Big Cloud Fabric – next–generation data center switching fabric built with SDN control software and open networking switches – is an ideal solution for variety of IP storage connectivity.  Specifically, Big Cloud Fabric supports both traditional and modern storage options, as shown in the figure below:

  • Traditional IP Storage
  • Hyperconverged Infrastructure
  • Software-defined Storage (SDS)

Software-defined data center (SDDC) operators will need to leverage all storage options for service storage needs to traditional and modern workloads. 

IP Storage Arrays: Disk or flash based IP storage arrays leverage IP protocols such as NFS or iSCSI to packetized storage traffic on Ethernet/IP network.  Big Cloud Fabric seamlessly provides network connectivity to any IP storage array such that applications can rapidly access stored data (see Table below):

Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI): HCI systems provide converged compute and storage environment, leveraging direct-attached storage (DAS) available in servers.  HCI leverage software innovations to aggregate storage capacity across multiple servers and present them as a logical disk to applications.  Servers can be HCI-branded compute + storage nodes, or alternatively standard servers leveraging HCI software.

Big Cloud Fabric supports all HCI environments.  In particular, when running VMware Virtual SAN on Big Cloud Fabric, SDDC operators can get unique automation and visibility for Virtual SAN – thanks to BCF’s integration with VMware vSphere



As seen above, BCF is highly synergistic with Virtual SAN in that it extends the easy-button operational principle of Virtual SAN to networking.  

Additionally, BCF Controller provides built-in visibility and analytics for vSphere environment, including ESXi hosts, vSwitches and VMs.  Now virtualization admins can leverage the familiar vCenter GUI to view – via BCF GUI plug-in – BCF information.  This is often very handy in troubleshooting environment to rapidly identify issues across network and virtualization domains.  The figure below provides examples of (1) connectivity information of a Virtual SAN ESXi host to BCF leaf switch, and (2) test path across the leaf-spine fabric to troubleshoot connectivity issues between two vSphere VMs across different Virtual SAN hosts.

To see this in practice, please view this video demonstration.

Software-defined Storage (SDS):  SDS extends HCI concepts of software innovations to commodity hardware comprised of an array of disks or flash in a server-style enclosure.  With SDS, SDDC operators can now build very large, multi-petabyte storage – which appear as one logical disk – at commodity CapEx price points.  Also, it allows HW/SW separation for storage systems and hence vendor choice, as SDS software can run on multi-vendor HW platform and vice versa.  BCF and SDS share the same architectural principles and end-user benefits, and hence are an easy choice for building modern, high-capacity storage for private and public clouds.

Big Cloud Fabric supports any SDS solution.  We have demonstrated interoperability with Red Hat Ceph storage in OpenStack and non-OpenStack environments.

Ready to accelerate your IP Storage deployments with Big Cloud Fabric?


Prashant Gandhi

VP Products and Strategy