Big Switch Networks just announced Big Cloud Fabric 2.5, and they claim it to be industry’s first bare metal SDN data center fabric. But exactly what is Big Cloud Fabric 2.5? It’s a leaf-spine Clos fabric that enables both physical and virtual workload connectivity inside a data center pod. Clos fabrics have been getting a bit of attention lately. The Packet Pushers just did a show on the OpenClos and there have been a few articles floating around lately as well. If you’re not sure what a Clos Fabric is, the Packet Pushers give a decent overview in show 222.
Big Cloud Fabric 2.5 Overview
The Big Cloud Fabric consists of a physical switching fabric. Bare-metal switches run the Switch Light™ Operating System. These bare-metal switches ship with ONEI to facilitate the install of the Switch Light™ Operating System. Atop the physical switching fabric is the Big Cloud Fabric Controller, or Big Cloud Fabric Controller Cluster, which handles the control plane functions. This controller is implemented as a VM or a physical appliance. Big Cloud Fabric is available in two editions. P-Clos is the Leaf-spine physical Clos fabric controlled via SDN Controller and Unified P+V Clos is Leaf-spine plus virtual switches (vSwitches) controlled by SDN
Controller which according to the data sheet is slated for future release. The architecture is SDN Software meets bare-metal. The data-sheet is going to have all the details you’re looking for.
Highlights Of BCF 2.5
Some of the highlights of Big Cloud Fabric 2.5 is the support for VMware & Dell ON switches, plus Fabric Analytics. BCF 2.5 integrates into vCenter and you can automate network creation on the physical SDN fabric. Fabric Analytics, a new module in BCF 2.5, is the platform that promises to deliver advanced analytics and correlation, fabric wide, and all from a single centralized point of control. From the security perspective this will allow fabric-wide configuration changes to be seen directly on the controller (which it should be anyhow if the controller is the single point of control), which offers the control that 3rd party vendors make dedicated software for.
It’s nice to see Big Switch making progress and delivering solid solutions for the SDN market. Big Switch will be presenting at the upcoming Network Field Day 9 and I’m sure we’ll have an opportunity to discuss BCF 2.5 in greater detail, and perhaps even see it in action! Whatever the case may be, I’m looking forward to seeing Big Switch at NFD9 and will be sure to provide more detailed information as is relevant during and after the event.
- Delegates love to see the product in action rather than marketing documents! ↩