Brocade has announced the hiring of networking and open-source veteran Colin Dixon to the position of Principal Engineer. An active contributor to the OpenDaylight Project, Dixon is considered a foremost authority on Software-Defined Networking (SDN), specifically as it applies to scalable and distributed systems.
Dixon has spent the past decade focused on the advancement of networking, protocols and data center technologies through his academic and industry research initiatives. His most recent work examined how to build network fabrics using commodity Ethernet hardware controlled by software running on commodity servers. This includes building millisecond-scale monitoring and control capabilities, hardware-agnostic multipath forwarding and practical support for lossless Ethernet.
Previously, Dixon worked on building enterprise networks using what the industry today refers to as Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) long before any such term existed. His research also spanned to far-reaching areas such as enabling the “Internet of Things” deployments in the home as part of the End to the Middle (ETTM) and HomeOS research projects.
“Colin has spent his career focused on where the network is headed, not where it is today, and this will serve as a big benefit to Brocade as we continue to refine our strategy,” said Kelly Herrell, VP and GM of Software Networking, Brocade. “Colin brings a deep and technical background that spans both the hardware and software spectrums that will define next-generation mobile and cloud networks.”
Dixon’s work on SDN has been recognized industry-wide, including within the OpenDaylight Project. Upon the formation of the project, he co-authored the “Dixon-Erickson OpenDaylight Merged Controller Proposal,” which now serves as the core controller plan of record for the Project.
Further, his work in standards bodies has been felt industry-wide. He worked with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) Forwarding Abstractions Working Group (FAWG) to lay the groundwork for Table Type Pattern (TTP) standard that enables switches and controllers to negotiate richer functionality with the OpenFlow protocol. This work resulted in him being named an Outstanding Technical Contributor in October of 2012.
“Brocade has recognized the importance of open architectures for the future of networking and is aggressively focused on delivering the solutions built for the next era of networking,” Dixon said. “The company’s active participation in industry organizations beyond OpenDaylight is a testament to Brocade’s commitment to this vision and one that I am excited to be a part of.”
Previously, Dixon served in various research roles at IBM Research’s Austin Lab, the University of Washington, Microsoft Research and Intel Research.
Dixon will join the engineering leadership team of the Software Networking business unit at Brocade and focus on open source initiatives, such as OpenDaylight. Other notable software networking and open source hires this year at Brocade include Tom Nadeau and Benson Schliesser.