best-known for being the inventor of a packet-switched, "Ships in the Night," multiple-protocol router in 1981, during his 20 year tenure at Stanford's Knowledge Systems Laboratory. The code was licensed by upstart Cisco Systems in 1987 and comprised the core of the first Cisco IOS.

(图)William YeagerWilliam Yeager

He is also known for his role in the creation of the IMAP mail protocol, and for writing the ttyftp serial line file transfer program, which was developed into the MacIntosh version of the Kermit protocol at Columbia University. He has also worked 5 years for NASA Ames Research Center and 10 years at Sun Microsystems. At Sun as the CTO of Project JXTA he filed 38 US Patents, and as Chief Scientist at Peerouette, Inc., 2 US and 2 European Union Patents. He has so far been granted 16 US Patents 4 of which are on High Performance Email Servers, and 12 on P2P and distributed computing. He is currently a founder and CTO at 4ZiGo, Inc.

He received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1964; his master's degree in mathematics from San Jose State University in San Jose, California, in 1966; and completed his doctoral course work at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington in 1970. Then decided to abandon mathematics for a career in software engineering and research to the skepticism of his thesis advisor because Bill thought the future was in computing.

William (Bill) Yeager主要资料编辑本段回目录

Where born, year: San Francisco, 1940
Education: Bachelor of arts in mathematics, University of California at Berkeley, 1964
Master of arts in mathematics, California
Work history: 1971-1975 — Systems programmer, NASA AMES
1975-1994 — Research staff in Stanford University’s Knowledge Systems Laboratory
1994-2004 — Sun
Present — Final stages of completing financing for start-up Peerouette 
Interests/ hobbies: Fluent in French, learning Mandarin
Tennis
Collecting wine
Travel to Europe, Asia
Tidbit few people would know: After high school I attended the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. I left the academy after 18 months, six of which were spent seeing places like Pago Pago, Samoa, Australia, Tasmania, Japan, China and the Philippines. I found a calculus book published in 1895 in the library of the USS Golden Bear of Pacific Far East Lines. I read it, liked the math and ended up at UC Berkeley, where the mascot is the Golden Bear.  

William (Bill) Yeager 访谈编辑本段回目录

William (Bill) Yeager 这位生于1940年的66岁老人作为多协议路由器的发明者见证了此设备加速网络发展的里程。NetworkWorld采访了这位老人,让我们了解一些鲜为人知的故事。下面是节选。

有趣的是这位老人好像很喜欢中国,曾经来过中国,并且目前还在学习中文中,这位倔老头离开了斯坦福,离开了Sun现在创建自己Peerouette公司中。

Q:讲讲你在斯坦福当研究员开发第一台路由器的故事

A:这个项目开始于1980年元月,当时头说,你是搞网络的,看看怎么把计算机科学系,医院和电气工程系互联起来。

Q:都需要互联一些什么样的设备呢

A:我们有大型机,DEC10 Systems和一些Xerox PARC Lisp机器,Altos文件服务器和打印机,过了几年又加了DEC VAXs,德州仪器的Explorers 和Symbolic systems。所有的这些都必须连在一起,因为我们散布于校园,大家已经厌烦了拿着磁带跑来跑去。

我想了一会说我们真正需要的是一个操作系统。一边拉线进行测试,一边在DEC PDP11/05上开发网络操作系统和路由代码。但是Alan Snyder Portable C compiler产生了很多代码。我必须研究编译器来优化代码生成器,但还不够好。所以我只好重新给PDP11/05写一个优化的编译器从而可以减少代码三成左右。这是一个大工程,因为所有的事情都需要你来做,要知道PDP11/05只有56KB的用户内存,并且是无盘的。有太多的限制使你不得不在内存分配算法,内存溢出等上做很多事情,我花了整个夏天来确保网络操作系统的调度和包交换算法是最优的。

花了3个月有了系统的基本雏形,6个月有了第一台路由器放在了Pine Hall的电话机房。PineHall位于医院和计算机科学系的中间,路由器两边的线缆有2000英尺长。

Q:这个路由器都支持什么协议

A:开始的时候,设备路由Xerox PARC系统和大型机间的Parc Universal Packet.后来在81年头说IP出现了,你看看能做点什么,然后我就搞点IP的路由支持,当时不用考虑什么ARP,因为当时是3M的以太网,你的IP地址为2个字节,第一个字节是你的网络地址,第二个字节是你的主机地址,也就是你的MAC地址。到83年路由器已经可以支持XNS(Xerox Network Services),TI Explorer和ymbolics Lisp machines之间的CHAOSne还有IP。也就是那个时候斯坦福开始使用10M的以太网。

Q:也就是那个时候你把基于PDP11/05的路由器转到了由Andy Bechtolsheim开发的68000主板平台了?

A:Andy是硕士学生,机会也很偶然。当时我们听说他的板子,跟他谈了以后他同意我们可以有一个。我们把他插到多总线的背板,插上一些3Com的以太板子,然后弄了几个复制品,然后我就开始进行代码的转移。当时的限制就是总线的速度。Bechtolsheim的板子有256KB的内存,对我来说简直是天堂了。

Q:也就是那个时候校园网络开始了?

A:人们开始还是有点怀疑,但是到了83年才清楚这个才是王道。最初只是搞技术参加,后来整个校园都加入了。在85年左右我完成了一些重要的开发。

Q:中间发生了一些什么呢?很多的优化和改进?

A:这是无止境的对吧?新功能,新特性。用C语言来说就是路由器是一个类,特定的协议比如IP是类的一个实体,NOS是多任务的。这也就是思科为什么做的好的原因,因为你可以增加更多的东西到NOS里面,很简单只要增加另一个任务就可以。

Q:谈到思科,他们什么时候出现的?

A:在85年的春季,LenBosack(当时负责计算机科学系的计算机设施,后来成为思科的创始人之一)和另一个人进入我的办公室问我是否能接触路由器的源代码。我问他们能要干什么,他们说他们想做点改进,增加更多特性,我当时还有其它研究任务要做就说不错,把密码给了他们。思科说成立于84年,可我当时根本没有听说过。

Q:当时你认为他们要代码的目的是为了搞一个更好的校园网?

A:对。我们有每周例会,他们也确实在做一些事情。我们决定做纯IP的路由器就取消了XNS, CHAOSnet和PUP的支持。一年之后基于我的代码的他们版本的路由器成为斯坦福正式的路由器。工作的很好,这也是我唯一关心的,我们联通了。好像86年的某个时候我知道了思科,我们都知道了Len为之工作的思科。他们利用在斯坦福的时间为思科开发代码。但是这不是很不好,因为斯坦福以前也发生过类似的事情。但是斯坦福决定该解决的时候了 “你们在斯坦福开发出成果了,我们也要分一杯羹”

Q:谁说的呢?

A:只是大意。然后我拜访了律师,拿上了源代码。在律师面前比对了代码。先从操作系统开始,因为这是路由器的核心。除了变量名不一样以外都是一致的,律师说“我是个律师,我看到他们是一致的”。让我们再看看network data logblock,他被分成了两部分,这是重新改进的,不过还是一样的东西,他们改了一些东西增加了他们自己新的路由协议,如果你懂网络你也能,我只是做了我要做的,因为这是头给我的工作,是系里的需求。

最后斯坦福真的决定了,Len和他的合伙者只得离开了学校专注于思科。

Q:思科除了给你10万元版税以外还有别的吗?

A:版税的三分之一给了学校,三分之一给了系里,三分之一给了发明者。我把我的三分之一给了系里,因为本质上这些来自于良好的研究氛围。But Cisco has always had trouble giving me credit思科有个网页的内容让我很厌烦:“Sandy Lerner和Len Bosack相爱,为了能在校园里聊天而不用出去他们发明了路由器”真是开玩笑。

我是那种不受思科欢迎的人。但是这些都很有趣。我对我做的东西都充满激情,同时我也学到了很多,从公司运作和如果成为一个大公司。

Q:因此你20年后离开了斯坦福去了Sun?

A:我离开斯坦福是因为从学校获得资金变得越来越难,我通过给Sun做咨询来额外赚钱。主要是处理IMAP电子邮件的东西。因为他们有一个名叫SPARCStation Voyager的项目:使用Solaris2.4,带快速矩阵显示器的占空间很小的笔记本。Voyager一个特性就是可以工作于断开方式。你可以断开网络但是 他还能继续工作。我的工作就是做一个IMAP服务器和客户端,当客户端断开的时候还能工作。这个很困难因为当时 IMAP2bis不支持断开电子邮件,我必须修改协议来支持这个还有支持低速带宽。当和我一起工作的一个同事离开只有,他的老板想让我加入来继续这个项目的电子邮件部分。我想我已经53了,在大学很长时间了,然后就答应了。

Q:你怎么比较学校和商业世界

A:我在Sun的公司政治上经常撞墙,从来也不能很好解决。当我在斯坦福的时候有一个规则:最优秀的工程胜出。简单,直接。如果你的工程比别人的好,你就得到最高荣誉。但是在Sun这是不同的。最正确的软件才能生产。有董事会,副经理,经理等一堆,我发现我卷入到这些斗争当中,我上面还有10级的人物。我不在意这些,因为我喜欢做最好的工程。

因此我带来了IMAP技术,到96年我写的IMAP服务器遍布Sun。然后他们决定我们应该开发一种。然后我发明了SIMS(Sun Internet Mail Servers),另一种类型的服务器,我们结束了一个服务器上有成千上万的收件箱。

