Big Switch Networks has reached a key milestone in its rebooted life, announcing today that it’s shipping Big Cloud Fabric.
Big Switch’s new pitch is to bring enterprises the bare-metal methods of hyperscale data centers, and Big Cloud Fabric, announced in July, is the flagship product behind that push. It operates a set of leaf and spine bare-metal switches (a.k.a. white box switches) as if they were one logical switch.
Big Cloud Fabric amassed more than $1 million in orders before starting to ship, the company claims. That $1 million won’t exactly shake up the Cisco or VMware worlds, but it’s a noteworthy mark for a former software-defined networking (SDN) star that fell in danger of being reduced to a curio. Business doubled in the second quarter, compared with the first quarter, and was set to double again in the third quarter — signs of progress for the reboot that saw Doug Murray (pictured above) take over as CEO last November.
I chatted with Murray and co-founder Kyle Forster at VMworld late in August, where they said Big Switch is in growth mode, trying to expand international sales and secure relationships with resellers, they told me.
In the latter case, the partnership with Dell gives Big Switch an “in” with some large resellers. But the company has also gotten some attention from boutique channel partners, the smaller outfits that tend to work with early adopters. “We’ve seen, with a few thought-leading channel partners, this great dynamic where they go into their customer base and say, ‘We can put you on this cost trajectory and design trajectory with bare-metal switching,'” Forster said.
Big Switch had already been fostering channel partnerships in Japan with the likes of CTC, NetOne, and Uniadex. Those relationships are now the purview of Ucheol Ryu, who was announced today as the new director of sales for Japan. Rajeev Gupta, formerly of Juniper, remains in charge of the overall channel effort.
Big Switch was at VMworld to show off its ability to manage virtual workloads, and Murray and Forster noted how the “P+V” strategy — managing the physical and virtual networks as one — has meant aligning with hypervisor vendors. “I would argue that SDN 1.0, a few years ago, was Nicira and Big Switch and so on. Now we’re doing stuff with Citrix, KVM, and VMware,” Murray said. (Big Cloud Fabric also supports Hyper-V, in addition to those three hypervisors.)