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News Link • Future Predictions

Google Foretells Big Switch to Networks of the Future

•, By Cade Metz
 Like Page and Brin, Appenzeller was a Ph.D. student in the computer science department at California’s Stanford University, and the way he tells it, Page and Brin knocked on his door only because he’d taken a class at the business school. His first suggestion was that they write their business plan with Microsoft Word — not with the HTML webpage editor they were inclined to use. “We hacked on it for about two afternoons,” Appenzeller remembers, “and that was all I ever did for them.”

But that’s not quite true. Yes, over the next several years, as Google grew into the web’s most dominant force, Appenzeller merely watched from afar. He finished his Stanford degree and founded a startup of his own. But that bit of help with the Google business plan isn’t all he ever did for Page and Brin. In 2008, after returning to Stanford as a professor and researcher, Appenzeller oversaw the development of OpenFlow, an open source networking technology that soon reinvented the way Google shuttles traffic across its worldwide web empire.

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