在SIMS上我有4项专利,总共申请了40项。其它的都是和对等网络相关的,在来Sun之前我做了很多,作为Sun开源项目JXTA项目的CTO。 

思科传奇背后的故事编辑本段回目录

思科公司是互联网发展史上值得记载的最重要的公司之一。 在它最辉煌的2000年里曾创下了市值5550亿美元的历史记录, 超过了包括通用电气在内的美国传统工业巨头们。 这对一个从1984年起家的小公司来说, 实在是一个神话。 不过, 如果我们同时看到美国乃至世界互联网在这段时间的迅速普及, 那么作为网络路由的主要生产者的思科的崛起就是顺理成章的事情了。 

(图)Sandy Lerner夫妇Sandy Lerner夫妇

互联网(普及)除了靠个人计算机作为主要上网工具的普及外, 还要依靠另一个重要的硬件就是网络路由设备。 如果两个网络使用不同的传输协议(异种网), 就需要一个中间设备把信息从一个网络的信息格式翻译成另一个网络的信息格式并传输过去。 除此之外, 当两台互相通讯的计算机之间存在好几条可供选择的传输网路时, 路由要决定哪一条路线最合适。 所以路由对网络的扩张起关键作用。 早在阿帕网的设计和使用中,作为路由的雏形, 接口信息处理器(Interface Message Processor, IMP)就已经设计并使用。 只不过后来的路由需要配备多种传输协议从而实现异种网之间的通讯。 

八十年代初, 施乐公司掌握着当时最先进的网络技术。 它的帕洛阿尔托科研中心(Xerox Palo Alto Research CampusPARC)研制出了许多后来成为标准化的个人计算机和网络技术。 可惜的是这些技术都没有被施乐公司商业化, 反而成就了后来居上的苹果, 微软等著名的公司。 斯坦福大学当时从帕洛阿尔托科研中心获得了一批价值不菲的以太网络装置。 于是,学校准备利用这些装置将当时分散于各个院系的独立的计算机网络连接起来。 这项工作就由在学校各个系和学院的负责计算设备维护的一部分技术服务人员承担起来。 这些技术人员中就包括后来思科的创始人列昂纳德·波萨克Leonard Bosack)和桑德拉·勒纳Sandy Lerner)。他们两人都在斯坦福拿的硕士学位并在谈恋爱。 波萨克当时在计算机系负责技术支持。 勒纳则在商学院负责计算机技术支持。他们感觉到一个极好商业机会来到他们面前。 

(图)William YeagerWilliam Yeager

异种网的连接关键是设计一个能识别不同传输协议的路由器。 当时在斯坦福读博士生的安迪·贝托尔斯海姆(Andy Bechtolsheim)设计了一个基于UNIX的网络工作站, 波萨克等人为该工作站设计了相应的主板。  在医学院工作的威廉·伊格(William Yeager)则为这个工作站编写了路由软件。 于是这个被称为“蓝盒子” 的网络工作站就成为当时第一台能识别不同传输协议的路由器。很快,“蓝盒子”就被安装在斯坦福校园, 其他学校也与斯坦福联系希望购买这种设备。  

看到了路由器的市场潜力,波萨克和勒纳向斯坦福大学的管理层正式申请,希望学校支持搞个公司来设计和生产路由器,以供斯坦福大学的使用和其他院校购买。 斯坦福当时虽然批准了贝托尔斯海姆去创立升阳(SUN)公司的请求,却以时机不成熟为理由拒绝了波萨克和勒纳的申请。尽管如此,波萨克和勒纳已经在1984年注册了思科公司。 并且他们以当时的蓝盒子技术为基础,在其他同事的协助下对路由器进行了一系列改进。  

1986年,波萨克在斯坦福大学的上司,计算机系的教授,莱斯·恩尼斯特(Les Earnest) 找到他,希望他停止用在斯坦福的工作时间和资源去为思科公司工作。同时恩尼斯特通过调查发现, 波萨克已经使用斯坦福大学的资源以思科公司的名义出售给施乐公司一些网络主板。于是他要求波萨克做个决定:要么停止这种行为从而继续保留现在工作, 要么辞职。 波萨克于是正式辞职。与他一同辞职的还有电子工程系的克尔克· 劳希德(Kirk Lougheed)和其他几个同事。 这些人后来成为思科的创业功臣。  

(图)Leonard Bosack夫妇Leonard Bosack夫妇

尽管波萨克等人辞职了,但涉及知识产权问题, 思科公司不得不与斯坦福大学协商,来解决路由器的关键技术的知识产权归属。 恩尼斯特起初建议学校以犯罪行为对波萨克提起诉讼。 后来,校方决定放思科公司一马, 只要求思科公司支付一笔版权费用。1987年4月, 思科公司正式付给斯坦福大学19300美元的现金并同意未来再支付15万美元的版权费和给学校,并提供相应的产品折扣,一段公案就此画上了句号。有意思的是思科公司本来希望给斯坦福大学一些公司股权做交换条件, 不过校方却以学校政策不允许回绝了。显然,斯坦福大学如果当时能够预见到十五年后,思科公司的市值会超过五千亿美元的话,相信他们也许会重新考虑这个决定是否明智。 

随后, 遨游于商海的思科公司如鱼得水,以惊人的速度发展起来了。波萨克和勒纳则在1990年公司上市后,因为与董事会不和而离开了思科。思科公司这段颇不平凡的创业史就此告一段落。

Cisco创业发展历程的背后故事编辑本段回目录

思科的创办人珊卓拉莱尔娜(Sandra K. Lerner)与雷诺波萨克(Leonard Bosack)是一对任职于史丹佛大学计算机部门的夫妻,但他们的工作地点彼此相距五百码之远。对于还正沐浴在爱河中的夫妻俩,如果工作时能够传送电子情书,那将是如何美好的愿景。但是两人工作单位的计算机系统并不一样,而且当时也没有可以相互链接的网络设施。

波萨克的工作单位使用个人计算机,而莱尔娜服务的管理学院则还是使用DEC的迷你计算机,两种计算机所使用的操作系统与语言程序完全不一样。虽然当时Xerox已将其PARC实验室开发的以太网络提供史丹佛大学,但也只能在同一计算机系统中联网使用。为了解决这个问题,波萨克与莱尔娜想办法在两个单位间拉了一条缆线,并加装路由器(Router)来处理网络系统间数据传输的问题。

路由器是一种硬件与软件的结合,用来运送网络上含有大量数据与目的地址的信息封包(packets)。路由器会读取封包所要送达的地址,然后选择最佳途径将他们传输出去。多重协议(Multi-Protocol)路由器的发明者比尔依格(Bill Yeager),是一位任职于史丹佛医学院的工程师,他早在1981年就为链接医学院与计算机科学系的PDP计算机,设计网络运作系统与开发路由器的软硬件。

波萨克与莱尔娜虽然不是路由器的发明者,但他们却能熟练运用这项技术,在史丹佛大学校园内成功建立了能链接大量计算机的连网系统。由于他们深知这项技术应用的商业价值,因此向校方建议,将路由器的连网技术对外推广,让更多人能因此受惠。但大学校方对于这种营利构想兴趣不大,因此波萨克与莱尔娜就决定自己来做。他们自史丹佛技术授权中心取得了路由器软硬件的专利使用权,在1984年离职成立一家推广网络技术的公司。由于公司地点就在旧金山(San Francisco)附近,因此她们将这家公司取名为Cisco【1】

史丹佛的科技研究成果,曾经孕育了许多知名企业,例如:惠普(HP)的创业基金,来自于史丹佛电机系教授Fred Terman对他学生的热情赞助;升阳(Sun Microsystem)则是取名自Stanford University Network,他的技术也是来自于史丹佛大学的技术移转。不过大学当局对于将技术商业化与成立校办企业的兴趣一直不高,原因是学校发展目标与企业营利目的是不一样的,大学基本上还是以知识创新与人才培育为主,不愿受到商业利益污染,维持一个自由开放与知识创新的空间环境,才是大学最重要的使命。大学虽然轻易将许多技术专利对外授权,让移转厂商因此大发市利,甚至校园内原始技术的发明者也未能获得多少好处,但这也应该是一种正常的现象。因为大学当局与其科研教师在从事技术研究时,大都不具有创业营利的动机,他们本质上就不是一个创业者。

波萨克与莱尔娜创业初期将公司设在父母的家中,他们买了一部大型旧计算机,放在家中的车库,然后申请许多信用卡,用借支方式,来因应事业初期的资金需求。思科于19863月推出第一批产品,由于没钱做广告,初期的顾客完全靠朋友与客户间口耳相传。事实上,初期顾客大都是大学与研究机构的计算机单位或是正在使用ARPANET的网络技术爱好者,虽然市场不大,但是利润相当不错,不过公司也一直限于营运资金不足的困境,甚至有一阵子莱尔娜还必须到其他公司兼职来换取现金收入。显然思科需要寻求外部的资金来源,否则公司将难以继续成长。

硅谷沙丘路(Sandhill Road)是全球主要创投公司的大本营,于是波萨克夫妇在硅谷开始展开筹资行动,水杉资本公司(Sequoia Capital)是他们接触的第77家创投。据许多创投家事后指出,思科筹资遇到的困难,主要都与投资者对于两位创办人的观感有关。水杉资本公司(Sequoia Capital)负责人唐纳范伦丁(Donald Valentine)是一位具有非常高知名度的创投家,他的著名战绩包括在早期投资Apple3ComOracle等公司。唐纳范伦丁说:「虽然创业家是影响事业成败的关键因素,但在这个投资案中,我们将重点放在思科所拥有的网络技术产品,因为这是一项极具市场潜力的投资机会。波萨克夫妇是很棒的科研专家,但他们却是一对极差的事业经营者,不过我们以为这个投资案仍然会有成功的机会。」

