Big Switch Networks has released the latest iterations of Big Cloud Fabric (BCF) and Big Monitoring Fabric (BMF), 3.5 and 5.5 respectively, as well as a “freemium” model giving a broader scope of possible users access to both products.
The community edition — a free version of BCF and BMF — enables users to try the basic services of BCF and BMF, albeit at a limited scale. For example, the community edition BCF is quarantined to one rack. But Big Switch CEO Doug Murray says the community editions of its products are still fully functional and capable of serving smaller companies, and they can act as jumping off points for those who want to experiment with BCF and BMF before making a financial commitment.
Despite its gratis offering, the community edition is not an open source product.
While the new versions of BCF and BMF are aimed at enhancing the capabilities users already have, the community edition is all about broadening the next wave of Big Switch customers, Murray says.
“A year and a half ago, we introduced BSN Labs, and now we are approaching 2,500 users in BSN Labs,” he says. “What we’re seeing is that the conversion rate of BSN Lab users is incredibly high, so we wanted to get in front of even more people.”
The community editions of BCF and BMF are now available and can be downloaded directly from Big Switch’s website.
As for the upgrades to BCF and BMF, both of which started shipping in December: Murray says the service node enhancement for BMF allows users to hone the power of x86, while the Red Hat OpenStack certification and deeper VMware integration (especially the vCenter viewing capability) are the most important advances in BCF.
With last week’s funding announcement, Big Switch is in a position to continue building deeper products, and Murray says that the Big Switch engineering team is working on the roadmap for future releases. BCF 4.0 is already on the whiteboard, but another release might come before its unveiling, he says.