OpenFlow Startup Big Switch Raises $13.75M From Index, Khosla Ventures

Exclusive – Big Switch Networks, a fledgling company building a platform for virtualizing enterprise networks based on the OpenFlow standard, has raised $13.75 million in Series A financing in a round led by Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures.

The startup also announced that it has joined the newly formed Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit group on promoting OpenFlow and other Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technologies as a way to speed innovation in the networking industry.

The ONF was established last month by six companies that operate some of the largest networks in the world: Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo.

Big Switch, which was co-founded last year by Guido Appenzeller, CEO, and Kyle Forster, VP of Sales and Marketing, aims to become the ‘VMware of networking for the private cloud’.

The startup plans to commercialize network virtualization technologies based on OpenFlow, a research technology from Stanford University’s Computer Science department.

OpenFlow is essentially 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.

Appenzeller is a former Stanford assistant professor, former co-founder and CTO at Voltage Security and entrepreneur-in-residence at Morgenthaler Ventures. Forster was formerly VP of Product Management at Joost and Product Manager at Cisco Systems.

They are joined on the board of directors by Mark Leslie, former CEO of Veritas, Bill Meehan, Director Emeritus at McKinsey , 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.