波萨克与莱尔娜经营思科确实毫无章法,他们没有营销策略,也不知该如何扩展市场,业绩成长主要只是靠着优异的产品技术。虽然在1987年创下150万美元的营业额与8.3万元的净利,但他们也知道如果没有外部资源的协助,思科大概就只是一家经营很辛苦的小小科技公司。因此,波萨克与莱尔娜如果想使思科更上一层楼,他们将迫切需要唐纳范伦丁手上的资金。

唐纳范伦丁投资的前提是波萨克夫妇必需要放弃思科的经营主导权,由唐纳范伦丁担任董事长,并且自外部雇用CEO来组成专业经营团队。波萨克夫妇迫于需要唐纳范伦丁的250万美金来维持思科运转,因此不得不同意放弃大半股权与企业经营权,他们俩最后仅保留35%的思科股权。

1988年唐纳范伦丁聘请约翰莫格里其为思科的执行长,在此之前他曾任格网计算机公司(Grid System)的总裁。在莫格里其带领下,波萨克担任首席技术长(CTO),而莱尔娜则带领顾客服务部门,但莫格里其与波萨克夫妇在经营理念上显然有很大的差异。莱尔娜对唐纳范伦丁与莫格里其严词批评:「他们只是一对生意人,只想借思科来赚钱获利,而我们之所以引进外部资金,原是希望研发更好的网络技术,提供用户更先进的网络产品。我与他们的理念,南辕北辙。」  莱尔娜对于失去经营权尤其耿耿于怀,经常在公司内与莫格里其发生争执,并且还不断的干预各部门的业务,成为大家头痛的人物。

思科在唐纳范伦丁与莫格里其带领下快速成长,1989年业绩增长近20倍,达到2800万美元,19902月公开上市(IPO),每股价格为18美元。思科公开上市虽然使波萨克夫妇成为富豪,但他们对于公司发展以及自己在公司内的地位却越来越不满意。在与经营团队几次激烈冲突后,波萨克夫妇决定将三分之二的股票卖掉,带着一亿七千万元离开这家一手创立的公司。

莫格里其事后曾对此事发表感言:「思科原来是一个家庭企业,组成份子都是亲朋好友,他们只是想在这项新事业中抒发个人的兴趣与理想,但对于如何有效经营企业以及要将思科带往何处,几乎完全没有概念。当我们加入这个家庭企业,将之改造成为一家有制度的上市公司,原有的成员因此产生严重的失落感,他们不能接受这种由外人主导的新变化。」

波萨克夫妇离开思科后没多久,就步入离婚的结局,莱尔娜将此归罪于为思科劳碌奔波所付出的婚姻代价。离婚后,波萨克在西雅图创立了一家XKL通讯公司,而莱尔娜则在加州山景城(Mountain View)创立一家非主流的化妆品公司。这家公司的口红与指甲油颜色都相当离经叛道,她为产品取的名称也十分怪异,如:毒素、坏疽、瘀血等。后来莱尔娜又将公司卖掉,买了一个大型农场,畜养大量的动物,并且还因一张在农庄裸身骑马的照片刊登在富比士杂志,而受到媒体的瞩目。波萨克夫妇与思科的不愉快往事,也因时间而逐渐消逝。1994年思科为庆祝创立十周年,特别在史丹佛大学成立波萨克与莱尔娜讲座,目的是为了纪念两位创办人对于思科公司与网络产业创新的贡献。

钱伯斯在1976年拿到印第安纳大学的MBA学位后,进入IBM公司从事计算机销售的工作,到1982年离开时,IBM才正要面对PC产业兴起的挑战。在IBM会话,他看到大公司科层组织对于企业创新活力的影响,由于他一直从事第一线的销售与客户服务工作,因此深刻体会到满足顾客需求的重要性。1983年钱伯斯加入王安计算机,先担任美中地区的销售经理,后来跃升到美洲与亚太地区的资深副总裁。八十年代初期,王安计算机在字处理市场的表现仍然非常耀眼,但到八十年代中期以后,开始逐渐受到个人计算机的影响,而王安公司开发的迷你计算机系统,周边软件却一直出现问题,因此业绩也开始下滑,终于在1990年首度产生七亿美元的巨幅亏损。1990年末王安公司采取裁员五千人的行动,接着创办人王安博士骤然去世,这时钱伯斯知道这家公司经营已经难以转圜,因此兴起不如归去的念头。

1991年钱伯斯在朋友引见下,进入思科担任销售部门高级主管的工作。这时的思科刚上市一年,正是业绩往上直冲的阶段。莫格里其面试钱伯斯的时候,已经将是否具备接班能力做为聘用的考虑因素。硅谷创业者与经理人多半具有科技背景,而且做事风格不拘形式,而钱伯斯长期在东岸大公司工作的专业管理人风格,似乎就与硅谷有些格格不入。不过莫格里其知道思科如果要继续成长为大公司,他需要为思科注入不同经营风格的人才,而钱伯斯的销售专才与在大公司的服务经验,正是目前思科经营团队所最欠缺的。

钱伯斯在思科担任美洲区资深副总三年后,跃升为第二把手的执行副总,负责研发、制造、营销、管控等全面性业务,并且在19951月正式接任思科执行长。莫格里其担任执行长期间,思科公开上市,业绩由500万美元成长至1亿美元,员工人数由34人成长到2200人。当他交出经营棒子的时候,思科的营运已经完全进入轨道,正要蓄势往上奔腾,因此迫切需要像钱伯斯这样的经理人,才能将思科带往更上一层楼。

1996年初,钱伯斯对思科的经营进行大规模改造,他以惠普的制度为标竿学习对象,并且采取GE公司威尔许(Jack Welch)的经营策略,大规模购并新事业与扩张经营规模,并且要求每一个产品线都要成为市场的第一名或第二名。因此在五年内,思科购并了69家公司,营业额也由1亿美金成长到189亿美金,而公司的市值更成长为5500亿美金。如果在1990年思科上市时以100美元购买思科股票,在20003月时,该股票将成长940倍,价值94000美元。

不过2000年底出现网络泡沫化的巨变,导致思科在2001年季度出现26.9亿美元的亏损,同时在20013月思科也进行有史以来第一次的大规模裁员。思科的股价更由2000年每股超过80美元的高峰,一路下滑到最低时只有9 元。 

案例分析:

1.          波萨克与莱尔娜虽然不是路由器的发明者,但他们却能熟练应用连网技术,并发现它的市场价值。创业家与发明家的不同,就在于创业家能看到技术产品的市场价值,并且能采取行动来实现这样的价值。许多研究显示,创业者与非创业者之间最大差异,并非是个性因素,而主要是行动因素。波萨克与莱尔娜是典型的技术狂热创业者,他们创业目的更多在于实现技术理想,对于技术创新的热爱,更高过于成就事业理想。但这类创业家经常遭遇的最大盲点,就是缺乏市场意识,他们以为只要东西好,顾客自动就会上门,市场自然就会被打开。他们对于如何让事业成长,如何管理成长中的事业,几乎完全没有概念。

2.          创造(creative)是一种「主动使之发生存在」(to bring into existence)的行为,具有「无中生有」(make out of nothing)的性质。1988年英语词库字典对于创造力(Creativity)的定义:「超越传统概念、规则、型态、关系,并创造有意义的新概念、新规则、新型态、新关系、以及新方法的能力。」Sternberg(1988)[2]提出创造力的三个构面(three-facet of creativity):智慧能力(intelligent)、认知与思考风格(cognitive intellectual styles)、人格与动机(personality and motivation)。其中认知与思考风格(cognitive intellectual styles)的内涵包括:联想力、洞察力、灵感、品味与美感、感性创意、不墨守成规、不因循传统。创造力是创新的基础,一般观念以为创造力与人格特质之间具有密切关系,而科学家与创业家大都具有某种程度的创造力与创意思考能力。由案例中对于莱尔娜行事风格的描述,可见她确实是一位具有创造力的科学家与创业家。也许网络科技应用,需要经由像莱尔娜这样具有创造力人物之手,方才可能自学术的殿堂而进入商业化的应用市场。

3.          新兴科技(emerging technology)早期市场(early market)的顾客,主要是技术爱好者与技术使用的先知先觉者,但他们并非属于经济性买主。早期市场的顾客主要基于技术面效益而非使用这项技术产品所能带来的经济性效益。因此他们对于价格较不敏感,但对于技术十分敏感。一般而言,早期市场是技术练兵的最好阶段。经由早期市场的磨练,将可以开发出技术优异的产品。波萨克的兴趣与专业,正符合早期市场发展的需求,因此他们能在车库创业阶段,经由技术性买主的磨练,发展出许多很好的网络技术产品。早期市场规模很小,产生的商业利益不大,但有需要耗费许多资源在技术研发与产品创新,这是创业过程中最艰辛的一个阶段,因此人们说:「创业维艰」。

