Big Switch’s BSN Labs Now Available For Free, Hands-On Experience with SDN Products

Labs Gives Users Instant Access To Big Cloud Fabric and Big Tap Monitoring Fabric SDN Controllers, Along with Basic OpenStack Networking Training


SANTA CLARA, CA (Feb 19, 2015)- Big Switch Networks, the company bringing hyperscale networking to data centers worldwide, today announced the launch of BSN Labs™, an online portal to test drive its SDN products, including Big Cloud Fabric™ and Big Tap™ Monitoring Fabric. While traditional networking products require access to physical hardware in order to use or test products, BSN Labs enables instant access to its products via an online, hands-on testbed demo environment in the cloud. Anyone interested in BSN Labs can register for a free account at

BSN Labs provides an easy way for network architects and administrators to experience Big Switch’s production-ready SDN products that provide unprecedented operational simplicity, automation, and advanced debugging capabilities. Additionally, BSN Labs enables partners and technical staff to easily conduct deep-dive analysis of next-generation SDN solutions to experience first-hand the technical differentiation, management CLI or the intuitive GUI of Big Switch solutions.

“BSN Labs lets architects have instant access to the most advanced SDN products available today, and the basic training modules take less than an hour to complete,” said Kyle Forster, Founder of Big Switch Networks. “The feedback from beta users has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Labs features simulated Ethernet switch fabric topologies, typically used in production deployments of Big Cloud Fabric or Big Tap Monitoring Fabric. Users are able to provision, manage and troubleshoot the networking connectivity and policy rules from a centralized Controller interface (GUI or CLI). To ensure a seamless experience for users as they migrate from BSN Labs to testing the Big Switch SDN products in their own labs or production deployments, the latest Controller software is available as part of the modules. 

The Labs modules are provisioned on-demand and come with a complete set of instructions for users to try out the key concepts and product features at their own pace. Advanced users are given full access to the SDN offerings to further explore key features of interest.

There are currently three modules available, with a number of add-on modules in development:

Introduction to Big Cloud Fabric

  • Learn the concepts behind Big Cloud Fabric’s architecture and application centric design. Set up a multi-tenant data center network including the connectivity and access policies. Experience both physical fabric management and tenant provisioning via a centralized portal by accessing the Big Cloud Controller. Try the unique troubleshooting and analytics capabilities available as a part of any Big Cloud Fabric deployment.

Introduction to Big Tap Monitoring Fabric

  • Explore the key capabilities of a modern SDN based network visibility fabric. Set up Big Tap to deliver network traffic from a production network to a sample set of network monitoring tools (Wireshark® & Snort®). Learn how you can repurpose your existing network packet broker (NPB) infrastructure as service nodes in the Big Tap fabric. 

OpenStack Integration with Big Cloud Fabric (limited availability):

  • Get hands-on experience with the seamless integration of OpenStack and Big Cloud Fabric using Big Switch’s Neutron plugin. Users provision OpenStack projects and networks using the Horizon GUI and observe the automated provisioning of the networking infrastructure from the BCF Controller GUI dashboard. Additionally, explore the latest Big Switch enhancements to the OpenStack Horizon dashboard.

Big Cloud Fabric recently released version 2.5 is the industry’s only bare metal SDN fabric designed to combat inefficient, legacy box-by-box networking. BCF transforms customer experience with tremendous agility, unprecedented simplicity, and hyperscale economics. It now supports VMware vSphere® server virtualization by delivering the benefits of bare metal SDN to the majority of virtual workloads in the data center.  It also supports Dell Open Network Switches and offers a new Fabric Analytics module - including real-time analytics, data visualization, and correlation.

Big Tap Monitoring Fabric is a modern 1G/10G/40G network visibility fabric that leverages high-performance bare metal Ethernet switches or Dell Open Networking switches to provide pervasive and scalable monitoring of an organization’s network traffic at ultra-low CapEx/OpEx costs. Big Tap enables multiple IT teams (NetOps, DevOps, SecOps) to tap traffic everywhere in the network and deliver it to a set of troubleshooting and/or monitoring/compliance tools.

In addition to BSN Labs, customers can continue exploring their networking and SDN options through the starter kits for Big Cloud Fabric and Big Tap. The starter kits can speed up and simplify adoption by providing the switch hardware and SDN software necessary for projects, ranging from small lab PoCs up to two-rack production deployments ready for IaaS Clouds, Big Data, Server/Network Virtualization, and VDI use cases.

Big Switch has two starter kits available for Big Cloud Fabric, the first starter kit priced at $39,000 (U.S. list price), is intended for lab use and comes with two bare metal/open networking leaf switches, one spine switch and one year software licenses for a pair of Big Cloud Fabric controller virtual appliances. The second starter kit, priced at $99,000 (U.S. list price), is intended for production use and comes with four bare metal/open networking leaf switches, two spine switches, and a pair of Big Cloud Fabric controller physical appliances with three year software licenses. Both starter kits also include Switch Light OS on bare metal/open networking switches, hardware and software support, and detailed deployment guides for projects such as OpenStack clouds. More details on Big Cloud Fabric starter kits are HERE.

Big Switch also has starter kits available for its Big Tap Monitoring Fabric, which include the switching hardware, software and support cables. Deployment guides are available for use that highlight general monitoring fabric best practices. With Big Tap’s scale-out architecture, simplified operations and bare-metal switch economics, it is rapidly becoming an attractive replacement for traditional NPB solutions. Big Switch Networks offers two starter kit options, the Excellent Value starter kit at $29,000. The second kit is the Best Value starter kit at $39,000 (U.S. list price). More details on both Big Tap starter kits can be found HERE.

Supporting Quotes:

"The BSN Labs are a great way to try out Big Switch products, without having to buy gear or do any setup yourself. The lab guide walks you through some common scenarios, but you're free to do whatever you like within a sandboxed environment. Because the environment includes simulated endpoints, you're able to quickly test the effect of configuration changes. Actually configuring a system yourself really brings home the capabilities, and makes you start questioning the traditional methods of configuring networks,” said Lindsay Hill, Network Consultant; writer at

"I've in playing around with BSN Labs for several months now and found it to be a useful and unique SDN training offering,” commented Nick Buraglio, Network and Security Architect; writer at Forwarding Plane.


Click here to register and get started with BSN Labs.

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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 advanced SDN fabric 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, Switch Light vSwitch, and BSN Labs 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.