Software-defined networking (SDN) vendor Big Switch has landed a former Brocade (BRCD) and Cisco Systems (CSCO) big fish, reeling in Jeffrey Wang as its engineering vice president.

DH Kass, Senior Contributing Blogger

December 11, 2013

2 Min Read
Big Switch Lands Brocade, Cisco Vet for Engineering VP Post

Software-defined networking (SDN) vendor Big Switch has landed a former Brocade (BRCD) and Cisco Systems (CSCO) big fish, reeling in Jeffrey Wang as its Engineering vice president.

The SDN provider has been looking for a new Engineering VP since July, when Howie Xu abruptly exited after two years on the job, landing in early August at Cisco as senior director of the Cloud Networking Service Group’s engineering team.

Wang, himself a 15-year Cisco veteran, is tasked with leading engineering for Big Switch’s SDN Fabric solutions, including its SDN Monitoring Fabric and its Unified Physical + Virtual Cloud Switching Fabric, currently in beta.

Wang’s hiring adds another key member to Big Switch’s executive suite as the company moves to position itself as a key player in the emerging SDN market. It comes on the heels of Big Switch’s appointment in early November of Douglas Murray, a former Juniper (JNPR) top exec, as chief executive, replacing co-founder Guido Appenzeller, who shifted into the CTO slot.

“Jeffrey is a seasoned engineering leader who has played an integral role in some of the networking industry’s most important innovations, including technologies that are critical for Big Switch,” said Murray. “With his unique background and history of execution, I am thrilled to have Jeffrey on the Big Switch team.”

Wang’s lengthy background includes a variety of engineering executive positions in data center compute infrastructure, switch software, physical switching fabrics and hypervisor virtual switching. While he most recently served as a Brocade vice president in charge of the company’s Data Center IP Fabric solutions, most of his experience comes from his long tenure at Cisco.

Prior to Brocade, Wang served as Cisco’s Data Center Group Engineering vice president, with responsibilities spanning the networking giant’s Unified Computing System (UCS) software to hypervisor switching and I/O technologies such as the Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) and the Nexus 1000v vSwitch.

In earlier roles at Cisco, Wang managed the Catalyst 6500 software development team and handled the Virtual Switching System (VSS) unit.

Wang said Big Switch’s strategy to meld bare-metal switches with SDN attracted him to the job.

“Building data center-class fabrics with bare metal switches and SDN to unify the physical fabric and hypervisor vSwitch—that is a game-changing opportunity,” he said. “It’s exciting to be part of an organization whose sole focus is to accelerate deployment of SDN.”

Last February, Intel disclosed it had invested $6.25 million into Big Switch, in an add-on to a $25 million Series B funding the SDN vendor originally disclosed in October 2012, bringing to $45 million the amount the fledgling company has raised since its inception nearly three years ago.

SDN simplifies networking—IT admins gain central network control without physical access to hardware—and holds the promise to commoditize networking equipment. If SDN takes off, hardware segments of the market controlled by Cisco and others could diminish in importance.

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About the Author(s)

DH Kass

Senior Contributing Blogger, The VAR Guy

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