4.          比尔依格(Bill Yeager)虽然是多重协议(Multi-Protocol)路由器的发明者,但他个人并没有因这一产业蓬勃发展以及Cisco的成功,而获得任何商业利益。虽然科学研究与技术发明是一项新兴科技产业发展所必须要有的基础,但由于经济利益必须在商业市场中方能呈现,而科研阶段尚未出现商业市场,因此科研成果的商业价值普遍不高。史丹佛大学在这项技术移转的收入,比较以后整体网络产业的收益,几乎是微不足道。科研成果的商业价值不高,其中有很高比例是属于公共财,因此企业对于主动投入于基础研究的意愿不断降低,而政府与大学在科研角色愈显重要。

5.          风险投资公司(venture capital)评估一个投资案,主要考虑:人(创业家与他的团队)、产品技术、市场潜力、投资回报。一般越属早期市场的投资案,人的因素占评估比重越高,而评估重点主要在专业知识、经营管理能力、企图心与正直诚信人格。显然波萨克夫妇并无法符合投资者心目中良好创业家的条件,但是唐纳范伦丁却独具慧眼,主要是他看到新科技可能带来的一个巨大商机,而他认为经由主动介入与延揽外部经理人,将可以解决这项具有瑕疵的投资案,高额的投资报酬将以弥补这些资源投入与潜藏风险。事实上,造就Cisco成功,唐纳范伦丁可能是最主要的功臣。由此可见,专业投资家对于高风险创业与新兴科技事业发展,具有不可或缺的重要性。因此我们可说,创业管理当然也是一种专业。

6.          由波萨克夫妇到莫格里其再到钱伯斯,正可代表思科成长的三个阶段,由早期市场进入利基市场(niche market)再到主流市场(mass market),其中早期市场强调的是产品技术优异,利基市场除了产品要好,经营重点在营销工作,也就是顾客服务与创造顾客价值。而企业成长与获利则在主流市场阶段,经营杰出(operation efficiency)是这一阶段竞争的关键因素。莫格里其交棒给钱伯斯,主要也是认为钱伯斯具有大公司的服务经验,能以经营能力带领思科更上一层楼。由此可见,新事业发展的不同阶段,将有不同的经营重点,需要不同的专业能力。如果一位创业家无法随者新事业一同成长,那么他往往就会成为该事业成长的最大瓶颈。投资者往往会倾向于在不同事业阶段换人经营,因为换人要比换脑袋容易。不过我们也看到像戴尔这样的杰出创业家,能随同新事业一同成长,这也显示学习能力是成功创业家需要具备的重要条件。

7.          虽然钱伯斯趁着互连网热潮,在五年内将思科发展成为全球最高市值的公司。但2000年底的互连网市场大转折,显示思科过去采取大量并购,高速成长,以技术创新引领市场发展的商业模式已经不再适合未来的市场需求。思科的股价下跌了九成,也可反应投资者对于思科核心能力与商业模式的评价。显然,思科在2001年以后面临最大挑战就是转换经营思维的变革!创业管理中所谓「一代拳王」现象是指,企业大都只会有一次的辉煌。创业成长管理最艰难的挑战,就是如何在挫折衰退后能够再度辉煌。而钱伯斯能否发挥「二次创业」精神,带领思科走出谷底再创高峰,所有投资者正拭目以待【3】

 

问题讨论

1.          大学是科研创新的主要基地,科研成果必须经过商业化过程才能真正为社会创造价值,因此产学合作机制日愈受到重视。请问大学是否应该自行推动商业化,并设法利用研发成果来获取最大的利益?或者大学的成果应该视为公共财,普遍扩散于社会?当科技与商业关系越来越密切之际,大学与其教师应该如何自我定位?

2.          当投资家拥有较大的股权比例,而创业家与投资家在认知与利益方面不是一致的时候,请问这时的创业家在新事业中应如何自我定位?是否创业家在筹资过程中应该坚持主导经营(或拥有多数股权)的地位?

3.          你以为有哪些因素可以驱动一个人的创业行为?以这个案例而言,是其中哪些因素驱动波萨克与莱尔娜的创业举动?

4.          显然思科是一个成功的创业案例,请问你以为思科成功的关键因素有哪些?而其中最关键的又是哪一项?

5.          波萨克夫妇、唐纳范伦丁、莫格里、钱伯斯等人显然在思科创业历程做出不同的贡献,请以Timmons Model说明创业的动态过程与创业家角色变迁。

6.          由创意到新事业开花结果,我们看到科学家、工程师、创业家、投资家、专业经理人等分别扮演不可或缺的重要角色。请用图文说明说明他们在不同阶段所扮演的角色内容?

7.          请问你以为「二次创业」与「首次创业」有何差异?推动二次创业的经理人需要具备怎样的能力条件?


[1] 思科取名自旧金山英文的最后五个小写字母,公司原来的名称是cisco,后来媒体记者建议第一个字母应该采取大写,这样才比较像一家公司的名称,于是思科从善如流,改名为Cisco。
[2] Sternberg, R.J., (1988), The Nature of Creativity: Contemporary Psychological Perspective, Cambridge University Press.
[3]经过两年痛苦的调整期,钱伯斯缴出一张漂亮的成绩单,2003年的营业额189亿,虽较2000年高点并无增长,但获利36亿美金却是前所未有的历史新高。不过Cisco的股价却一直在20美元附近徘徊,显然投资者都不敢期待何时能再回到80元以上的高点。

神雕侠侣-Cisco Systems公司的创建者编辑本段回目录

Leonard Bosack和他的前妻Sandra Lerner一起,是Cisco Systems公司的创建者。

  1969年,Bosack毕业于宾夕法尼亚州的一所名叫La Salle的高中,同年进入宾州大学,并且在1973年获得学士学位。毕业后,他进入了Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC)公司并参与一个和36bit系统有关的项目。1979年,Bosack离开DEC公司进入斯坦福大学并于之后的1981年获得计算机科学专业硕士学位。在那里,他遇到了他的同学Sandra Lerner并于1980年与之结婚。

  Cisco Systems公司的创建者 Leonard Bosack和他当时的妻子, Sandra Lerner,被认为是为完善有史以来第一台路由器的设计做出了主要的贡献,正是路由器使得构建internet成为了可能。不过,发明第一台路由器的殊荣并不属于这对夫妇,它属于一个叫William Yeager的人,他是当时斯坦福医学中心的工程师。正是此人写出了一个名叫Internetwork Operating System (IOS)的软件来控制一种专用的计算机使之可以实现路由的功能。Bosack和他的小组接手了这个软件的源代码并完善了其中的设计思路,最终利用它造出了成功商用的路由器。

  设计有史以来第一台路由器的诱因源于当时的Bosack管理着斯坦福大学计算机科学系的电脑,而他的妻子Lerner管理着远在校园另一头的商业研究所的电脑。他们之间可以利用校园局域网(campus LAN)收发Email,但他们的电脑由于分别使用不同的操作系统因而不能直接连通。于是,两人在自己的电脑上使用了一块由后来的SUN Microsystems的创始人Andy Bechtolsheim设计的网卡并使用了经过升级的IMP操作系统,在大楼之间架设网线并且使电脑之间直接相连。

  在架网的过程中,Bosack和Lerner的团队不断地改进整个系统的连通性以使得它可以连接不同的网络、不同的计算机操作系统和不同的协议。很快,消息不胫而走,很多其他大学的机构开始向他们索要这种全新的改进的系统,当时,这台机器被称为“multiprotocol router”。

  Bosack和Lerner夫妇意识到了这台新机器背后可能蕴藏的巨大商机,他们开始向斯坦福大学申请将这台机器以及相关技术投入正式的商业销售。由于斯坦福大学是非赢利性机构,它不能够进入一个商业投机领域,因此它理所当然地拒绝了这个要求并禁止这个小组出售这个技术。

  关于这个故事还有许多有趣的有争议版本,包括斯坦福大学自己。它在之后宣布Bosack和其他人篡夺了原本属于自己的路由器设计理念并非法地投入商用。在提出诉讼之余,斯坦福大学于1987年的4月就路由器软件的license和两块电脑主板向Cisco公司收取了19300美元的现金和150000美元的版税,并且还能享有在Bosack夫妇离开之后使用Cisco公司产品的折扣,服务,以及产品的完善升级之类的特权。

  1984年,Bosack和Lerner夫妇正式组建了Cisco Systems公司并且开始在他们家的客厅制造路由器。Cisco这个名字取自美国城市San Francisco,其公司Logo也来自那个著名的金门大桥。1986年,Bosack正式从斯坦福辞职。同年,Bosack和Lerner得到了Sequoia Capital公司二百五十万美金的风投,这是他们俩经历了77次在其他风投公司申请失败之后才得到的。

  从1984年到1992年,Cisco以平均每年200%的速度增长,而这些增长是在几乎没有做任何广告的条件下取得的。1990年8月28日,公司的管理层解雇了Lerner。在得知这个消息后,Bosack立刻主动辞职以示对妻子的支持。他们俩也立即卖掉了属于自己的Cisco股票并获利一亿七千万美金。第二年,Bosack在华盛顿Redmond创建了自己的公司名叫XKL (http://www.xkl.com/),他在那里工作至今。

思科创业神话的真实版本编辑本段回目录

A start-up's true tale
Often-told story of Cisco's launch leaves out the drama, intrigue
BY PETE CAREY
Mercury News

Founding legends are a specialty of Silicon Valley, and none is more appealing than that of Cisco Systems: i/In the 1980s a young Stanford University couple invent the multiprotocol router and starts Cisco in their living room, using their own credit cards for financing.

