Many of this blogs readers are likely already familiar with Big Switch Networks. Big Switch delivers Big Switch Fabric unified physical and virtual SDN capabilities. I’ll let you read the details at http://www.bigswitch.com/. Big Switch was kind enough to brief me on the latest offering of Big Cloud Fabric 3.0 and their Hyper scale design. We also discussed their partnership with Dell and how that has opened the way for enterprise adoption of their next generation SDN solution on Dell open networking switches. All of that is very interesting, but was not the most interesting of their current announcements. What really got me thinking was Elastic SDN Pricing.
What Is Elastic SDN Pricing?
Elastic SDN Pricing as they put it, is a hyperscale-inspired pricing model that resembles something like we’ve seen in the virtualization world, only with physical switches, software, and support. Say what? Here’s how it works.
- Customer purchases a 4 rack configuration and the 4 rack configuration price. This makes sense because this is what you need right now anyhow.
- Big Switch sends you 8 racks of SDN fabric at no additional charge.
- Now here’s the kicker…. you only use 4 racks unless you end up needing more capacity, in which you pay $599.00 per switch, per month, while you need it.
There are certainly some thing to consider here, like the rack space needed to support a “pre-install” of unused hardware. I didn’t ask, but could the scale up and scale down be automated with the addition of servers and such? Likely so, which would mean that the unused devices would have a power requirement, unless power up and down is automated as well, which is easy to do these days.
Over all I’m interested to see where this pricing model takes them. I think this could be a direction that others take if it proves to be successful for Big Switch. Going through the briefing I think I had the most questions around this concept of elastic pricing, while there were several other items of interest. Big Switch has been expanding significantly in what they offer with what appears to be some clear direction. Partnership with Dell should open a few doors and with the elastic pricing model being the first that I know of, they may be onto something that could spurn some short term growth while others find a way to match the offering in some way.