Virtualization Technology News and Information
Big Switch Networks Unveils Big Cloud Fabric 2.5, Extends Support for VMware and Dell Open Networking Switches, Integrates Fabric Analytics
Big Switch Networks, the leader in bringing hyperscale networking to data centers worldwide, continues its march to modernize data center networking with the availability of Big Cloud Fabric Release 2.5. Big Cloud Fabric, initially released in Q3 2014, is the industry's only bare metal SDN fabric designed to combat legacy box-by-box networking. BCF transforms customer experience with tremendous agility, unprecedented simplicity, and hyperscale economics. This release continues Big Switch's "land and expand" strategy, and introduces robust features that will help expand footprints within existing customer environments and appeal to mainstream data center customers.

Support for VMware Environments
Big Cloud Fabric now supports VMware vSphere® server virtualization by delivering the benefits of bare metal SDN to the majority of virtual workloads in the data center. The BCF controller directly integrates into VMware vCenter™ to automate network creation on the physical SDN fabric. Unlike legacy box-by-box approaches, the BCF controller becomes a single point of integration with vCenter for the entire 16-rack leaf-spine Clos fabric, significantly simplifying programmatic interactions across virtual and physical networks. Integration of BCF with vCenter will also enable VM visibility, including VM mobility, directly through the BCF controller GUI. In addition, BCF supports vSphere-based cloud environments orchestrated by CloudStack.

Support for Dell Open Network Switches
Big Cloud Fabric was the first SDN fabric solution to support hardware and software disaggregation on Dell Open Network switches with the Big Tap™ Monitoring Fabric. With this latest release, Big Cloud Fabric now supports Dell Open Networking switches, including Dell S6000-ON, and will have support for future Dell Open Networking switches. Dell now resells both Big Cloud Fabric and Big Tap Monitoring Fabric -- providing customers with proven and supported reference architectures and a "one throat to choke" business relationship for the entire solution.

Best in Class Fabric Analytics
An important operational benefit of software-defined networking is the increased network visibility that is possible with the adoption of an abstracted and centralized control plane. Big Cloud Fabric 2.5 includes a new module that delivers on this promise: Fabric Analytics. With a rich feature set that offers real-time analytics, data visualization, and correlation, Fabric Analytics processes aggregated logs and fabric-wide statistics to generate deep data insight, trends, and events identification. It also provides predefined filtering, failure detection, and log analysis.

Network operations teams can now rapidly troubleshoot network issues and failure conditions throughout the fabric. Fabric-wide configuration changes (via CLI, GUI, or REST API) are visible directly in the controller to identify inappropriate access and/or root cause issues occurring due to network misconfiguration.

Fabric Analytics serves as a platform for advanced analytics and correlations. It dramatically reduces time to issue identification and resolution compared to the traditional physical box-by-box management approach, without the need for expensive third-party analytics tools or repositories.

Enhanced Cloud Orchestration and Hypervisor Support
With this release, BCF fully supports multiple hypervisor environments, including VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, KVM, and Citrix XenServer. Within a fabric, both virtualized servers and physical servers can be attached for complete workload flexibility. For cloud environments, BCF 2.5 continues OpenStack support for Red Hat and Mirantis distributions. Additionally, it now supports CloudStack and Citrix CloudPlatform, thus providing choice of cloud orchestrations to data center operators.

Expanded Topologies and Use Cases
Big Switch has seen real-world deployments increase significantly for private cloud, big data analytics, and virtual desktops. With support for 40G leaf switches, BCF 2.5 now supports high-performance storage arrays as well as emerging software-defined storage and ultra-high performance computing use cases. This deployment flexibility enables customers to deploy very low cost fabrics (with 10G leaf and 10G switches) to storage-aware clouds (with a mix of 10G and 40G leaf switches connected to 40G spines) to very high performance fabrics (40G leaf and spine switches).

"Our initial customers deployed Big Cloud Fabric on OpenStack. With the remarkable traction we've seen since the product's introduction, customers have challenged us to expand to other use cases, topologies, hypervisors and orchestration environments," said Douglas Murray, CEO of Big Switch Networks. "Our support for VMware and Dell Open Network Switches will significantly expand the adoption and addressable market of Big Cloud Fabric."

Significant Customer Traction and Momentum
This announcement follows a breakout 2014 for Big Switch, which included the company's expansion into Japan in Q4. Big Switch has had four straight quarters of 30+% growth and secured its first two $1MM+ customers in 2014 with more in flight. Big Switch has customers in production in data centers across APAC, EMEA, and the U.S., and its customer base includes government, higher education, financial, service providers, and tech verticals.

Big Cloud Fabric 2.5 is shipping and available today. VMware vSphere integration available later in Q1 2015.


  • Big Cloud Fabric 2.5 software is licensed on a per-switch subscription basis
  • Existing BCF customers can upgrade to BCF 2.5 without any additional cost
  • Big Switch offers $39K and $99K BCF starter kits, inclusive of HW switches, SW, support and cables/optics
Published Wednesday, January 28, 2015 5:57 PM by David Marshall
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