Repeated for years by Cisco's marketers and the news media (including the Mercury News), the story of the couple, Leonard Bosack and Sandy K. Lerner, mirrors the Silicon Valley dream: Come up with a breakthrough, found a company and become a millionaire.

But the Cisco legend is incomplete. It omits many people who helped develop the multiprotocol router, a device critical to the early Internet. It omits a battle with Stanford that almost killed Cisco at birth over charges that the founders used technology that belonged to Stanford to start their business.

Perhaps most important, legends like Cisco's obscure the true collective nature of the innovation that built Silicon Valley long before the hype and froth of the Internet bubble. A good idea is followed by hundreds of major and minor improvements; the entrepreneur in the group forms a company around the idea, and makes still more improvements.

``One can't define who did what, because it was pretty much of a cooperative effort,'' said Nick Veizades, one of many Stanford staff members who worked on the router. ``People tried to improve certain things so they worked better, and in this way they propagated.''

But Silicon Valley legends are hard to kill. Even a Stanford Web site still credits Bosack and Lerner with developing the device ``that allowed computer networks to talk intelligently to one another'' in a description of a Cisco-endowed professorship.

Pieces of the full story have slowly emerged, beginning with an exchange of Web postings that followed a 1998 PBS documentary, ``Nerds 2.0.1,'' that gave Bosack and Lerner sole credit. Since then, several books have tried to unravel the true story. Cisco spokeswoman Jeanette Gibson now says: ``Obviously it was a team of people.'' Lerner also acknowledges the many contributors, saying in an e-mail to the Mercury News, ``The only person I'm certain had nothing to do with it is Al Gore.''

Yet the legend lives on, retold again and again.


TANGLED HISTORY
Work for university winds up at Cisco
Cisco Systems was founded in December 1984 by two members of Stanford's computer support staff: Len Bosack, who was in charge of the computer science department's computers, and Sandy Lerner, who managed the Graduate School of Business' computers.
Cisco was to become one of the nation's fastest growing companies by providing the networking equipment that connected the Internet. But its early history was bound up with the networking of the Stanford campus. That began informally in 1980-81 after the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center gave Stanford some of its Alto workstations and Ethernet networking boards.

The Alto was far in advance of other workstations (it would soon show Apple the way to the Macintosh), but it was the Ethernet technology that inspired Stanford staffers.

In a warren of offices under Margaret Jacks Hall and the Stanford Quad that one veteran described as ``straight out of the Hobbit,'' staff members and graduate students developed the technology to link the computer systems in Stanford's schools and departments so they could all talk to one another.

Their crowning creation was a small box that functioned as a multiprotocol router, so named because it enabled computers of varied make, with different protocols, to communicate and to access the early Internet. They called it the ``Blue Box'' for the color of its case. Inside was a collection of parts that reflected the genius of the basement beneath Margaret Jacks Hall and several other departments on campus.

The box evolved from a request by Ralph Gorin, director of computer facilities from 1979 to 1983, for a ``network extension cord,'' something that could increase the distance between networked computers. ``And it evolved,'' Gorin recalled. ``I wanted an extension cord; they gave me a multiple outlet strip.''

The box's computer board was one that a graduate student, Andy Bechtolsheim, had designed for a network workstation for engineers (he went on to found Sun Microsystems). The box contained networking boards developed by several staff members and graduate students, including Bosack.

The box's software -- a crucial component -- was written at Stanford's medical school by William Yeager, a staff research engineer.

Yeager had already written a small routing program to connect computers at the medical center with those in the computer science department. That multiprotocol network linked Alto workstations, mainframes, mini-computers and printers.

Now he was assigned to write an enhanced version for the Blue Box. The result was a program that could route several protocols including the burgeoning Internet protocol, permitting data to be exchanged among workstations, mainframe terminals, printers and servers.

The router running Yeager's software became the standard at Stanford, with about two dozen Blue Boxes scattered across campus. There was growing demand for more, from not only Stanford but other universities. The staff struggled to keep up with demand.

In 1985, Stanford undertook a more formal project to network the campus. It was to use only the new Internet protocol. That spring, Yeager recalls, two support staff members, Bosack and Kirk Lougheed, asked him for his original program so they could modify it for the new system. Bosack and Lougheed removed its ability to route non-Internet protocols, keeping its network operating system and related features and improving its Internet capabilities. Later, they added back other protocols.

Yeager said he didn't know that Bosack had recently incorporated Cisco and asked Stanford for permission to sell the Blue Box commercially. He had been denied.

Yeager, looking back, says that Bosack and Lougheed were refining the product that Cisco ultimately sold. ``They did this on Stanford time, and thus, debugged what were to be Cisco routers,'' he said.

Despite Stanford's ``no,'' by late 1985 Bosack and his wife, Lerner, were assembling routers in their living room in Atherton. According to former and current Stanford support-staff members, their design was strikingly similar to an updated Blue Box that had been sketched out in Margaret Jacks Hall during a networking group meeting.

``There was no difference'' between the Stanford router and the Cisco router, said Nick Veizades, who worked with Yeager at the medical center. ``The software changed a little bit, but not very much.''

Yet at the time, Veizades recalls, he thought Bosack's plan to sell routers was quixotic at best. ``We thought he was out of his cotton-pickin' mind to start Cisco,'' he said. ``We didn't think it was going to fly whatsoever. Those are the early things of the Internet.''

But Cisco was selling software and the hardware to run it on, something like a personal computer, that people were comfortable paying for. ``Cisco cleverly sold software that plugged into the wall, had a fan and got warm,'' Gorin said. ``People had a long history of buying things that plugged into the wall, made noises and got warm.''

By then, many improvements had been made to Yeager's software. ``The real value of the Yeager software was the basic operating system,'' Lougheed wrote years later. ``It wasn't particularly sophisticated, but it was quite usable and served as an excellent starting point.''

Yeager has watched with some unhappiness as newspapers and magazines, echoing one another, ignored his contributions and credited all the work to Bosack and Lerner.


TUG OF WAR
School, staff fight over ownership
In early 1986, someone went to Les Earnest, Bosack's supervisor in the computer science department and told him Bosack was using Stanford time and resources to help finance Cisco.
Earnest investigated and says he found that Bosack, in Cisco's name, had sold Xerox some networking boards made at Stanford expense and nine months later hadn't repaid Stanford. Bosack denied doing anything wrong, Earnest said, but by that May, he had ``enough evidence of misconduct'' to go to the dean's office. Eventually, Bosack was asked to decide whether to work at Stanford or Cisco.

Coincidentally, in the electrical engineering department, Lougheed, who had worked with Bosack on Yeager's routing software, was confronted by his boss, Steve Hansen. Hansen demanded that Lougheed return tape copies of his work on the software, saying they belonged to Stanford as ``work for hire.''

Hansen, who now is Stanford's computer security officer, says he told Lougheed to return the tapes or resign.

On July 11, Bosack and Lougheed resigned. They were joined at Cisco by three others from Stanford: Lerner, who had left Stanford long before, Greg Satz, a programmer, and Richard Troiano, who handled Cisco sales.

Bosack declined to comment for this article. Gorin, who hired him for Stanford's computer support staff and who now works for a Bosack company, said Bosack isn't interested in commenting on the Cisco story ever again.

``For Len this is ancient history, and he sees no particular reason to rehash it,'' he said.

In a book based on the PBS series ``Nerds 2.0.1,'' Sandy Lerner commented that Stanford was holding the technology ``hostage, and that's why we started the company.''

A tug of war began between Stanford's networking group and Cisco.

Cisco viewed the code that Hansen wanted as a descendant of Lougheed's work, rather than Yeager's. Looking back, Hansen acknowledges that ``software was this funny thing'' in the mid-'80s.

``Nobody understood it, that it had real value,'' Hansen said. ``It was, `I put a lot of time in on it, I worked evenings and nights.' I'm sure he felt that with all these enhancements, it was really his.''

The two sides also battled over artwork, called photomasks, used to make their almost identical networking boards. At the job shop that made the computer science department's boards, its photomasks would turn up in folders marked Cisco, according to Earnest, Veizades and a third staff member.

``They put `cisco' labels on the artwork as if it were theirs,'' Earnest said. ``Then we swiped it back.''

But Cisco had to come to terms with Stanford, because Bosack, Lougheed and the others had worked on the router as Stanford employees; at least some of their work did belong to the university.

``Cisco was trying really hard to find a way to get a license that would make them credible to buyers,'' said Bill Yundt, who supervised the 1985 networking project. ``Without it, they would have been dead. Everybody in the world who knew anything, knew this stuff had been done at Stanford.''

Yeager said Stanford's lawyers asked him to review a copy of Cisco's software. He found his own work in it.

Stanford officials in charge of licensing debated what to do. ``Cisco mess'' was the heading of one e-mail discussing the issue.

Earnest urged a lawsuit and even raised the idea of criminal charges against Bosack. He e-mailed colleagues: ``The fundamental problem is: how do you negotiate an equitable agreement with crooks?''

Yundt favored licensing the technology to Cisco, collecting royalties and buying some of its routers. ``It was debatable in the first place whether any wrongdoing had been committed,'' he said.

In the end, that's what was done. Stanford, as a non-profit, couldn't legally get into the router business, and didn't want to -- even if it did own the software.

``A university is not supposed to be in the manufacturing business,'' Gorin said, and ``a lot of people saw the advent of Cisco as a godsend.''

