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SDN Journal: Article

Big Switch Networks and Dell to Accelerate Adoption of SDN

Big Switch's Switch Light SDN operating system software powers and strengthens Dell open networking switches

Big Switch Networks and Dell on Thursday announced a strategic agreement that will bring state of the art SDN solutions to an increasingly broad audience. Dell will resell the Big Switch Big Tap application, as well as the Switch Light Operating System, running on Dell's high performance Open Networking switches.

Big Switch strengthens Dell's open networking initiative, offering customers compelling business case for adopting SDN technologies for needed agility to quickly deploy network services and business applications.

"The early adopters of SDN were largely the hyperscale players. But with the advent of initiatives such as Open Networking from Dell, the path for all enterprises to enjoy the benefits of SDN is getting easier," said Douglas Murray, CEO of Big Switch Networks. "The joint solutions coming from the Dell and Big Switch partnership will bring hyperscale data center design and choice to a broader audience."

The partnership comes in response to strong customer demand for a practical migration path to SDN.

"The future is SDN-based with open software and hardware, and we require a practical way to get there," said Jim Bottum, CIO of Clemson University, one of the country's leading public research universities. "Having Big Switch and Dell team up to deliver an integrated solution that helps bridge the transition between legacy and SDN networking in the enterprise. It's a great example of the new Dell investing in research and development to help us move to the future."

Initial Dell hardware products include the Dell Networking S4810 and S6000 high performance data center switches. Initial Big Switch software products include Switch Light OS and the Big Tap Controller.

Big Tap is an advanced network monitoring solution that leverages high performance Dell Ethernet switches to provide a highly scalable, flexible and cost-effective monitoring fabric. Using an SDN-centric architecture, Big Tap enables tapping traffic everywhere in the network and delivers it to any troubleshooting, network monitoring, application performance monitoring or security tools.

"The Dell Open Networking strategy is all about giving the customer choice, and Big Switch's SDN is a perfect example where this is going to have a big impact. Traditional enterprises are making the move to SDN incrementally, and they want the assurance that they are going to be well supported along the entire path. Dell provides this assurance," said Tom Burns, GM of the Dell Networking Business Unit.

Enabling technologies such as Open Network Linux and the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE), both part of the Facebook-started Open Compute Project, are streamlining the user experience for this new generation of ethernet switching hardware platforms capable of running software from multiple software vendors.

About Dell's Open Networking Initiative
Dell is driving a new open ecosystem that stimulates innovation with best of breed, standards-based network equipment, networking operating systems and network applications to serve customers unique business needs. Benefits and value of the open networking model include:

  • Best-of-breed networking for workloads, application and other networking needs including orchestration, automation and monitoring;
  • Consistent view across data center resources with a common deployment and operational model; and,
  • Rapid standards-based innovation and availability of abundant open source data center solutions.

About Big Switch Networks
Big Switch Networks is the Bare Metal SDN company. The company's SDN Fabric solutions embrace industry standards, open APIs, open source and vendor-neutral support for both physical and virtual networking infrastructure. Big Switch Networks SDN Fabric solutions support a broad range of networking applications, including Unified Physical + Virtual (P+V) Cloud Switching and Monitoring. Big Switch Networks is privately held and has raised over $45M from Intel Capital, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Goldman Sachs and others. For additional information, follow us @bigswitch or visit:

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