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Big Switch Adds Use Cases to SDN Fabric

Big Switch Networks Inc. updated its software-defined networking (SDN) solutions with new use cases and support for more open networking switches, along with other enhancements to help enterprises transform their networks with next-generation technology.

One of those next-gen techs is SDN's cousin, network functions virtualization (NFV), which happens to be one of the new use cases supported by the company's SDN-based Big Cloud Fabric platform, which was updated along with its Big Monitoring Fabric.

Big Monitoring Fabric is a network packet broker (NPB) that uses SDN principles, Open Networking switches and an x86-based DPDK service node for its datacenter monitoring functionality. Big Cloud Fabric provides a leaf/spine SDN fabric supporting open networking switches in OpenStack cloud implementations or VMware virtualization environments. That makes it a good fit for NFV, which is defined by Wikipedia as "a network architecture concept that uses the technologies of IT virtualization to virtualize entire classes of network node functions into building blocks that may connect, or chain together, to create communication services."

Updates to Big Cloud Fabric, the company said, include support for NFV use cases, or "NFV everywhere." Big Switch said the updated functionality allows organizations "to expand NFV deployments beyond the datacenter to central offices, smaller POPs and remote locations via NEBS support, a new VM controller option and stretched-fabric deployments."

Big Cloud Fabric
[Click on image for larger view.] Big Cloud Fabric (source: Big Switch Networks).

"OpenStack is gaining tremendous momentum for building clouds due to agility, flexibility and operational efficiency benefits," the company quoted Red Hat exec Radhesh Balakrishnan as saying. "Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Ceph Storage with Big Switch's SDN-powered Big Cloud Fabric provides a highly scalable, operationally simple, and production-ready solution for deploying NFV OpenStack clouds, as exhibited in the recent deployment at Verizon."

The other new use cases include security monitoring and IP storage. Big Switch also said its updated fabrics provide better network visibility, troubleshooting and automated network operations.

"New capabilities in Big Monitoring Fabric include advanced feature additions to the Big Switch DPDK service node and enhanced network services for out-of-band network monitoring to achieve pervasive network visibility and security," Big Switch said in a statement last week. "Big Cloud Fabric updates include deeper integration with VMware vSphere, and support for Red Hat OpenStack Platform 8, with a recently completed 300 node scale benchmark validation test with Dell and Red Hat. Big Switch is also announcing support for the latest open networking switches based on Broadcom Trident-II+ and Tomahawk ASICs, including copper 10G (10GbT) and higher-density 64x40G to double the scale of both SDN fabric solutions. With these new capabilities, Big Switch delivers next-generation network visibility and automation to any company, any workload, at any scale."

Big Switch said the updated platforms will be available for beta trials in the third quarter of this year.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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