The head of the technology licensing office, Niels J. Reimers, outlined Stanford's alternatives and explained its decision in a March 1987 e-mail: ``1. Do nothing. 2. Go to court. 3. Try to make the best of a bad situation. None of the three are palatable; the first isn't even digestible. The second may make us feel good but would accomplish little else. So that left us with the third course of action.''

On April 15, 1987, Stanford licensed the router software and two computer boards to Cisco; the agreement allowed Stanford to use several of Cisco's groundbreaking software improvements made after Cisco's founders had left Stanford.

For the software, Cisco gave Stanford $19,300 in cash and agreed to royalties of $150,000 and product discounts. Yeager apportioned the royalties, giving his 80 percent share to his department.

Stanford was offered equity in Cisco, but the licensing office turned it down as a matter of policy.

Earnest said the irregular transactions he investigated, which he figured were worth more than $50,000, were settled later by Cisco for $7,000 in cash and two routers valued at $4,000 each. No charges or lawsuit were filed.

Lerner, who left Cisco with Bosack in 1990, said she feels uncomfortable discussing details of the negotiations. The lawsuit ``was only a threat,'' she said. ``The result was that Stanford got some money, as well as Cisco maintaining their Internet for three years. Good deal all round.''

But as negotiations drew to a close, the intense feelings of several people who had helped develop the router were summed up by Yeager's former boss, Tom Rindfleisch. ``There is so much evidence of concealment, bad faith, or worse on the part of some Cisco principals,'' he wrote to his colleagues, ``that we should not count on preserving a long-term working relationship.

``I fear the Cisco experience has done unseen damage to Stanford in the form of creating inhibitions against sharing ideas, information and developments with possible commercial value among our groups which have need to benefit from each other's work,'' he concluded.
INDEBTED
Company, school try to mend rift
With the passing years, relations between Stanford staffers and Cisco improved, and the company and its leaders -- including Cisco chairman John Morgridge and others with a Stanford connection -- have made substantial donations. But some strong feelings remain among a few.
In 1995, Morgridge gave a talk at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in which he ran through the origins of the company, relying heavily on the legend of Bosack and Lerner's role. In the back, a man stood and declared Morgridge's account ``almost entirely a fabrication.'' It was Les Earnest. He added, ``Bosack's resignation was not entirely voluntary.''

``We have been remorseful,'' said Morgridge, drawing a laugh from the audience. ``We know that we owe a considerable debt to that institution.''
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contact Pete Carey at pcarey@sjmercury.com or (408) 920-5419.

来源:http://pdp10.nocrew.org/docs/cisco.html

William Yeager访谈录编辑本段回目录

2006年,《Router man》访问了当时已经66岁的威廉·伊格(William Yeager),他在1980年任职史丹福大学的时候,为了连接院区各个独立的计算机网络,进而创造了「多协议路由器」(Multiprotocol Router)。

The creator of the multiprotocol router reflects on the development of the device that fueled the growth of networking.
By John Dix , Network World , 03/27/2006

The creator of the multiprotocol router reflects on the development of the device that fueled the growth of networking.

William (Bill) Yeager is 66 and still gets peeved when someone trots out the Silicon Valley fable about how the founders of Cisco invented the router. He was the guy at Stanford University that made it happen. The history of Network World roughly parallels the commercialization of routing, so we tracked Yeager down for a glimpse into the scene back then.

You're credited with developing the first router while you were a staff researcher at Stanford. Tell us the tale.

This project started for me in January of 1980, when essentially the boss said, 'You're our networking guy. Go do something to connect the computer science department, medical center and department of electrical engineering.

What kind of gear did you need to connect?

We had mainframes, of course, DEC10 Systems, a number of Xerox PARC Lisp machines, Altos file servers and printers, and over the next year or so added DEC VAXs, Texas Instruments' Explorers and Symbolic systems. All of these things had to be hooked together, because we were spread across buildings on campus, and people were tired of carrying tapes around.

I thought about this for a bit, and I said, well really what you need is an operating system. So while the cables were being pulled and tested, I developed a network operating system [NOS] and routing code [to run on a] DEC PDP11/05. But the Alan Snyder Portable C compiler generated too much code. So I had to go into the compiler and improve the code generators. And that wasn't even good enough. So then I had to write an optimizer for PDP11/05 assembler so I could reduce the code by about 30%. This was major engineering, because you had your hands into everything. It's important to remember the PDP11/05 only had 56KB of user memory, and was diskless.

The struggle was always a balance between how many input buffers you could have. You really had to squeeze things, because there was no disk and if you ran out of memory for input buffers you were dead in the water. So you had all of these constraints, which actually had a lot to do with how good it ended up being, because I had to do a lot of work to both assure the memory allocation algorithms would never run out of memory, as well as get things scheduled right. I spent an entire summer making sure the NOS scheduling and packet-switching algorithms were optimal.

All in all we had the basic systems put together and working in about three months, and at six months the first router was in place in Pine Hall in a telephone closet. Pine Hall was midway between the medical center and the department of computer science. It was about a 2,000 feet cable run on either side of the router.

What protocols did the box support?

Initially, the code routed Parc Universal Packet (PUP) for the Xerox PARC systems and mainframes. Late in '81 my boss said, 'IP is coming down the pipe. Figure out what you can do with it.' So I put a little IP router in, and I didn't have to worry about things like ARP [Address Resolution Protocol], because it was 3 megabit Ethernet, so your IP address was just 2 bytes, one for the network and the other for the host, and the host byte was also the [media access control] address. But we were ready by '82, when the computer science department started dropping IP in all of these VAX750s, and by 1983 the routers supported XNS - which is Xerox Network Services - CHAOSnet for the TI Explorer and Symbolics Lisp machines, and IP. And it was just about then that Stanford University started to make the big transition to 10Mbps Ethernet.

Is that roughly when you made the shift from the PDP11/05-based router to the device based on the 68000 board developed by Andy Bechtolsheim (who later went on to found Sun)?

Andy was a master's student, and that collision was fortuitous. We had heard about his board, and we talked to him and he said we could have it. We plugged that sucker into a multibus backplane, plugged in some 3Com Ethernet boards and then rattled off a few copies, and I sat down and did a full transition of the code. One of the key aspects of these routers I put together is they really could route. I had a tremendous amount of instrumentation in there. I worked very, very hard to get that right and they could really pass stuff through as fast as the hardware could move. My limitation was the bus speed, that was it. The original Bechtolsheim boards had 256KB of RAM, and that was huge at the time. To me it seemed like paradise.

Is that when the school's network started to take off?

People were skeptical at first, but by 1983 it was clear this was the way to go. Initially, just technical people were hooking up, but then the rest of the campus got wind of it and it was made official and the thing started growing like hell. I completed the serious development around '85.

What happened in the interim? A lot of tweaking and refinement?

It's endless, right? New features, functions. I did a lot of Lisp work where objects were used, and I adapted that approach in C, so a router was a class, and a specific protocol, say IP, was an instance of that class, and the NOS was multitasking. When you added another router, then you ended up putting in an instance as another task or thread. In the network I/O drivers you would look for the link-level type in the packet to determine the protocol, and everything goes into nice queues under these router threads and it all works. That's why Cisco did so well in this, because you could add more and more stuff to the [operating system], no problem. Just add another task.

Speaking of Cisco, when did they enter the picture?

In the spring of 1985 Len Bosack [who was in charge of the computer science department's computer facilities and later went on to co-found Cisco] and another guy knocked on my office door and asked if they could have access to sources for the router code. I said, what do you want to do? They said, we want to improve it, add more features. I said, well that would be great, because I have other research tasks to do, and I gave them the password and away they went. I had no idea Cisco had been founded in '84. I'd never heard of it.

So your understanding was they wanted the code for the betterment of the school network?

Right. So we had weekly meetings and they were indeed working on the sources. The decision had been made to go with pure IP routers, so they took out XNS, CHAOSnet and PUP. And ultimately when they got it going about a year later their version of my code became the official Stanford routers. Things were working well and that was my only concern. We had connectivity.

So I guess sometime in '86 I found out about Cisco. We all found out about Cisco and what Len was up to. And yeah, they were developing that code on Stanford time for Cisco. But this was not exactly bad, because other things had happened like that at Stanford before. But Stanford was deciding it was time to put its foot down. 'Guys, you develop something on Stanford's campus, we want to profit from it,' right?

Who was saying this?

This was just kind of the general tenor. So I was called into Stanford Legal and the lawyer told me to bring my sources on paper. Since [Len's partner] was in the Double E department he had the Double E sources. And I sat down, and the lawyer said, 'Will you do a comparison.' And I said, well let's start with the operating system. That's sort of the heart and soul of this. And it was identical except for changing variables names. I said, can you see this? She said, 'I'm a lawyer and I can see this is identical.'

Let's look at other things. Let's look at this network data logblock (a C structure). Well it's been broken into two pieces, big deal. Any time someone gets a chance to go over code again they refine it. It was refined, clearly, but absolutely the same stuff. Derivative. They changed and added a their new routing protocol, no big deal. If you knew networking you could do it. I only did what I had to do, because I was driven by my boss and he was driven by the department's needs. And when I stopped I stopped.

Well, then Stanford really put its foot down and Len [and his partners, including Cisco co-founder Sandy Lerner] left the university to focus on Cisco.

Did Cisco ever give you any credit, other than the $100,000 in royalties?

