HyperScale Data Centers Featured Article

What is Big Cloud Fabric?

October 30, 2014

The most fundamental principle of any IT product is scalability. Whether it is an application or a networking product, it should be designed in such a way that is it easy for the company to scale it up or down. The latest in this series of products is hyperscale networking that allows a company's network to increase its bandwidth and usage when needed.

Many companies are looking to build such hyperscale networking products, and one such company is Big Switch Networks. Its flagship product is Big Cloud Fabric (BCF), the world's first data center networking fabric that is built using minimal metal switches and SDN software. Launched in July of this year, BCF was designed specifically for new pods that will come up in existing data centers either as a part of private cloud or VDI. BCF allows its clients to build racks for the new prods that can range from two to 16, depending on the needs of the client.

The biggest advantage of BCF is its design, which consists of leaf and spine switches. Leaf switches are the logical line cards while spine switches act as a redundant controller. Such a design gives a greater degree of reliability and resilience to BCF. It also comes with other features such as high levels of availability, no-touch operations and easy service chaining. The fact that it is available via OpenStack, CLI or GUI is an added bonus.

Since it was introduced, clients have been using BCF a little cautiously because it is a new product. To give greater options for users, Big Switch Networks is offering starter kits for BCF as it gives its clients an opportunity to try it out in smaller projects. Priced at $40 and $99, these starter kits are in some ways a miniature version of BCF.

The success of these starter kits as well as BCF will be known in the upcoming months. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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