Big Switch extends hybrid cloud strategy with multiple announcements

Big Cloud Fabric now manages VPCs in the AWS cloud, while Global VPCs like Google Cloud provides will now be available across the hybrid cloud for both AWS and Azure. Multi-Cloud Director is now also available as a cloud-based service.

Prashant Gandhi, Big Switch’s Chief Product Officer

Today cloud-focused Big Switch Networks is making several announcements with the common thread of driving the company’s hybrid cloud strategy. They are announcing the availability of Big Cloud Fabric [BCF] for AWS VPC management, to better control shadow IT in AWS. They also announced that Global VPCs [G- VPCs] will now be delivered across the hybrid cloud into both AWS and Azure, to extend logical networking across on-prem and public cloud. Third, their Multi-Cloud Director is now available as a cloud-based service, to simplify network operations across hybrid cloud. And finally, Big Switch is announcing that it is now leveraging the open-source cloud automation tool Terraform to automatically deploy VPCs and G-VPCs across the hybrid cloud.

“Big Switch has always focused on making networking go away from an experience perspective,” said Prashant Gandhi, Big Switch’s Vice President and Chief Product Officer. “The cloud guys showed things don’t have to be in your way. That is our innovation as well. We build networking in the cloud for the enterprise, service providers, and increasingly, the midmarket. The midmarket has become more important with the hybrid cloud, because the midmarket uses that a fair bit. We have three markets: the enterprise cloud, the edge cloud, which we are now entering, and then public cloud,  which the midmarket will have an interest in.”

A year ago, Big Switch made a major announcement with the introduction of their Cloud-First Networking [CFN] portfolio, which consisted of new products and features for hybrid IT. They then made several significant extensions of those capabilities during the months following.

“Cloud-First Networking allowed us to bring the enterprise VPC on prem, and allowed us to deliver network-as-a-service,” Gandhi said. “It gives an AWS-like experience on-prem by adding VPC.”

The announcements today continue to extend CFN’s core capabilities.

“Last year, we announced VPCs everywhere,” Gandhi said. “However, customers are still going to cloud, and for compliance reasons, they don’t want shadow IT. They want enterprise IT to be able to manage shadow IT in the AWS cloud. Our new BCF for AWS provides full visibility of AWS VPCs for managing VPCs in AWS. This way, the IT team can control shadow IT.

BCF for AWS is available in the Amazon Marketplace, as both a free and premium version.

“Secondly, to best enable hybrid cloud, we need a hybrid VPC, not two separate cloud and on-prem VPCs,” Gandhi said. “So we are announcing a Global VPC. We will deliver this G-VPC across the hybrid cloud in both AWS and Azure VPCs.”

Gandhi said that the Google Cloud’s global VPC motivated Big Switch to do the same for the other big public clouds.

“That gave us the inspiration and validation to take this concept and make it available as hybrid across all BCF deployments,” he said. “We knew that we were not dreaming something that wasn’t realizable.”

The third innovation being announced is a new cloud-based offering for Big Switch’s Multi-Cloud Director [MCD].

“We have MCD already, but now we are going to make it a cloud-based service for customers, where they can manage multiple BCF controllers and G-VPCs deployed across the hybrid cloud,” Gandhi said. “They will be able to access all their deployments from MCD’s cloud dashboard, anywhere and at any time. We look at this as facilitating the ‘Merakification’ of the data centre. It will be hugely beneficial for edge deployments, and also for midmarket customers.”

Finally, Big Switch said that they will gain the same capabilities as cloud vendors who use the Puppet and Chef automation tools by leveraging Terraform, an open-source cloud automation tool that will automatically deploy VPCs and G-VPCs across the hybrid cloud.

“We already support Ansible for on-prem, but for the hybrid cloud, there is no other option that Terraform that we have seen,” Gandhi said. “We think that there is a growing move towards Terraform.”

Terraform lets hybrid cloud infrastructure be expressed as code blueprint, which can be versioned, shared and/or reused for safe and efficient change management.

Gandhi said that all of this adds up to a very big deal for Big Switch’s channel partners, who are their entire route to market.

“All of our selling motion is through partners,” he said. “Dell and its channel is a big partner for us.”