Martin Casado

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Martín Casado is a Spanish-born American software engineer, entrepreneur, and investor. He is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, and was a pioneer of software-defined networking, and a co-founder of Nicira Networks.

Early life and education[edit]

Martín Casado was born around 1976 in Cartagena, Spain.[1] He received his bachelor's degree from Northern Arizona University in 2000.[2] In 2017, he received an honorary doctorate from the same university.[3] He worked for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory doing computational science[4] followed by work with the intelligence community from December 2000 to September 2006.[4] Casado attended Stanford University from 2002 to 2008,[citation needed] earning both his Masters and PhD in computer science.[5] While at Stanford, he began development of OpenFlow,[6] an open source protocol that enabled software-defined networking. During this period, he co-founded Illuminics Systems with Michael J. Freedman.[citation needed] His PhD thesis, "Architectural Support for Security Management in Enterprise Networks,” under advisors Nick McKeown, Scott Shenker and Dan Boneh, was published in 2008.[5]


In 2007, Casado co-founded Nicira Networks along with McKeown and Shenker, a Palo Alto, California based company working on network virtualization. Along with McKeown and Shenker, Casado promoted software-defined networking.[6] His PhD work at Stanford University led to the development of the OpenFlow protocol, which was promoting using the term software-defined networking (SDN). McKeown and Shenker co-founded the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) in 2011 to transfer control of OpenFlow to a not-for-profit organization.[7]

In July 2012, VMware acquired Nicira for $1.26 billion.[8][9] At VMware he was made a fellow and held the positions chief technology officer (CTO) for networking and security and general manager of the Networking and Security Business Unit.[10]

Casado was a 2012 recipient of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Grace Murray Hopper Award as for helping create the Software Defined Networking movement.[11]

In 2015 Casado, McKeown and Shenker received the NEC C&C Foundation award for SDN and OpenFlow.[12] In 2015, he was selected for Forbes’ “Next Gen Innovators 2014.” [13] Casado left VMware and joined venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz in February 2016 as its ninth general partner.[14][15][16] Andreessen Horowitz had been one of the investors Nicira, contributing $17.7 million to the start-up venture.[9]


  1. ^ Linda Taaffe (December 6, 2013). "Silicon Valley 40 under 40: Martin Casado". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  2. ^ "Roots that Matter" (Press release). Northern Arizona University. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  3. ^ "Around the Town: NAU graduation Friday and Saturday" (Press release). Arizona Daily Sun. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "The accidental entrepreneur". Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. April 9, 2015. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Martin Casado (December 2007). "Architectural Support for Security Management in Enterprise Networks" (PDF). PhD dissertation. Stanford University. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Sean Michael Kerner (April 29, 2013). "OpenFlow Inventor Martin Casdo on SDN, VMware, and Software Defined Networking Hype". Enterprise Networking Planet. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  7. ^ John Markoff (March 22, 2011). "Open Networking Foundation Pursues New Standards". New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  8. ^ Quentin Hardy (October 17, 2011). "What is Nicira up to?". Bits Blog. New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Dina Bass and Sarah Frier (July 24, 2012). "VMware to Buy Nicira Network Software for $1.26 Billion". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  10. ^ "Martin Casado". VMware. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  11. ^ Virginia Gold (April 9, 2013). "Martin Casado, Award Winner" (PDF) (Press release). ACM. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 5, 2016. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  12. ^ "NEC C&C Foundation Awards 2015 C&C Prize" (Press release). NEC Corporation. October 16, 2015. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  13. ^ Roger Trapp (April 28, 2015). "Martin Casado, Cofounder of Nicira and General Manager of Networking, VMware". Forbes. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  14. ^ Marc Andreessen (February 24, 2016). "Martin Casado". Andreessen Horowitz. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  15. ^ Alex Konrad (February 24, 2016). "Andreessen Horowitz Names Nicira and VMware Veteran Martin Casdo Its Ninth General Partner". Forbes. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  16. ^ Darren Pauli (February 25, 2016). "NSX Daddy Martin Casado leaves VMware to become a VC: Andreessen Horowitz lures mightily influential network virtualisation figure". The Register. Retrieved October 30, 2016.

External links[edit]