Big Switch Starter Kits Provide SDN Onramp
Big Switch Networks Inc. now offers "starter kits" for its Big Cloud Fabric, a datacenter networking product built with bare-metal switches and software-defined networking (SDN) software.
Building on top of its existing Big Tap monitoring fabric, Big Cloud Fabric is designed for organizations building out new networking pods in existing datacenters. A networking fabric can be described as the grouping of resources such as controllers or other software, the hardware on which it runs and the complex, any-to-any network connection architecture binding them together.
The hyperscale networking company is providing starter kits for two usage scenarios: lab use and production use. Each contains hardware and software designed to help organizations set up a fully functional leaf/spine network in minutes.
"The starter kits provide the switch hardware and SDN software necessary for projects ranging from small lab [proof of concepts] up to two-rack production deployments ready for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) clouds, Big Data, server/network virtualization, and VDI use cases," the Santa Clara, Calif.-based networking vendor said in a statement.
The lab starter kit includes two bare-metal, non-proprietary leaf switches combined with one spine switch and two one-year licenses for Big Cloud Fabric controller virtual appliances. It costs $40,000.
The production kit, priced at $99,000, bundles four leaf switches, two spine switches and two Big Cloud Fabric controller physical appliances with three-year software licenses. Both starter kits use the company's Switch Light OS on the switches and come with support and guidance for implementing projects such as OpenStack clouds, for example.
"While our thought-leading customers are building larger Big Cloud Fabric pods with up to 16 racks and 16,000 virtual machines (VMs), we are seeing tremendous interest from mainstream datacenter administrators who want to experience operational simplicity but initially on smaller projects," said CEO Douglas Murray. "These starter kits are intended to make mainstream adoption fast and easy."
The Big Cloud Fabric itself consists of: an SDN controller designed for high availability through implementation as a cluster of VMs or hardware appliances; bare-metal leaf and spine switches available from various vendors; and the Switch Light OS. Optional components include the high-performance Switch Light vSwitch, for unified P+V Clos designs and a Neutron OpenStack plug-in or ML2 DriverMechanism for integrating with different OpenStack distributions.
"It's designed for 10G and 40G scale and resiliency, featuring headless mode high availability, zero-touch provisioning, L2/3 forwarding options, application-centric policy and service chaining," Murray said in a blog post when the product was announced in July (it shipped just last month). "Management is available via OpenStack, Cloudstack, REST, CLI or GUI."
David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.