Big Switch Networks extended its workload monitoring product to the public cloud with Big Monitoring Fabric (Big Mon) for AWS. It enables centralized packet and flow-based monitoring of all specified virtual private clouds (VPCs) of a user account in Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The company has a similar product for Microsoft Azure in tech preview, and it is slated to enter beta next year. Google Cloud is on the roadmap for future support.
Big Mon for AWS has three components. First, a cloud-based controller enables AWS workload discovery, automatic monitoring of customer-selected workloads, and centralized policy configuration.
It also uses a lightweight software agent that installs automatically on AWS instances selected for monitoring. It mirrors the traffic from the workloads to send it to CloudLight VX for further processing.
And the third piece — CloudLight VX — is virtual switch software managed by a cloud-based controller. It filters traffic received from one or more of the software agents, optionally applies packet-modification functions, and delivers the resulting traffic to the cloud-based centralized tool farm.
Big Mon already provides these monitoring capabilities for on-premises workloads. Extending it to AWS gives customers “complete visibility and consistency with the on-premises environment and has two really interesting things,” said Prashant Gandhi, chief product officer at Big Switch.
One is multi-VPC support. “We will monitor multiple VPCs through a single Big Mon Fabric in AWS,” he explained. This means customers don’t need monitoring tools and security tools in every VPC, which means more instances to manage from an operational perspective. “Instead of dozens of tools and dozens of visibility fabrics to provide monitoring, ours is a more centralized approach,” Gandhi said. “This reduces monitoring costs.”
The second interesting thing about the new product is its elastic scale-out capability based on traffic volumes, Gandhi said. “As demand increases, AWS will auto-scale to handle that burst in demand — but what happens to monitoring? Big Mon has built-in elastic scaling,” he explained. So as AWS instances grow, the monitoring fabric grows with the workloads.
The new product also integrates with Big Switch’s Multi-Cloud Director for centralized hybrid cloud management. This management tool is currently in beta. When it becomes generally available early next year it will support both on-premises and AWS environments.
Today’s announcement is part of what Big Switch calls its “cloud-first approach” to networking. This aims to support customers’ hybrid cloud environments by bringing the best of public cloud (elasticity, speed, and cost savings) to customers’ data centers, and then also extending the same networking and monitoring tools across these hybrid environments.
In July, Big Switch launched its first such product to enable hybrid cloud called Enterprise VPC. It’s based on SDN, and it’s an on-premises version of the key features of public cloud networks implemented by Amazon (VPCs), Azure (vNets) and Google (VPCs). Big Switch says it eliminates the networking inconsistencies between on-premises and cloud that make it difficult to adopt hybrid cloud environments.
“And as we have brought these capabilities on-prem, customers would also like to take advantage of public clouds, but they need consistency and policy controls for IT teams to provide those services to a variety of workloads,” Gandhi said. “So we are bringing these products to public cloud.”