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Big Switch Networks Founder Forster On Partner Opportunities In A Pumped-Up Portfolio

"When we started Big Switch 10 years ago, this was the entire vision of SDN," said Big Switch Networks founder Kyle Forster.

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The Vision

Kyle Forster, founder of software-defined networking pioneer Big Switch Networks, says the new capabilities and products introduced in its Cloud First Networking Portfolio give customers the kind of data center experience they've been hungry for, and present solution providers with a powerful hybrid cloud value proposition.

The Cloud First portfolio updates Big Switch's existing Big Cloud Fabric and Big Monitoring Fabric solutions, and introduces several new products all geared toward giving on-premises data center customers an experience that mirrors the ease and flexibility of the public cloud.

"It's like on-prem versions of [Microsoft] Azure or AWS networking capabilities, and we're first to market," Forster said. "It lets you run your on-premises data network as if it were on Azure. When we started Big Switch 10 years ago, this was the entire vision of SDN."

Still, the bulk of Big Switch's partner base – made up of solution providers that work with the company's closest vendor-partners Dell EMC and HPE – focuses primarily on traditional data center deals. Forster said the new portfolio gives those partners the ability to introduce cloud to those customers.

"If a partner one day shows up and says, hey, I know you think of me as the box-by-box configuration service, but now I'm the migration to [Virtual Private Cloud] service, you're just playing at a different level. I believe there's margin there."

What follows is an edited excerpt of Forster's conversation with CRN.

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