Light Reading

Brocade Hires IBM Exec to Beef Up SDN Team

Mitch Wagner
5/8/2014
50%
50%

In its ongoing efforts to build an SDN dream team, Brocade Networks has hired Colin Dixon -- until recently at IBM and a key contributor to OpenDaylight -- to join the open source group of Brocade's software networking business Unit.

Dixon formerly worked as a researcher at IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC). He is co-author of the Dixon-Erickson Merged Controller Proposal of OpenDaylight, which now serves as the basis of the OpenDaylight Foundation's core controller. The open source team Dixon joins at Brocade is primarily focused on OpenDaylight and OpenStack, though it does other work as well.

Dixon says he joined Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), where he takes the position of principal engineer, because of its understanding of the role open source will play in networking. "It's going to change the face of networking, and there aren't a lot of companies that understand that," Dixon says. He endorses a philosophy espoused by David Meyer, Brocade CTO and chief scientist: How you build something is as important as what you build. Having people and processes in place to solve new technology problems is more important than individual products, Dixon explains.

Colin Dixon

While a slow, careful approach works for a hardware company that produces a switch every few years, software needs to iterate fast, like Arista Networks Inc. , which ships new products every year, Dixon said. (See Arista Faces Legal Challenge as It Files for $200M IPO .)

"Open source is the pinnacle of that model. The focus isn't on getting it right the first time, the focus is on having an engine for producing new things that can adapt when changes come up," Dixon says. Companies that have mastered that process include Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), and Facebook . This model is new in networking.

Dixon joins the CTO leadership team around SDN, reporting to Kelly Herell, VP & GM of the software networking business unit.

Dixon will be responsible for continuing to work on OpenDaylight, and bringing SDN and open source internal to Brocade's product roadmaps.

Dixon will also be responsible for helping to steer Brocade into the future of networking. "I don't think the future of networking is about faster and meaner Ethernet switches. That's part of it, but I don't think it's where the interesting stuff is. The interesting stuff is software."

OpenDaylight is "impressive in a lot of ways," but it's still "a collection of tools," Dixon says. "It's more an Erector Set than a product," he said. That's the nature of early open source projects. OpenDaylight needs more integration and hardening, and making sure high availability works for different features.

Dixon is the latest SDN leader to come to Brocade. Meyer was hired at the end of 2012 to work on Brocade's SDN efforts. (See Q&A: David Meyer, Brocade's New SDN Expert.)

Much more recently, Brocade hired SDN author Tom Nadeau, along with Benson Schliesser. (See SDN: A Particular Set of Skills Much in Demand and Brocade Poaches Key SDN Exec From Juniper.)

Dixon is part of an SDN brain drain at IBM, according to SDNcentral. Most recently, Vijoy Pandey, distinguished engineer at IBM and CTO of operating systems, left to join Google. Pandey was a key contributor to SDN and helped create the OpenDaylight Project. In addition, Anees Shaikh, IBM chief SDN architect, left in January to become a network architect at Google, SDNcentral reports. Shaikh was also involved in creating OpenDaylight.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.


Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.


(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/10/2014 | 3:40:56 PM
Re: theme park
Harsh. I'd love to see evidence to support that bold claim. 

(Theme park shows don't generally have curtains – they are generally performed on open, outdoor platforms. Circuses, which is where you generally find clowns, also don't make much use of curtains to signal the end of the show.)
lightbulb0
50%
50%
lightbulb0,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/9/2014 | 2:43:49 AM
theme park
Brocade has become a theme park for SDN clowns, we will see what are left for Brocade when the curtain falls.
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Phil McKinney, CableLabs

1|22|16   |   13:36   |   (1) comment


At CES in Las Vegas, we met with Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. Phil provides an update on the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, his views on the future of open source and how consumer interest in virtual reality could affect network traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ericsson CTO on the Changing Telecom Market

1|21|16   |   10:26   |   (0) comments


At CES 2015, CTO of Ericsson, Ulf Ewaldsson, sits down with CEO of Light Reading, Steve Saunders, to discuss the changing telecom market, the new partnership with Cisco and the future of the telecom industry.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
Cincinnati Bell Joins Weight Watchers Club
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/5/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
WiCipedia: Faulty Feminism, Worthy Women & Peculiar Perks
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/5/2016
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Animals with Phones
Happy Groundhogs for Technology Day! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.