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Big Switch CMO Holzrichter On New Big Cloud Fabric Solution; Dell EMC, VMware, HPE Partnerships; And Doing Battle With Cisco ACI In The Hyper-Converged Market

Big Switch's Gregg Holzrichter speaks with CRN about the company's Cloud Fabric software-defined networking switching fabric updates and how partners can benefit from increased flexibility.

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Fabric Of Our Lives

Big Switch Networks has fired a shot across Cisco Systems' bow by bringing support for VMware vSAN, Dell EMC ScaleIO and Nutanix hyper-convergence solutions to its Big Cloud Fabric software-defined networking switching fabric.

The move brings simplicity and visibility to the networking portion of hyper-convergence that Cisco's ACI platform can't match, according to Big Switch CMO Gregg Holzrichter. The strategy also leverages Big Switch's close relationship with Dell EMC, which resells Big Switch and VMware, whose vSAN hyper-convergence platform is one of the building blocks of the hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) market.

Big Cloud Fabric can be deployed on Dell EMC switching hardware, as well as Edgecore white-box switches and HPE's Altoline family of switches.

Holzrichter said that until now, networking has been an afterthought in HCI. But as HCI deployments get bigger, traditional networking, and even Cisco ACI, have stumbled, he said. Big Cloud Fabric gives admins a clear view into the network while allowing for rapid deployment, simple upgrades and constant visibility, according to Holzrichter. On top of that, he said, Big Cloud Fabric will lower capital expenses for customers.

The Big Cloud Fabric offering puts more ammunition in partners' bags, too, Holzrichter said. "If a channel partner has a relationship, or wants to give their customers choice, they can offer our solution based on HPE, based on Dell EMC, or on white-box switches. That's a nice flexibility story," he said.

What follows is an edited excerpt of Holzrichter's conversation with CRN.

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