Next-Gen Data Center Switching Fabric


BSN Labs

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Big Cloud Fabric™  is the industry’s first data center fabric built using open networking (white-box or brite-box) switches and SDN controller technology.  Embracing hyperscale data center design principles, the Big Cloud Fabric solution enables rapid innovation, ease of provisioning and management, while reducing overall costs, making it ideal for current and next generation data centers.

Big Cloud Fabric is designed from the ground up to satisfy the requirements of physical, virtual, cloud and/or containerized workloads. Some of the typical OpenStack or VMware data center workloads include NFV, VDI, High Performance Computing (HPC), Big Data and Software Defined Storage (SDS). Big Cloud Fabric can be easily deployed in existing (brownfield) data centers, as a pod fabric, and supports full communication between modern Big Cloud Fabric pod and legacy network via core router.

Available In Two Editions

  • Physical Fabric Edition: a leaf and spine physical Clos fabric controlled by the Big Cloud Fabric SDN controller
  • Physical + Virtual Fabric Edition: a leaf, spine and virtual switch fabric controlled by the Big Cloud Fabric SDN controller

With Big Cloud Fabric, data center infrastructure teams can automate their VMware or OpenStack networks with 16x faster configuration and upgrades, 4x faster application deployment and issue resolution and troubleshooting. The ACG Research report provides a detailed analysis: The Economic Value of Open SDN Fabrics 

Physical Fabric Architecture

The Big Cloud Fabric architecture maps readily to a traditional redundant chassis switch architecture:

  • Supervisor Card(s) --> Controller Cluster
  • Chassis Backplane --> Spine Switches
  • Line Card(s) --> Leaf Switches

Big Cloud Fabric's logical chassis architecture -- or a one logical pod switch -- enables data center users to construct high-performance, resilient and scale-out (pay-as-you-scale) pod fabrics.  SDN controller (aka chassis supervisor) is a critical and necessary component without which chassis disaggregation is not possible.  It enables zero-touch fabric operation, single-point of fabric management and centralized fabric analytics -- thus significantly speeding up application deployment and reducing operational cost.  Moreover, with HW/SW disaggregation, Big Cloud Fabric supports a variety of high-performance (10G/40G), high-density switch hardware enabling full vendor choice and tremendous capex cost optimization.

The Big Cloud Fabric Physical Edition consists of the following components:

  1. SDN-enabled Big Cloud Fabric Controllers (HA Pair)
  2. Big Switch’s SDN-enabled Switch Light OS
  3. Open Networking (white-box or brite-box) Ethernet Switches

Big Cloud Fabric Physical Fabric Use Cases

The Physical Edition (leaf-spine physical fabric) supports a wide variety of data center use cases, including:

  • VMware vSphere based server virtualization and Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) environments, including traditional vSphere, NSX-v network virtualization, VSAN and VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) workloads
  • Private Cloud and Managed Private Cloud
  • Desktop Virtualization and Desktop as a Service
  • Storage Networking (traditional IP Storage, Hyperconverged Infrastructure, Software-defined Storage)
  • Virtual Pod  (vPod) to create isolated P/P+V “logical pod” fabrics, each with different orchestration (such as VIO, Mirantis OpenStack, RedHat OpenStack) on a shared BCF physical pod
  • Big Data Hadoop and High Performance Computing (HPC)
  • Microsoft Hyper-v and XenServer workloads
  • Containerized workloads including Docker, Kubernetes and Mesophere DCOS

Physical Fabric Benefits

The Big Cloud Fabric Physical Edition (leaf-spine physical fabric) brings modern hyperscale-style benefits to enterprise and service provider data centers.  

  • Simplicity: zero-touch fabric and single-point of management
  • Agility: network automation with vSphere integration, REST APIs for optional NetOps/DevOps automation
  • Visibility and Troubleshooting: Built-in analytics with historical replay, leaf--spine--leaf fabric tracing for rapid trouble-shooting, end-point visibility at VM-level
  • Economics: Dramatic reduction in OpEx and CapEx
  • Vendor choice: choice of open networking (white-box and brite-box) switches based on state-of-the-art Broadcom Trident-II, Trident-II+ and Tomahawk networking ASICs.
  • Innovation Velocity: Faster time to service enablement as well as rapid (hitless) software upgrade enables consumption of new features