While attending Networking Field Day 11 we stopped in to see the folks from Big Switch Networks. Big Switch has applied their SDN fabric solution to provide a very cost effective means of providing a virtual network tap within the Data Center. We heard from Kyle Forester, Big Switch Founder, and Rob Sherwood, CTO, among others.
I walked away with the following quote, I apologize that I didn’t write down exactly who said it. We’re “getting away from being the dumb plumber”. Big Switch is using their fabric to make multiple copies of traffic and pass those copies to a services node which can provide de-duplication, packet slicing or regex pattern matching.
You’ll find all the videos and presentations for Tech Field Day 11 on the website;
Big Switch has a virtual lab which you can work with to try out their solutions and management tools, labs.bigswitch.com. I believe it’s built more around their Big Cloud Fabric. Scratch that they have their Big Monitoring Fabric in there.
In the real world working at a large e-commerce retailer I have the need to provide multiple copies of all Internet traffic for security, IDS/IPS, for customer service, IBM Tealeaf and for general network troubleshooting and performance. If your network is small enough you can usually accomplish this for a few SPAN or mirror ports but if you have a larger network you’ll need something like a Gigamon appliance and potentially inline taps which can be rather expensive. Big Switch has a solution that is very cost competitive compared and worth the look if you are in the market.