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VMware’s Tom Gillis On NSX vs. Cisco ACI, And AWS Outposts Future

‘Cisco products are really good at hardware switching, at fabric management, but where VMware is really good is at software-defined networking,’ says Tom Gillis, senior vice president and general manager for VMware’s Networking and Security business.

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What is NSX’s differentiation from Cisco ACI?

So the big alternative to NSX is Cisco. Cisco has a very strong position in the market. They have built a switch called the Nexus 9K but it has capability called ACI – application centric infrastructure. What they’re attempting to do is put an agent into the OS and then figure out, ‘This is what the application look likes.’ Then take the traffic that’s flowing between the application and hairpin it out to a switch then back for inspection. Theoretically you can do that. But if you think about that, the whole point of software defined networking is you define it in software. So it’s independent of hardware. When you have software-defined networking that is anchored to an ASIC, it makes it much harder to deploy and operationalize and much more expensive because you have to buy this fancy switch.

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