Big Switch targets shadow IT, hybrid cloud growth with fortified software family

Big Switch joins Cisco, VMware, Juniper and others in simplifying data center, hybrid-cloud integration

Big Switch has rolled a variety of new software packages aimed at simplifying customer networks and helping them manage on-premises and hybrid-cloud data-center growth.

The products include a version of its Big Cloud Fabric (BCF) for Amazon Web Services virtual private cloud  (VPC) management, adding support for Global VPCs (G-VPCs), and a cloud-based version of its Multi-Cloud Director (MCD).  VPCs provide the on-demand access to a pool of shared cloud-computing resources.

Big Switch’s flagship BCF software lets customers manage physical switches as a single fabric that includes security, automation, orchestration and analytics. BCF can run on a variety of certified switches from Dell EMC, HPE and others. In addition, BCF Controller natively supports integration with various Cloud Management Platforms such as VMware (vSphere, NSX Manager, vSAN) and OpenStack. BCF also supports container orchestrators such as Kubernetes, all via a single interface. 

“We believe that traditional networking is complicated but that networking in the cloud is easier using technology such as VPCs, and what we are doing is bringing cloud-networking principles to on-prem and the data center,” said Prashant Gandhi, chief product officer for Big Switch.

With BCF for AWS customers can  discover, determine configurations and troubleshoot all VPCs and workloads configured in AWS, Gandhi said.   

“One of the benefits to BCF for AWS is that many customers deploying workloads in clouds don’t know everything that’s being run or shared in the cloud – we can discover those shadow IT networks and help IT get a handle on them,” Gandhi said. “We are not looking to be combative nor eliminate shadow IT systems. Rather we are looking to help customers flag them and ensure governance and policies are being properly deployed.”

In addition, Gandhi said Big Switch expects to support AWS extensions such as its Outposts service announced last November. AWS Outposts ties together AWS and VMware technology to help customers build and support hybrid clouds.

The service lets users choose between on-premises servers and storage, which they can order in quarter, half and full rack units. Outposts can be upgraded with the latest hardware and next-generation instances to run all native AWS and VMware applications, AWS stated.

A second version, VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts, lets customers use the VMware control plane and APIs to run the hybrid environment.

With BCF for AWS, IT would be able to manage Outposts’ VPCs and extend IT governance. BCF for AWS is available on the AWS Marketplace. A free version with basic support is available along with a more advanced paid edition.

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