Big Switch Networks Releases Big Tap Monitoring Fabric 4.5

Big Switch Networks, a provider of hyperscale networking to data centers worldwide, has announced the availability of Big Tap Monitoring Fabric 4.5, a next-generation Network Packet Broker (NPB). Big Tap is a modern 1G/10G/40G network visibility fabric that leverages software defined networking (SDN) principles and high-performance ODM or Dell Open Networking switches to provide scalable data center wide monitoring “at ultra-low cost.”

Big Tap 4.5 would close the feature gap with traditional NPBs by providing pervasive security monitoring and visibility features, including inline/out-of-band deployment, flow-level granularity, and advanced analytics.

Big Tap 4.5 includes the following features:

  • In-line deployment mode, in addition to out-of-band (enablement of DMZ deployment)
  • Service chaining with in-line mode (allows multiple security tools to be processed in a chain, as specified by user-defined policy)
  • sFlow generation (centrally configured flow generation on monitoring fabric)
  • Enhanced visibility for security (DNS tracking, DHCP tracking)
  • Header stripping for MPLS (support service provider WAN monitoring)
  • Configurable hash setting for granular load balancing of tools (allows tool elasticity)

sdn-switch“With the release of Big Tap 4.5, we add the ability to interoperate with more partner products, giving the end user comprehensive monitoring and security capabilities they desire, all while providing huge CapEx and OpEx reductions,” said Prashant Gandhi, Vice President of Product Management and Strategy at Big Switch. “With Big Tap’s high-value SDN software powering open, high-performance Ethernet switches, customers can now combat cyber threats in a pervasive manner while future-proofing their monitoring infrastructure for scale and programmability.” 

Big Tap 4.5 provides interoperability with several of Big Switch Networks’ partner products to offer joint solutions:

  • A10 Networks – Big Tap 4.5 would enable admins to easily deploy and manage A10 security tools for DDoS protection and SSL Insight in in-line mode at the DMZ network.
  • Blue Coat – The joint solution would provide complete visibility into SSL encrypted in-line traffic, while also enabling analysis of the traffic offline for detecting malware.
  • Cyphort – Big Tap’s deep, enterprise-wide monitoring capabilities with Cyphort’s distributed software approach delivers pervasive threat detection.
  • ExtraHop – Big Tap interoperates with ExtraHop’s products to achieve granular and scalable application monitoring and deeper data analytics.
  • InMon – The joint solution with InMon enables real-time and pervasive flow-level visibility into the production network.

Dell Open Networking switches 

Big Switch Networks’ 4.5 release also supports Dell Open Networking switches, now including the S4048-ON, a Broadcom Trident-II based switch with 48x10G and 6x40G interfaces and the Dell S6000 – a Trident-II based 32x40G switch that was already supported in the earlier release, including support for break-out cables. Customers can now build dense 1G/10G/40G monitoring fabrics with britebox switches from Dell (S4048 and S6000) or with ODM whitebox switches from Accton. 

“The availability of relatively mature network monitoring features implemented via an SDN deployment using open networking switches indeed represents a new approach in the Network Packet Broker category,” said Rohit Mehra, VP Network Infrastructure, IDC. “This latest release of Big Tap Monitoring Fabric represents a key step forward for Big Switch, as the solution delivers additional capabilities to an innovative next-generation packet broker solution.”