Sunday, April 24, 2011

Big Switch Raises Funding for OpenFlow Network Virtualization

Big Switch Networks, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, raised $13.75 million in Series A financing to build a new platform for virtualization and cloud architecture in enterprise networks.



Big Switch is pursuing a virtualized network architecture based in OpenFlow, a new network protocol pioneered at Stanford University that enables the path of network packets through a series of switches to be determined by software running on a separate server. This network control plane would managed virtualized switching elements in the network. Virtualized programmable network could open the door to various high-performance applications in campus or enterprise networks.

Big Switch is headed by Guido Appenzeller (Co-Founder and CEO), who previously was a Consulting Professor at Stanford University and Head of the Clean Slate Lab where he managed the OpenFlow standards effort and led the team that developed the OpenFlow reference implementation.



The funding was led by Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures. With this infusion of capital, four new directors joined Big Switch Networks Co-Founders Guido Appenzeller, CEO, and Kyle Forster, VP of Sales and Marketing, on the board:

  • Mark Leslie, Lecturer in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Former CEO of Veritas


  • Bill Meehan, Raccoon Partners Lecturer in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Director Emeritus at McKinsey and Co. and Leader of the Firm's West Coast and Private Equity Practices


  • Shirish Sathaye, Partner at Khosla Ventures and Former VP of Engineering and CTO of FORE Systems and Alteon WebSystems


  • Mike Volpi, Partner at Index Ventures and Former Head of M&A, Chief Strategy Officer and SVP/GM of the Routing Technology Group at Cisco.


"Enterprise networking is exciting again. We're seeing new customer problems that aren't well addressed with traditional networking technologies and changes in the large IT suppliers that are creating opportunities for startups like Big Switch Networks," said Mike Volpi, Partner at Index Ventures and Former SVP/GM of the Routing Technology Group at Cisco.



Big Switch Networks also announced that it has joined the newly formed ONF, a nonprofit group focused on promoting OpenFlow and other Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technologies as a way to speed innovation in the networking industry.



OpenFlow is a standard protocol that enables networks to evolve more rapidly by giving owners and operators better control over their networks and the ability to optimize network behavior.http://www.bigswitch.com http://www.openflow.org/

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