BI reports Appenzeller will take the CTO role recently vacated by Martin Casado, who was recently promoted to run VMware’s networking and security business unit. (At VMworld, Casado gave us a detailed account of how his old and new jobs differ.)
VMware seems like a logical home for Appenzeller. In its early days, Big Switch was flush with excitement over the possibility of software-defined networking (SDN) upending Cisco‘s dominance in the networking market. Why not join the company that’s considered Cisco’s biggest rival in SDN?
SDN didn’t develop the way Big Switch had anticipated, and the startup rebooted last year, with Appenzeller replaced as CEO by Doug Murray. Appenzeller stayed on as CTO and remained engaged with the new Big Switch mission; he even discussed it in detail at the Open Networking Summit this past spring, noting that customers wanted more than the piece-parts approach Big Switch was pushing. (Other possible contributors: lack of OpenFlow support in the industry and the rise of the OpenDaylight Project.)
Earlier this month, VMware also hired Cisco veteran Dominick Delfino, as Network World reported.