Big Cloud Fabric

The Big Cloud Fabric, with its leaf-spine 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 and OpenStack integration, REST APIs for optional NetOps/DevOps automation
  • Visibility and Troubleshooting: Built-in analytics with historical replay, leaf–spine–leaf fabric tracing for rapid troubleshooting, end-point visibility at VM-level
  • Economics: Dramatic reduction in OpEx and CapEx
  • Hardware 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 rapid consumption of new features


Product Description

Big Cloud Fabric™ is the industry’s first data center fabric built using SDN controller software and open networking (white-box or brite-box) hardware switches. Embracing hyper-scale data center design principles, the Big Cloud Fabric solution delivers:
a. intelligence by simplifying network operations and providing fabric-wide telemetry,
b. agility by enabling network automation to rapidly deploy application and services, and
c. deployment flexibility powered by a scale-out architecture and open network hardware

Big Cloud Fabric Overview



SDN Fabric Architecture

The Big Cloud Fabric architecture can be viewed as software-driven/software-defined disaggregation of the traditional chassis:

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

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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.

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The Big Cloud Fabric consists of the following components:

  • SDN-enabled Big Cloud Fabric Controllers
  • SDN-enabled Switch Light OS
  • Open Networking (white-box or brite-box) Ethernet Switches
  • For OpenStack and container deployments, Big Cloud Fabric additionally supports Switch Light VX virtual
  • switch for KVM hypervisor. Solution details may be found here.

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

Big Cloud Fabric Use Cases

The leaf-spine fabric supports a wide variety of data center use cases, including:

  • VMware SDDC workloads (vSphere, NSX, Virtual SAN)
  • OpenStack including NFV
  • Containerized workloads
  • Private clouds
  • VDI workloads
  • Big Data
  • Software Defined Storage (SDS).