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On March 27, 2018, Cisco announced it was embracing disaggregation of the data center by allowing customers to run NX-OS on third-party switches and to use any network operating system on its Nexus switches. It’s certainly an interesting move, considering that they’re the company that claimed to have killed white-box networking.

…But does this model REALLY fit the definition of network disaggregation? What does true data center disaggregation look like? Why did Alanis Morissette name the song “Ironic” when none of the lyrics are examples of irony?? To answer these questions, I invited Ben Ritter (Consulting Engineer, Cumulus Networks) and Rama Darbha (Senior Consulting Engineer, who you’ll remember from our second episode — get ready for more #RamaRants!) into the recording booth so we can get to the bottom of this. In addition to breaking down the definition of data center disaggregation, Rama, Ben and I go full John Lennon and imagine a perfect world, where Cisco actually embraces the true spirit of disagreggation. How would this impact the industry? Imagine there’s no black box…it’s easy if you try (those are the lyrics to “Imagine,” right?). We get into an interesting discussion about what will happen when the world of data center networking fully makes that transition to open systems, so you’ll definitely want to tune in!

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