Big Switch Extends Fabric to Public Cloud


By: Michael Vizard

Big Switch Networks this week extended the reach of its network fabric and monitoring tools into the public cloud.

Big Cloud Fabric Public Cloud (BCF-PC) and Big Monitoring Fabric Public Cloud (BMF-PC) leverage the same core network fabric that Big Switch Networks created for on-premises environments to enable hybrid cloud networking. Scheduled to be available for public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) starting in the third quarter, BCF-PC and BMF-PC are the core elements of a so-called "Cloud-First Networking" (CFN) networking portfolio of offerings from Big Switch Networks that assumes there’s a virtual public cloud (VPC) already in place. Rather than managing individual ports and subnets, BCF-PC leverages the software-defined network (SDNs) that cloud service providers (CSPs) have already put in place to create those VPCs.

“The new atomic unit for networking is the VPC,” says Prashant Gandhi, chief product officer for Big Switch Networks.

Core BCF-PC functions include that ability to discover VPCs already configured within a cloud service, determine the level of connectivity between application instances, access tools for controlling network flow across the network fabric and implement policy controls that can be applied to network traffic.

To manage those hybrid networks based on VPCs, Big Switch Networks today also unveiled Multi-Cloud Director, which is makes it possible to manage any set of Big Switch controllers deployed on-premises or in a public cloud.

It makes no sense to incur the time and costs associated with trying to implement an SDN or network overlay when one already exists on each of the major public clouds, says Gandhi.

The cloud-first approach will eliminate network operations silos across on-premises IT environments and public cloud by driving convergence via a single hybrid cloud networking team that can then deliver consistent governance as well as greater operational efficiency, notes Gandhi. IT organizations will be able to deploy workloads on-premises or in a public cloud using VPC Automation tools developed by Big Switch Networks that serve to make the underlying network all but invisible to application developers, adds Gandhi.

Networking arguably has been one of the single biggest obstacles to hybrid cloud computing. Most organizations today are employ one or more public clouds alongside their existing on-premises IT environments. But each of those environments is managed in isolation from one another. If organizations can unify the management of hybrid networks, it stands to reason the unification of the rest of IT management will soon follow.