Virtualization Technology News and Information
Big Switch Extends Network Innovations to Automate #Hyperconverged Environments

Big Switch Networks, The Next-Generation Data Center Networking Company, today announced Big Cloud Fabric (BCF), an SDN-based data center network switching fabric, now supports a robust ecosystem of the leading hyperconverged (HCI) solutions, including: VMware vSAN, Dell EMC ScaleIO and Nutanix. 

The introduction of HCI technology has fundamentally altered the enterprise storage landscape by offering increased performance, enhanced data services, lower CapEx, and simplified operations. The network simplicity and automation introduced via Big Cloud Fabric, which leverages an SDN-based leaf/spine Clos fabric and open networking hardware to enable rapid provisioning of networks for HCI scale-out deployments and high performance for large clusters, is ideal for HCI environments. Big Cloud Fabric automates the provisioning of network resources through seamless integration with HCI orchestration systems and provides full visibility of HCI environments to network teams, thus becoming the "networking easy button" for IT teams deploying modern storage solutions and software-defined data centers (SDDCs). Additionally, BCF reduces networking TCO by deploying on industry-standard switch hardware from Dell EMC open networking, Edgecore white box, and the HPE Altoline family.

HCI Networking Customer Traction
Big Cloud Fabric & VMware vSAN: Tianjin Broadcast and TV Network: is a state-owned enterprise engaged in broadcast and TV network operation and program integration and responsible for planning, constructing, operating and managing all cable TV networks in Tianjin, China. The company chose to deploy Big Cloud Fabric with VMware vSAN and Dell Open Networking Hardware. Tianjin Broadcast and TV Network initially chose to deploy Big Cloud Fabric in order to move away from a box-by-box networking architecture, for the ability to easily and quickly deploy the intelligent fabric, and due to the network automation it provided for the environment, as well as in-built auto lag detection and multi-tenancy.

"If you have a vSAN cluster, Big Cloud Fabric is the best choice for system management. It has opened up the ‘network black box' for vSAN managers. We now have an easy-to-manage HCI environment," said Jia Zhen, IT Manager, Tianjin Broadcast and TV Network. "Big Cloud Fabric was significantly easier and faster to deploy, when compared to our prior data center network solution and it has provided ongoing operational efficiencies due to the superior technical architecture. Additionally we have experienced zero network configuration errors since deploying the solution."

Big Cloud Fabric & Nutanix HCI: The Incheon "Smart City" is a free economic zone launched in 2003 that today is a self-contained living and business district featuring everything from air and sea transportation to residences, shopping and entertainment. Incheon Smart-city Corporation is its governing body, a coalition of stakeholders from the public and private sectors. Incheon Smart-city selected Big Cloud Fabric as the physical network fabric for its data center modernization initiative. The result was a highly automated network with seamless service and meaningful improvements in efficiency. Incheon Smart-city deployed BCF with a Nutanix Enterprise Cloud, which created a logical abstraction for the physical network via the SDN principles, which enable a scale-out network fabric as a single logical switch to the applications. Dell EMC open networking hardware is also in the HCI environment.

Incheon Smart-city reviewed alternative network fabrics, but found BCF to have superior technical architecture, which would enable Incheon Smart-city to further simplify its Enterprise Cloud deployment powered by Nutanix by providing an easily scaled-out and automated network fabric solution. Additionally, BCF resulted in significant cost savings compared to other fabric solutions. In deploying software-defined technology, Incheon Smart-city was able to cut down nearly $10M in costs associated with platform building and integration, and to save more than 60% of data center space.

"The software-defined data center is an ideal option for designing a high-tech city, but to achieve the maximum flexibility, scalability and automation promised from SDDC environments, the network, at the core of the SDDC is crucial," said Jongan Park, Network head at Incheon Smart-city. "Through advanced software-defined technologies such as Big Cloud Fabric, which is implemented in the Incheon metropolitan area, we achieved both cost reduction and effective operation management. Network automation and seamless services have led to higher business efficiency, especially in the areas of operation and management. We are very satisfied with the results."

Big Cloud Fabric Integration for VMware vSAN HCI and Nutanix Enterprise Clouds:
In HCI environments, BCF meets the unique requirements imposed by HCI architecture, enabling networks to operate at the speed of HCI. Specifically, BCF provides:

  • High east-west traffic across the server/storage nodes with its high-performance 10G/25G/40G/100G scale-out fabric.
  • Scale-out fabric to incrementally provision additional nodes of capacity and performance as the application demands increase.
  • Automated network provisioning of HCI hosts and VMs, which removes bottlenecks typically experienced with proprietary network designs that are manual, switch-by-switch architectures, based on traditional CLI commands, which impede the desired software-based agility of modern data center operations.
  • HCI-related visibility for network admins to simplify capacity planning, change management and enables rapid troubleshooting.

BCF is validated Nutanix Ready Core for networking and a member of the Nutanix technology alliance partner program, Nutanix Elevate. Validated solution components consist of Big Cloud Fabric, Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS, and VMware vSphere.

Big Cloud Fabric & Dell EMC ScaleIO Validated Design
Dell EMC ScaleIO delivers scale-out block storage using commodity hardware as an SDS-based storage foundation for the VMware centric software-defined data center (SDDC). When coupled with the hyperscale-inspired Big Cloud Fabric, which has built-in integrations for VMware, benefits experienced with ScaleIO, such as cost-savings and operational efficiencies are extended to the physical network layers. ScaleIO and Big Cloud Fabric together deliver a flexible, scalable, high performance solution.
Big Switch and Dell EMC have built a validated reference architecture for a VMware SDDC, based off the following solutions components:

  • Big Cloud Fabric
  • ScaleIO
  • VMware vSphere
  • Dell EMC Open Networking Hardware

"Big Switch's mission is to make networks operate at the speed of software-defined data centers, while reducing TCO by up to 50% and removing vendor lock-in," said Prashant Gandhi, Chief Product Officer, Big Switch Networks. "When deployed with industry-leading HCI storage solutions, BCF offers a modern, integrated networking solution that is ideal for cloud-native applications."

To learn more, join Big Switch and SDxCentral on Thursday February 15th at 10am PST for the webinar, Leveraging Next-Gen Networking to Unlock the Power of HCI. To register:

Published Wednesday, January 24, 2018 8:12 AM by David Marshall
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