The way royalties work, a third goes to the school, a third goes to the department and a third goes to the inventor. I gave my third back to my department because essentially all of this stuff is born out of a great research environment.

But Cisco has always had trouble giving me credit. They had a Web page that I was very irked by. 'Sandy Lerner and Len Bosack were in love and they had to go out and invent routers so they could talk across campus.' What a joke. And I'm like one of these bulldogs, you know, I get a hold of these guys' pant's leg and I won't let go of it.

I'm sort of a persona non grata down there at Cisco. But it was fun. I was very passionate about this stuff. I'm always passionate about what I do. And I learned a lot about how corporations work and these guys were great capitalists and obviously they turned out with a great company.

So you left Stanford after 20 years and went to Sun, right?

(图)William YeagerWilliam Yeager

I left Stanford because it was getting more difficult to get grant money, so I did a bunch of consulting at Sun to make some extra money. Mostly dealing with IMAP e-mail stuff because there was a very interesting project at Sun called SPARCstation Voyager: a laptop with a fast matrix display, nice little footprint, running Solaris 2.4. Great system. One of the Voyager's special features was that it ran in disconnected mode. You could disconnect it from the network, and it would continued to function. My job was to create an IMAP server and client that worked when the client disconnected. This was tough because, at that time, IMAP2bis did not support disconnected e-mail, and I needed to modify the protocol to do this as well as support low bandwidth (IMAP can be very chatty). After one of the guys I was working with quit, his boss asked me to come save the e-mail part of the project. And I thought, I'm 53. I've been at universities too long. So I said sure.

How would you compare the academic to the commercial world?

I always ran into walls at Sun, company politics, and that never worked out too well. When I was at Stanford there was a rule: The best engineering wins. Simple, straightforward. If your engineering is better than the other guy's, yours got the blue ribbon. Well at Sun, and at companies in general, it's different. It's the politically correct software that gets productized. There are charters and vice presidents and presidents and all of that stuff, and I would find myself embroiled in these battles with people 10 levels above me [laughs], but I just kept battling. I didn't care, because I liked doing good engineering.

So I brought in the IMAP technology, and by '96 IMAP servers I had written were everywhere at Sun. And once that was in place they decided we should do something called mission-critical mail. So I invented something called Sun Internet Mail Servers [SIMS], which is a whole different type of server. We ended up getting hundreds of thousands of in-boxes on a single server.

The four patents I have, out of the 40 I filed, are on SIMS. The rest are really in peer-to-peer, which I did a lot with as I moved through Sun, ending up as the CTO of JXTA, Sun's open source peer-to-peer project.

What was JXTA all about?

The charter was to create an open source project for the creation of peer-to-peer protocols that would yield a virtual layer on top of the TCP/IP stack. That would return end-to-end connectivity to the Internet by making the traversal of NATs and firewalls transparent, and provide host endpoints with globally unique identifiers. Another goal was to work toward peer-to-peer protocol standards. I personally pushed this forward in the IETF and that resulted in an IRTF Peer-to-Peer Research Group that I still co-chair.

Open source was new territory for Sun, and the Project JXTA group were the pioneers. We had a very tight organization and a charter to do disruptive technology, so it was a grand experiment. An engineer was two degrees of separation from the vice president and they were always available for discussions. Amazing! We received an introduction to how to do an open source project from CollabNet and they hosted Project JXTA. Initially, most of the engineering was done by Sun but then the JXTA community began to grow exponentially and great contributions came from non-Sun members.

But then a lot of things happened to the organization. JXTA was put under the product side of things, which kind of gave me the shivers. I mean, you get into product stuff, and you're in a box. You can't get out. I always managed, but just because I was irritating enough for my vice presidents that they would say, 'Go do something else.'

So in 1998 I'm talking to my vice president, and he says go do what you want. And I said I'm doing wireless. It's the next big thing. He says OK, if you believe it, go do it.

I wrote something called the iPlanet Wireless Server, which sat between IMAP e-mail on the back end, and on the other side you could go to [Wireless Application Protocol] servers or any kind of wireless device. It was presentation language stuff so, depending on the device, you put out screens for phones or whatever. It was quite cool. It ended up being probably one of their only money-making wireless projects.

Based on some of the projects I know you've been involved in, a common thread seems to be handheld devices. Do you see particular promise there?

Over the years I've developed a real interest in mobile devices, which was one of my reasons to go to Sun in the first place, to do this mobile laptop, which they ultimately end-of-lifed (in error, but they did it anyway). So I saw the power of these devices, and I saw the power of integrating these devices. You could see wireless moving in, see all of this happening. It was very clear.

I felt we ought to do something to get some decent user interfaces on these devices. That's going to be a big next step. I don't think everybody in the world's going to have a computer, and it's stupid to ask everybody to learn to type. If you can use a mobile phone there are ways around this, and that's part of what I'm working on if I can get this new company going.

What's the focus of the new company?

It's called Peerouette, and it's a new twist on peer-to-peer. I've created what's called a deterministic peer-to-peer network. That is, the peers are never down, because the peers are not your devices. The peers are in the network and hosted by ISPs. Your device just authenticates strongly with public key and gets in there. And all your content lives in the network and is shareable 24 by 7.

You drop your mobile phone in the toilet, it's done, but it's all backed up. Automatically. My colleague says 'Bill, go to this URL.' I do. An image of his mobile phone appears on my laptop. He says 'press the menu key.' I do. I'm looking at his menu. He says 'take a picture.' I do. A picture of him appears. We've really gotten into these operating systems, how they work. We can totally control mobile phones from other devices. This is great for mobile phone people doing IT. All under very strong encryption.

So it's a lot about that and a lot about giving computing back to the people. I'm very big on the garage rock band having a way to sell their stuff. So in my world, you create your community out there in what we call the Peerouette Network, you take your MP3 files, push them out there, we give you billing, give you advertising, and you can sell them for whatever price you want. We'll take maybe 10%, something like that. What we're really doing is giving the user, the wireless ISP and the content provider a fair share of all the content revenue.

That's kind of what I'm up to, if we can fund it and get it going. We are very close. Cross your fingers. The Internet will surely be a better place if we succeed.

Sounds great. Good luck with that. In closing, let's change the subject. I understand you have a wine cave. What's that?

In French a wine cellar is called a cave because originally all the wine bottles were literally stored in caves. So we have a wine cellar and keep a reasonable supply . . . about 500 bottles going back to the '80s. Always fun when you have friends over. Go down to the cave and bring out a bottle or two.

What's your favorite wine?

Pinot Noir. Without any doubt. They are the most subtly complex wines. They have a spectrum of flavors that show a taste of the earth.

来源:http://www.networkworld.com/supp/2006/anniversary/032706-routerman.html

背景文章阅读:为什么了解真相很重要编辑本段回目录

Valley of the Nerds: Who Really Invented the Multiprotocol Router, and Why Should We Care?

By Robert X. Cringely
bob@cringely.com
While the computer business may appear to run on gray matter, money and Jolt Cola, the real fuel is ego. As I wrote years ago, they do it to impress their friends. This has become even more clear to me following the airing of "Nerds 2.01: A Brief History of the Internet" as the experts, pundits and wrongfully accused have emerged to point out my mistakes.

They are a kindly lot, these critics, generally eager just to have their particular part of the story better or more accurately told. I've been this route before, only now I am older and better able to appreciate the position of the wronged engineer. In my book Accidental Empires, for example, I gave less than complete credit to Jef Raskin, head of the original Macintosh project at Apple. It seemed to me at the time that Jef had conceived of a low-cost machine called the Macintosh, but that most of the important work was done after Raskin's departure. Well, I was wrong. Sure, the Macintosh of Steve Jobs was very different, but in addition to the name, Raskin had hired most of the core Macintosh technical team and shepherded QuickDraw, the Mac's imaging model. This was nontrivial stuff and I owe Jef greater credit than I gave him at the time. Sorry.

This time around I stand corrected on a couple fronts. First, Tim Berners-Lee checked-in to say I had it wrong when I claimed Mosaic was the first graphical browser. I'll let Tim tell it:

"I wrote the first GUI browser, and called it "WorldWideWeb" for NeXTStep. (I much later renamed the application Nexus to avoid confusion between the first client and the abstract space itself.) Pei Wei, a student at Stanford, wrote "ViolaWWW" for UNIX; some students at Helsinki University of Technology wrote "Erwise" for UNIX; and Tony Johnson of SLAC wrote "Midas" for UNIX. All these happened before Marc (Andreessen) had heard of the Web. Marc was shown ViolaWWW by a colleague (David Thompson?) at NCSA, Marc downloaded Midas and tried it out. He and Eric Bina then wrote their own browser from scratch. As they did, Tom Bruce was writing "Cello" for the PC which came out neck-and-neck with Mosaic on the PC.

"Marc and Eric did a number of very important things. They made a browser that was easy to install and use. They were the first one to get inline images working — to that point browsers had had varieties of fonts and colors, but pictures were displayed in separate windows. Most importantly, he followed up his and Eric's coding with very fast 24 hour customer support, really addressing what it took to make the app easy and natural to use, and trivial to install. Other apps had other things going for them. Viola, for example, was more advanced in many ways, with downloaded applets and animations way back then — very like HotJava.

"Marc marketed Mosaic hard on the net, and NCSA hard elsewhere, trying hard to brand the WWW and "Mosaic": "I saw it on Mosaic" etc. When Netscape started they of course capitalized on Mosaic as you know - and the myth that Mosaic was the first GUI browser was convenient."

