Juniper Networks CIO Bask Iyer is leaving Juniper to become the new CIO at VMware, sources tell Business Insider.

At VMware, Iyer is replacing Tony Scott, who was recently appointed to the role of US CIO for the Obama administration.

Iyer is an interesting hire for VMware, as it shows just how serious VMware is about a hot new market called "software defined networking," a new product category that competes with Cisco and Juniper. VMware is one of the dominant players of SDN and recently Cisco CEO John Chambers has been talking smack about how he is going to "have fun" beating VMware in this area.

Iyer spent three years at Juniper where he was CIO, meaning his job was mostly to provide the tech that Juniper used internally. But one of his big initiatives was an eat-your-own-dogfood project (he called it "drinking our own champagne") called "Juniper on Juniper."

In a 2013 blog post Iyer explained:

At Juniper Networks, we are using our own technology and solutions to run our business and deliver core business services. We call this Juniper on Juniper or “drinking our own champagne”. For Juniper IT, these networking deployments have served as the ultimate test drive to build the best.

With that initiative Juniper's IT department became was Iyer called "customer No. 1" for the company and it worked with product teams to improve Juniper's networking products.

In other words, Iyer knows a whole lot of about what Cisco's biggest rival, Juniper, is doing with its products. Prior to that he held CIO roles at Honeywell and GlaxoSmithKline Beecham.

Sources tell us that inside VMware, execs are making no bones about it. This hire is all about VMware upping its game to take on these new "software defined" markets.

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