Physical Networking for VMware vSphere, NSX and vSAN

Next-Generation Data Center Networking for VMware at the Speed of Virtualization

Big Cloud Fabric accelerates VMware software-defined data center (SDDC) deployments, delivering physical networking that supports unprecedented automation and visibility for vSphere®, NSX® and vSAN™ use cases.

With Big Cloud Fabric networking, VMware users can achieve:

  • 8x faster initial network setup
  • 12x faster configuration, app deployment, and troubleshooting
  • 30x faster upgrading*

Support for VMware vSphere, NSX, vSAN, vSphere Web Client and vRealize Log Insight

Big Cloud Fabric is a next-generation switching fabric that provides agility, operational simplicity, and open networking (white-box/brite-box) switch economics. With built-in integration for VMware, Big Cloud Fabric is an ideal physical network for virtual environments, network virtualization, and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI).

Big Cloud Fabric’s integration with VMware SDDC is extremely flexible, allowing users to adopt physical network innovations aligned with their organizational structure. Networking and cloud teams are able to take advantage of rich automation and visibility options incrementally, or all at once.

Big Cloud Fabric integration with VMware vCenter

  • vSphere:® The Big Cloud Fabric controller directly integrates into VMware vCenter™ to simplify and automate application deployments on its physical SDN fabric — across both virtual and physical networks. The following aspects of the network are automated, requiring zero intervention from VM or network admin:
    • ESXi host connectivity automation with fabric using LAG/MLAG
    • Layer 2 network automated configuration
    • VM/VMkernel endpoint provisioning on the fabric with additional information such as VM name and vSphere services enabled on the VMkernel
    • Automated network policy migration for vMotion
  • BCF’s graphical user interface (GUI) and Fabric Analytics provide deep visibility of VMware ESXi hosts, virtual networking with vSwitch/virtual distributed switch (vDS) and virtual machines (VMs) for network administrators. Visibility includes VM health, VM mobility events, and ESXi host connectivity to the Big Cloud Fabric leaf switches. Virtualization errors that may impact connectivity, such as disconnected virtual network adaptors, incorrect virtual switch teaming settings, or disconnected uplinks, are presented to network administrators via a single pane of glass interface. BCF Test Path can be used to troubleshoot VM-VM or VMkernel - VMkernel connectivity.
  • BCF’s plugin for vSphere Web Client extends physical network visibility to VM admins in their operational console, including VM network state, ESXi node fabric connectivity, and fabric configurations mapped to virtual networking. The same troubleshooting tools familiar to BCF administrators, such as Test Path for traffic tracing on the fabric, are extended to VM administrators through the plugin. Strong access control is built in, allowing network administrators to control fabric access through the plugin.

BCF gives VM administrators and network administrators consistent views of each other’s environments.

This integrated VMware visibility provided by Big Cloud Fabric enables network and virtualization administrators to rapidly resolve cross-domain issues.

Big Cloud Fabric support for NSX-v

  • NSX®: Big Cloud Fabric seamlessly interoperates with the VMware NSX-v, providing automatic transport-network provisioning and enhanced overlay visibility to network administrators. Its powerful “one big switch” architecture with integrated Layer 2/Layer 3 equal cost multipathing (ECMP) and distributed logical routing dramatically simplifies NSX deployments as compared to legacy box-by-box networking. Additionally, Fabric Analytics provides NSX-v overlay visibility to the network admin operating the BCF underlay, such as NSX-v logical switch, and VXLAN virtual network identifier (VNI). With BCF eliminating the overlay-underlay visibility gap, NSX-v can be adopted in an accelerated manner by mainstream IT organizations.


  • vSAN™: Big Cloud Fabric’s “one big switch” architecture is similar to vSAN’s concept of one logical datastore, and shares vSAN’s operational simplicity. BCF enables rapid vSAN deployments with automatic configuration of cluster networking and 1-click multicast deployment. BCF’s vSAN-aware deployment tools simplify rollout and management, while a dedicated vSAN dashboard in Fabric Analytics provides real time & historical views of cluster events for rapid troubleshooting.
  • BCF Virtual Pods (vPods) with VMware: BCF enables support for overlapping IP addresses and VLANs across vCenters. When cloud service offerings are built with VMware vSphere, multiple vCenters are deployed for the multiple tenants leveraging the cloud service. BCF can integrate with multiple vCenter instances to support multiple tenants. Each vCenter configuration is only synchronized with its respective tenant. This allows the administrator to achieve secure segmentation for physical networks with logical tenants mapping to distinctly separate administrative domains for each vCenter.

    Running multiple vCenter instances on a unified SDN fabric enables seamless provisioning and management of the physical network as well as VM-level visibility and analytics that significantly enhance end-to-end troubleshooting. The benefits of multi-vCenter integration leveraged by a managed cloud service provider, U2 Cloud, are detailed here. The multi-vCenter solution is also beneficial for independent software vendors’ (ISVs’) quality assurance (QA) teams, as they can share a common physical network across multiple test teams.

BCF Virtual Pods (vPods) with VMware

Big Cloud Fabric delivers physical networking that is simple to deploy and operate; enables faster rollout, scale out, and troubleshooting; and eliminates hardware vendor lock in. Experience next-generation data center networking by leveraging Big Cloud Fabric for VMware SDDC.

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