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Apstra Nabs Extreme Networks Co-Founder To Lead Engineering

Intent-based networking pioneer Apstra has hired two industry experts in a move to accelerate engineering innovation and global business development.

Intent-based networking pioneer Apstra has poached a pair of industry veterans to drive engineering and global business development, including Extreme Networks co-founder Herb Schneider.

Schneider co-founded Extreme Networks in 1996 where he worked in a vice president role until leaving in 2007. With more than 35 years of in top engineering roles working for the likes of Maxta and Nebula, Schneider will now head all engineering efforts for Apstra as the company’s new vice president of engineering.

“Apstra disrupts how data centers are run today and I look forward to leading and expanding this passionate engineering team to help large enterprise customers realize massive TCO savings through software-first data center network automation,” said Schneider, in a statement. “It’s an exciting time at Apstra and I am looking forward to leveraging our deep expertise in intent-based networking to empower network operators with solutions that transform the status quo in their data center operations.”

[Related: Apstra CEO On New ‘Sophisticated’ VMware vSphere Integration]

In addition to the hiring of Schneider, Apstra -- named to CRN’s 2019 Software-Defined Data Center 50 – also landed David Butler to handle the company’s global business development as well as spearhead Apstra’s investments into its growing partner ecosystem.

Butler is a longtime IT veteran who has held various top roles for large vendors including senior vice president of worldwide sales and business development at Aruba Networks; vice president of worldwide sales for Big Switch Networks; and vice president of worldwide sales and business development for FireEye. Before Apstra, he was managing director for consulting firm Momentum Technology Partners where he consulted for technology companies around providing new offers into emerging markets.

“It has been a pleasure to witness the fantastic impact that Apstra’s innovation in intent-based networking has had for data center operators,” said Butler, vice president of business development at Apstra in a statement. “We’re now in a position to extend our intent-based technology into surrounding markets through entirely new technology offerings developed with some of the greatest innovators throughout the industry. Apstra’s journey so far has been incredible. But the transformative journey ahead will enable Apstra, with best-of-breed technology partners, to bring tremendous value to our mutual customers.”

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Apstra aims to simplify how companies design, build and operate next-generation data center networks through its distributed system architecture and vendor-agnostic overlay.

The company, who has a strong technology partnership with VMware, recently introduced significant advancements to its flagship Apstra Operating System (AOS) including tighter interoperability between the underlying physical network and software-defined overlay networks. AOS automates and enables consistent network and security policy for workloads across the physical and virtual infrastructure.

Apstra founder and CEO Mansour Karam said in a statement that the hiring of Schneider and Butler will drive new business development and strategic partnerships.

“Herb has unique depth and understanding of both the networking, cloud and storage sectors and has contributed throughout his career to building great products that had major impact on the industry,” said Karam. “Dave has been growing key partnerships at Apstra and will continue to accelerate the scale and depth of our existing and new partners. Both Dave and Herb share our core values and have the ability to effectively lead our talented team of engineers and partner organization globally.”

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