Big Switch updates SDN controller options

Big Cloud Fabric 2.5 supports VMware vSphere, Dell switches

Big Switch Networks this week rolled out a new release of its cloud fabric software, which includes support for VMware vSphere environments and Dell switches, among other features.

Big Cloud Fabric was released in the third quarter of 2014. It is an SDN fabric designed for bare metal switches.

Big Cloud Fabric Release 2.5 expands footprints within existing customer environments and targets more mainstream customers as well, Big Switch says. Those include VMware vSphere shops, where workloads from that considerable server virtualization base could benefit from bare metal SDNs.

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BCF 2.5 allows the BCF controller to integrate with VMware’s vCenter server virtualization manager to automate network creation on the physical SDN fabric. The BCF controller becomes a single point of integration with vCenter for a 16-rack leaf/spine Clos fabric to ease 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, Big Switch says. BCF also supports vSphere-based cloud environments orchestrated by CloudStack.

BCF 2.5 also supports Dell’s S6000ON switch, and will support Dell’s S4000ON switch later this quarter. Dell now resells both BCF and Big Switch’s Big Tap network monitoring product.

BCF 2.5 also includes an analytics module that processes aggregated logs and statistics to generate data insight, trends, and events identification. It also provides predefined filtering, failure detection, and log analysis, Big Switch says, for troubleshooting network issues and failure conditions.

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, the company says.

For cloud environments, BCF 2.5 now supports CloudStack and Citrix CloudPlatform in addition to the Red Hat and Mirantis distributions of OpenStack. The new controller also supports 40G leaf switches, enabling it to be used in high performance computing and storage environments, Big Switch says.

BCF 2.5 supports VMware vSphere, Microsoft HyperV, KVM, and Citrix XenServer hypervisors. It is shipping now, though vSphere integration and Dell S4000ON support will be available later in the first quarter.

BCF 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 $39,000 and $99,000 BCF starter kits, inclusive of switches, software, support and cables/optics.

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