Cisco Moving to Break Apart Networking Software from Hardware

Under pressure from its big corporate customers, Cisco Systems is getting ready to disrupt one of its biggest businesses.

Cisco is planning to sell operating system software for networking devices—which switch internet traffic between networks—without requiring customers also buy Cisco’s high-end hardware, said two people familiar with Cisco’s planning. Customers will be able to use Cisco’s cheaper switches that run on chips made by other companies, like Broadcom, rather than Cisco’s specially designed chips. Engineers at Cisco have been working on the standalone version of the operating system which will be called Lindt.

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UPDATE: The story has been updated to make clear the new Lindt operating system will also work on low-end Cisco routers.


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