Okay, now everyone knows the truth about graphical Web browsers. I'm sorry, Tim, for missing your contribution and the contributions of so many others. But if you think this is bad, imagine how they would have handled it on "Dateline."

The second technical error is harder to explain, both because it lies even deeper in the technology and because there is still some dispute about who did what to whom. The issue at hand is who actually invented the multiprotocol router. "Nerds 2.01" clearly credits Cisco Systems founder Len Bosack, while another ex-Stanford academic, Bill Yeager, claims he's the man. To his credit, Bill (who now works for Sun Microsystems) has some Stanford documents that certainly credit him as the "principal inventor."

Here is Bill Yeager's third-person version of his story:

"Before Sun was formed at Stanford University, efforts were already underway across campus in the medical school to develop the multiple protocol routers that Cisco Systems licensed in 1986 from the Stanford University Office of Technology Licensing. Around Christmas of 1979 Xerox gifted ethernet technology to Stanford, MIT and Carnegie Mellon University. Ethernet-based local area networks were immediately installed in the Stanford medical school, and the department of computer science. This led to the need for what became known as "router technology". These were to interconnect not only different Ethernet segments, but also to interconnect Ethernet local area networks and the national Internet (Internet protocols were rolled out in 1982 to replace the ARPANET).

"A Stanford researcher, Bill Yeager, who worked for the SUMEX-AIM resource, located in the Medical School, was assigned the task to produce the router technology. By June, 1980, PDP11/05 based router was in place which connected the medical school and department of computer science. By 1981 Yeager developed a unique network operating system, which would be the basis for the MC68xxx version of the code. This was completed later that year, and was ultimately licensed by Cisco Systems.

"In 1983, the Sumex-aim router code was accepted as the Stanford standard. It both routed and provided network services for Parc Universal Packets (PUP), the Internet Protocol (IP), the Xerox Network Services protocol (XNS), and interconnected the Stanford Local Area Network. Access to the Internet was managed by a PDP11 running MIT router software. This used IMP technology to connect to the Internet, and was supported by Jeff Mogul, a Ph. D. student in computer science.

"In 1985, Len Bosack and Kirk Lougheed were given access to Bill Yeager's source code by Yeager. By this time the code was fully functional, additionally routing the MIT CHAOSnet protocol, and providing a host of services, among which was auto-configuration, and remote network booting with the BOOTP protocol. Lougheed continued its development in the department of electrical engineering, and was an initial employee of Cisco Systems.

"Although Yeager was the author of this code, he did not work in a vacuum. Stanford University is a laboratory where the free exchange of ideas among researchers is a day-to-day experience. Significant early contributions to the Stanford networking technology were made by three graduate students, Jeff Mogul, Bill Nowicki, and Benjy Levy. Mogul and Nowicki were there from the beginning, writing prototype router and EtherTIP code in CSD, and doing what was required to install network services on the early UNIX vax systems.

"In the final royalty agreement that Cisco Systems signed, Yeager granted 15 percent of these royalties to the department of computer science for the contributions Levy made to the EtherTIP portion of the same code base that Yeager developed."

So Bill Yeager was right there in the thick of router development, there is no doubt. But there are others who remember the story slightly differently and in even more detail. Here is Kirk Lougheed's version. Kirk, an original Cisco employee, is still at that company:

"I consider the standard story of Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner developing networking and routing at Stanford as something akin to a sound bite. It sounds good, but hides a lot of complexity. As anyone who has been around Silicon Valley for a while knows, there a lot of people besides the founders who are critical in the creation of a company. However, in the story-telling business, a complex story is a snoozer, so lots of details — and people — get dropped from the story. Good marketing people and other myth makers understand this; Cisco's early marketing people are largely responsible for the standard Len and Sandy story.

"I do not believe that Bill Yeager appreciates the story telling as practiced by Silicon Valley companies, marketeers, and journalists. There are many unsung heroes. He has not been singled out.

"The concept of a router (in those days called a gateway) as a packet switching device that operated at the network layer, arose from the same ferment as TCP/IP. Indeed, you had to invent a network layer (IP) before you could think of switching it. I believe there was a BBN document from the middle 1970s that described how you would build a router, although I have never actually seen it.

"At the same time as TCP/IP was being developed, similar protocol suites were being developed at MIT (the Chaosnet protocols) and Xerox PARC (the PUP or Parc Universal Packet protocol). Both protocols ran over LANs of limited extent, PUP over Xerox's 3MB Ethernet and Chaosnet over something similar. Both PUP and Chaosnet were designed so they could be switched by routers.

"Around 1979 or 1980, Xerox donated some Altos and 3MB Ethernet equipment to Stanford. The Stanford campus is rather spread out, so right away there was the problem of linking the various islands of Altos and other machines. People first tried the cheap solution of using hardware repeaters. Not very satisfactory. Bridges and their attendant broadcast storms were not a lot better. So it was on to routers.

"Bill Yeager implemented a router for PUP protocols using the SUN-1 processor card, 3MB Ethernet cards of Xerox design, and a Multibus backplane. From looking at the comments in the early sources, he did this in the summer of 1982 and he used as his model the sources for the PDP-11 based router used at Xerox PARC. The routing protocol was PUP Gwinfo as defined by Xerox PARC.

"Yes, Xerox came THAT close to the router market.

"For the multiprotocol story, you need to understand the PUP addresses are 16 bits long and IP addresses are 32 bits long. PUP addresses can fit inside IP addresses. When Stanford started running IP on its Ethernets, the local convention was for a host to have both PUP and IP addresses and to embed its PUP address within its IP address. Thus when an IP packet arrived at the router, the software would look at the IP address, extract the PUP address, make a routing decision based on the PUP routing table, and then send the IP packet on its way.

"I think this is what Bill means by multiprotocol routing.

"There is more to the story.

"Bill went on to implement support for terminal lines; the result was called a EtherTip, or Ethernet Terminal Interface Processor, inspired by the TIPs that sat on the ARPAnet. The idea was to have a pool of terminals that could be connected over the network to any computer on the network. Again, PUP protocols were used to connect the Tip to the computer.

"I came into the picture in 1985. I had been doing a lot of IP and PUP work on the DECsystem-20s at Stanford. Since DEC had discontinued that product line, I was looking for other things to do. The Tip software struck my fancy, so I got a copy and started improving it. I wasn't interested in the router portion of the software, so I chopped that part out and concentrated on adding real TCP/IP support.

"Since Bill's original software had to be custom compiled for each router or tip, other people (Benjy Levy, Philip Almquist) had taken copies of the software and were making modifications for their local environments at Stanford. My goal was to generalize the software so that one binary could run on all Tips. Site specific parameters would be handled through configuration files downloaded from the network. In the process I realized that I wasn't very far away from a router, so I added the PUP switching code back in and wrote some new IP switching code. The routing decisions were still based on a PUP routing table.

"When we (Len, Sandy, Greg Satz, Richard Troiano, and I) left Stanford in July of 1986, we weren't sure whether we were going to be selling terminal servers (Tips) or routers. The software would do either. We did know, however, that there was no market for PUP, so we abandoned PUP support and emphasized TCP/IP, implementing Cisco's IGRP to replace the PUP Gwinfo for making routing decisions. The market pretty quickly told us it was more interested in routers than terminal servers.

"One of our very valuable early customers, Chuck Hedrick of Rutgers University, was the person who drove us in the direction of multiprotocol routers. Chuck was one of our few source licensees. He also had a lot of machines that used the DECnet networking protocol. As a weekend hack (or so it seemed), he implemented DECnet routing in the Cisco software and gave us the source with the stipulation that we not charge extra for it. The DECnet and IP support were totally independent in that they didn't share a routing protocol. This "ships in the night" approach as it is called, is how multiprotocol routing is done these days.

"As for Bill's version (of the story), I have no major quarrels with it. Jeff Mogul and Bill Nowicki were certainly major players in the networking scene at Stanford in the early to mid 80s. There were a lot of people involved in working on the software. There's plenty of room under the sun for all of us.

"The real value of the Yeager software was the basic operating system. It wasn't particularly sophisticated, but it was quite usable and served as an excellent starting point. The PUP routing wasn't of commercial interest. His minimal IP support was tossed out and rewritten as a full stack that included TCP support. XNS was also tossed out and when it reappeared years later, it was a "from scratch" effort by Greg Satz. And yes, Chuck Hedrick likely used some of Bill's original code at Rutgers. Hedrick also wanted a commercial source for the hardware and for software support. That is what Cisco provided, since no other company seemed interested. My memory is that Hedrick implemented the DECnet support in the Cisco router code.

"There is one other person who should be mentioned in a story about the first multiprotocol router. The Chaosnet protocol developed at MIT was, like PUP and IP, a routable protocol. MIT implemented their Chaosnet routers on PDP-11's and when IP came along, routed IP and Chaosnet together, probably much like we did at Stanford. I believe the author of that software was Noel Chiappa. It was Noel who took the MIT software to Proteon and persuaded them to build the Proteon routers that were Cisco's competition in the early years. Proteon also stressed IP and ended up implementing DECnet."

If you are still with me, it looks like Kirk Lougheed confirms that the Len and Sandy story is apocryphal, and that Bill Yeager made a major contribution.

So let's credit Bill Yeager with writing the first multiprotocol router, Len Bosack for understanding that the technology developed at Stanford had commercial possibilities, and Sandy Lerner for having the drive to create Cisco Systems.

Now I need a drink.

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