Building the Capabilities We Always Wanted

The software used to manage networks hasn’t kept up with the dramatic expansion of networks themselves.

Our four Stanford PhD co-founders have spent their careers working to improve networking, as contributors to OpenFlow and pioneers of software defined networking (SDN). They saw deficiencies in network operations: extreme complexity, human error, and outdated tools. These deficiencies make networks easy to break and hard to fix.

Our Promise

The Forward Platform simplifies operation of the world’s largest networks to increase visibility and reduce the risk of errors and outages. Our mission is to help identify and fix potential network issues with a straightforward, intuitive, and modern software interface.

We are building a team of the smartest network engineers and problem-solvers, all dedicated to advancing network operations. While you build the future, we’ll keep your network healthy and running.

Meet the founders

David Erickson (CEO)

David holds a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford. He is a contributor to the OpenFlow spec and the author of Beacon, the OpenFlow controller at the core of commercial products from Big Switch Networks, Cisco, and others, and open source controllers such as Floodlight and OpenDaylight. His thesis used SDN to improve virtualized data center performance.

Brandon Heller (CTO)

Brandon received his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford. Involved in OpenFlow before it had that name, he served as main editor of the spec for three years, seeing it grow from an academic prototype to a real tool for industry. His more recent projects include energy-efficient data centers (ElasticTree) and flexible network emulation (Mininet).

Peyman Kazemian

Peyman received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford. His dissertation showed novel ways to troubleshoot and verify the correctness of networks. Previously, he created and taught SDN Academy courses, worked at Google and Ericsson, and was part of the team at Stanford that developed OpenFlow and SDN.

Nikhil Handigol

Nikhil is a Computer Science PhD from Stanford. As a member of the Stanford team that pioneered SDN/OpenFlow, his research focused on using SDN principles for systematic network troubleshooting (NetSight), flexible network emulation (Mininet), and smart load-balancing (Aster*x). Previously, he worked at SDN Academy, ON.Lab, and Cisco.

Backed by Top-Tier Investors

Forward Networks is backed by a group of leading investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, DFJ,  and A.Capital.