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Big Switch Networks boosts security, VMware integration

Big Switch Networks boosts monitoring applications within Big Tap 4.5, and adds support for VMware environments within Big Cloud Fabric 2.6.

Big Switch Networks has updated its SDN-based cloud fabric and network packet broker technologies, adding enhanced security features and support for VMware environments.

The upgrades to Big Cloud and Big Tap Monitoring are designed to shed additional light onto the physical and virtual boxes constituting an SDN fabric, providing IT teams with a centralized view of their software-defined infrastructure. Big Switch positions Big Cloud and Big Tap Monitoring as ways enterprises can employ an out-of-the-box approach to SDN using open Ethernet switches pre-equipped with features without having to configure their own bare-metal components.

With the new release, Big Switch added integration with VMware, providing interoperability with vCenter, Fabric Analytics for vSphere and support for NSX-v. That means enterprises can use Big Cloud Fabric 2.6 as an SDN underlay -- or physical connection -- to an NSX-v SDN overlay, permitting companies to use products from both Big Switch and VMware. "For enterprises leaning toward [VMware] for virtualization, Big Switch wants to provide them with the underlying infrastructure," IDC analyst Rohit Mehra said.

Equally important to system administrators, Big Cloud Fabric provides virtual machine-level visibility and troubleshooting as well as insight into physical connectivity. Virtualization and network administrators will have the same view of the network, said Gregg Holzrichter, chief marketing officer of Big Switch.

"Both administrators will have a very consistent way to troubleshoot across two different environments," Holzrichter said.

Big Tap Monitoring supports OEM and Dell switches

Big Tap Monitoring fabric is a network packet broker technology. The software offers network visibility across 1G/10G/40G OEM or Dell Open Networking switches used within an enterprise or service provider data center.

The upgrade's security features permit service chaining with in-line mode, a function that lets multiple security tools be processed in a chain. Enterprises can now also deploy Big Tap Monitoring alongside other security appliances within their networks' demilitarized zones between private networks and public networks.

Big Tap Monitoring 4.5 works with a variety of third-party security tools to boost protection against DDoS attacks, enhance application monitoring and detect malware. Partners include A10, Blue Coat and ExtraHop. 

"It's often cumbersome to manage these [security] devices, so we are simplifying that process," Holzrichter said.

Finally, Big Switch retooled Big Tap Monitoring to support sFlow generation, giving customers increased visibility over traffic flows. This will permit enterprises to broaden their monitoring across new classes of workloads, including the cloud.

Big Cloud Fabric 2.6 is licensed on a per-switch subscription basis, and pricing for Big Tap 4.5 was not disclosed. Both apps are available now. 

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Gina Narcisi, senior news writer and follow @GeeNarcisi on Twitter.

Next Steps

Big Switch SDN now on Dell switches

Big Switch offers network virtualization and SDN

Big Switch CEO Q&A on bare-metal switches

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