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VMware Hires Top Execs From Cisco, Big Switch

Mitch Wagner
10/2/2014
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VMware scored a couple of executive wins for its networking business, hiring Dominick Delfino, who was a top Cisco SDN executive, as well as Big Switch founder Guido Appenzeller.

Delfino headed up technical sales for Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s Application Centric Infrastructure, its flagship SDN architecture, as well as Cisco's commodity Unified Computing System servers, and MDS storage area networking. Delfino will do the same for VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW)'s NSX, says Martin Casado, senior VP of VMware's networking and security business unit. (See For Cisco, Is 'SDN' Code for 'Crush VMware?', Cisco Ships Its SDN Architecture -- Almost and Cisco to Ax Up to 6,000 Jobs, But It's Excited About SDN.)

"We're in the stage where we're scaling the business. We want to scale this like crazy," says Casado. Network virtualization is an early market, he says. "In early markets, when the technology is new, a lot of it is just education, which is a technical discussion." Strong leadership in technical sales is critical. (See VMware, Cisco Build Rival Data Center Teams.)

Casado was himself recently named to his current position after serving as CTO of the VMware networking business unit. Casado founded Nicira, an SDN company VMware acquired in 2012. Casado pioneered OpenFlow at Stanford University.


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Appenzeller founded Big Switch Networks , which develops SDN fabrics. Doug Murray replaced Appenzeller as Big Switch CEO late last year. Prior to Big Switch, Appenzeller founded Voltage Security, giving him both SDN and security experience, Casado notes. (See Big Switch Intros Flagship Big Cloud Fabric – At Last and Murray Leads Big Switch Into Bare Metal Battle.)

VMware's networking business unit had a $100 million run rate, Casado notes, adding that VMware announced that number in Q2, "so it's out of date."

VMware recently put its toe into the networking hardware waters, introducing a network virtualization appliance, EVO:Rail. It also launched partnerships with Google, Docker, and Pivotal to run container-based applications in clouds using VMware infrastructure. And it upgraded NSX, launched cloud management tools and additional integration with OpenStack. (See VMware Launches EVO: RAIL Virtualization Appliance, VMware Laughs at Container & OpenStack Threats and VMware Upgrades NSX, Beefs Up OpenStack Support.)

— 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 [email protected]

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