At the start of 2019, Big Switch welcomed networking industry veteran Paul Unbehagen to our team, as Chief Technology Officer for Big Cloud Fabric. Paul brings to Big Switch nearly 25 years of expertise in the development, deployment and operations of enterprise, government and service provider networking products and technologies.

Paul’s own words, on why he has joined us on our journey:
The future of connectivity, the future of networking needs to be more like the fresh approach cloud vendors created to enable faster deployments, it needs to be API-driven.

During the past 30 years, networking vendors have, without fail, layered complexity on top of more complexity. When we look at the dynamic nature of application development that exists today, building on top of complexity is a misaligned approach. Modern infrastructure requires a public cloud-style, API-based approach –– everything should be driven by the application developers needs in real-time. This is why I believe Big Switch, with its Cloud-First, ‘VPC everywhere’ approach, is the networking vendor capable of delivering the best solutions for the fast-approaching, API-based future of networking.

The power of cloud providers like Amazon is that they opened the eyes of a lot of people –– the network needs to be invisible, it needs to adapt automatically to whatever the application needs are. The network needs to be a service.

The concept of Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) as one construct of routing and switching, which is self contained and flexible, this is the power of public cloud, they essentially created the new, modern, measure of network virtualization. Evolved beyond just VLANS, subnets and VRFs, but a higher level of networking segmentation with all those elements combined. This is what Big Switch is delivering with Cloud-First Networking.

With Cloud-First Networking, Big Switch makes possible a network utility model that enables true Network-as-a-Service, by leveraging VPCs on-premises and in the cloud for consistent delivery of applications via automated network services.

What really excited me about Big Switch is the technology. It’s more than just simple, it’s liberating. CFN removes the network dread. As someone who has been on both sides, I recognize that networking has two sets of customers: developers and an organization's end users, and I believe those customers can be better served. No longer do App and HCI deployments need to wait for a network to be setup, it is done automatically by the server layers needs. Customers should no longer be marred with complexity –– VLAN configuration and route tables. An SDN-based, API-driven solution that enables on-prem VPCs is how customers will be better served.

Prior to Big Switch, Paul…
Over the course of his career, Paul has been issued 47 networking related patents (and counting…). He has designed, standardized and implemented routing protocols such as MPLS, BGP, OSPF, IS-IS and SPB. Paul is a contributing member of the IEEE and IETF working groups for IS-IS, BGP, L2VPN and IPVPN, and he co-authored the IEEE 802.1aq/Shortest Path Bridging standard. Paul’s career in networking began as a Systems Analyst with the U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne infantry division. After completing his service with the U.S. Army, Paul took a role with Bloomberg as a Senior Network Engineer. Following Bloomberg, Paul spent the next ten years working in the mobile carrier space, first with MCI, followed by Nortel Networks and Alcatel-Lucent. In 2011 Paul joined Avaya Networks, where he held various roles focused on product management and strategy. In 2017 Paul joined Extreme Networks (by way of acquisition), where he led its Product Management team for nearly two years.

Welcome to the team, Paul, we are thrilled you decided to make the Big Switch!