infoTECH Feature

April 25, 2011

Network Virtualization Startup Big Switch Networks Lands $13.75 Million Funding

Virtualization and cloud platform building startup Big Switch Networks has secured $13.75 million in a series A financing, led by Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures. The startup company 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.

In a company statement, Mike Volpi, partner at Index Ventures and former SVP/GM of the Routing Technology Group at Cisco (News - Alert), said, “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”.

“Just when everyone thought that networking was getting boring and commoditized, Big Switch Networks comes along. Virtualization is now coming to the network layer,” commented Charlie Giancarlo, former chief development officer of Cisco and Angel Investor in Big Switch Networks. Likewise, Shirish Sathaye, partner at Khosla Ventures, stated, “We’re excited about Big Switch Networks. This is a very strong and technical team, well positioned to be the VMware of networking for the private cloud and campus LAN.”

With this new funding, four new directors have joined Big Switch Networks co-founders Guido Appenzeller, CEO and Kyle Forster, VP of sales and marketing, on the board. These include Mark Leslie, lecturer in management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and former CEO of Veritas, Bill Meehan, Raccoon Partners Lecturer in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Director Emeritus at McKinsey and Co. (News - Alert) 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, and 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.

According to co-founder Appenzeller, the advances over the last few years in compute virtualization have left enterprise networking behind. With this round of funding, the new company is pulling together a world class team at all levels that promises to bring the benefits of virtualization to networking.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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