Big Switch and Dell Announce First SDN/Open Networking Fabric Solution Now Shipping

Resell Program Enables Dell to Bring Hyperscale Networking Technologies to Data Centers Worldwide

SANTA CLARA, CA--(Nov 5, 2014) - Big Switch Networks and Dell are now shipping hardware, software, and services that enable Dell to bring key hyperscale networking technologies -- SDN software and open networking hardware that enable advanced data center designs -- to a broader audience. The two companies are shipping the Dell Networking S4810-ON switch and will start shipping the Dell Networking S6000-ON switch in November, along with Big Switch's Big Tap SDN Controller software and Switch Light OS. To learn more about the partnership please join Prashant Gandhi, VP of Product Management & Strategy at Big Switch and Charles Conte, Director of open networking Strategy for North America at Dell, for the webinar "Dell and Big Switch - Next-Gen Visibility Fabrics with Open Networking Switches" Friday November 7th at 10am PT/1pm ET.

This hardware/software stack enables advanced monitoring designs inspired by hyperscale data center operators, the first in a series of SDN/open networking Fabric solutions. With over 1100 Dell field representatives now trained in the Big Tap/open networking design, both companies are making a significant investment in this area. Dell, as a trusted name in data center compute, storage, and networking, and Big Switch Networks are in a unique position to satisfy demand together from a broad audience of data center operators looking to adopt hyperscale data center network designs.

"Dell's open networking strategy is reshaping the networking industry landscape, and we're excited to be working closely with them," said Doug Murray, CEO of Big Switch Networks. "Data center operators using Dell open networking switch hardware can now deploy an integrated Dell/Big Switch solution as part of their migration strategy to SDN."

As announced in April, Big Switch's Switch Light Operating System now runs on Dell's high performance open networking switches, connecting to the Big Tap Controller to build advanced monitoring fabrics. The reseller agreement addresses enterprises, telecom service providers, and Web 2.0 data center operators who need agile and scalable tool farms for network monitoring, troubleshooting, and security. Integrating Big Switch's SDN software into Dell's open networking initiative helps data center operators quickly deploy an integrated SDN technology stack for the monitoring fabrics that connects these tool farms to passive optical taps and span ports in the production network. The resulting design is a centralized tool farm architecture inspired by hyperscale data center operators that brings operational simplicity and dramatic reductions in total cost of ownership relative to traditional network packet brokers.

"Moving from legacy networking to a more advanced open, SDN-based infrastructure is a big leap for many folks, and integrations like this one help enterprises bridge to the future in phases," said Jim Bottum, CIO of Clemson University, one of the country's leading public research universities. "Dell's commitment to research and development has been instrumental in our ability to look ahead to the future of networking, and its integration with Big Switch is further proof of this commitment."

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

As announced in April, Dell and Big Switch have entered in a multi-step product integration and go-to-market relationship. As a first step, the two companies have integrated Big Switch's Big Tap Controller and Switch Light OS with Dell's S4810-ON and S6000-ON high performance data center switches. For building a large scale multi-thousand 10G/40G port monitoring fabric, the S4810-ON provides 48 10G ports and 4 40G ports, while S6000-ON provides dense 32 ports of 40G. Big Tap designs allow the S4810-ON and S6000-ON to be put together in a rich set of physical fabric designs yet managed from a single pane of glass via the Big Tap Controller and operated as a unified fabric as opposed to traditional box-by-box management approaches. Using this 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 tool.

"As enterprises continue to migrate from legacy systems to more advanced hyperscale networking solutions, the Dell open networking Strategy is in place to help provide customer choice -- Big Switch's SDN is a key component of this offering," said Adnan Bhutta, Director Global Strategy, Dell Networking. "This migration to an SDN-based environment is a big step for enterprises, and our combined offering helps reassure these folks that they'll be well supported into the future."

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.

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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
  • Rapid standards-based innovation and availability of abundant open source data center solutions

About Big Switch Networks
Big Switch Networks is the market leader in bringing hyperscale data center networking technologies to a broader audience. The company is taking three key hyperscale technologies -- open Ethernet switch hardware, sophisticated SDN control software, and core-and-pod data center designs -- and leveraging them in fit-for-purpose products designed for use in enterprises, cloud providers, and service providers. The company's Big Tap Monitoring Fabric is an entry level solution to monitor existing networks, and the flagship Big Cloud Fabric is the industry's most advanced bare metal switching fabric intended for new data center pods such as private cloud, big data, and VDI. For additional information, email, follow @bigswitch, or visit

Big Switch Networks, Big Cloud Fabric, Big Tap, Switch Light OS, and Switch Light vSwitch are trademarks or registered trademarks of Big Switch Networks, Inc. All other trademarks, service marks, registered marks, or registered service marks are the property of their respective owners.