Gerald Degrace

Head PM for Azure Networking Hardware and Networking OS, Microsoft

Gerald Degrace has almost 40 years of experience creating and developing the latest switching and optical technologies. Early in his career Gerald and his teams developed hardware based protocol offload engines as well as switching ASIC’s for Frame Relay, ATM, Ethernet systems. Specializing in performance, Gerald and his teams developed some of the world’s fastest switch/routers for each generation at multiple levels of the network. Gerald also created and managed some of the early cable modem products for voice and data which eventually evolved into commodity based DOCSYS solutions used worldwide today. Gerald’s later career transitioned to Product Management for core routers, multi-service edge and related optical integration. Gerald served as VP of Product Management for Laurel Networks which was subsequently bought by ECI Telecom Inc where he served in several VP roles including GM for North America.  Today, Gerald is the “Head PM for Azure Networking Hardware and Networking OS” focused on new technologies and their integration with the cloud. Gerald has strong working relationships with most of the major suppliers of switching and optical components as well as stealth based startups. Gerald is well known for providing technical direction and practical use cases for cloud scale operations. Gerald also leads a team that manages the Microsoft’s initiative “Software for Open Networking in the Cloud” (SONiC) providing the next generation NOS for switching and optical solutions. Microsoft is leading the way to create a rich open source ecosystem that will power many of the networking innovations for the next decade and beyond.