July 3rd, 2019 marks the culmination of the efforts of some of the most talented people I have ever worked with. We at Big Switch just launched our first ever product on the AWS marketplace called 'Big Cloud Fabric for AWS' (BCF-AWS). I am extremely proud to have been a part of this effort in designing and implementing this solution. 

Why am I proud about this? 

It represents a milestone where we went from developing software for our customers that not only manages their on-prem data center networks, but also manages their public cloud deployments. All of our teams - development, test, sales, marketing, product management and support - live and breathe “cloud-first” principles because of our experience with building, testing, marketing, deploying and supporting cloud-native products. It represents a new platform that will allow Big Switch to build features for our customers who use AWS and also help simplify hybrid cloud networking. We were the first company to bring the VPC construct to our on-prem Big Cloud Fabric product to deliver Network-as-a-Service – kind of like bringing AWS networking on-prem. We believe that VPCs should be everywhere, to extend the cloud networking experience to on-prem data center/private cloud, edge cloud and hybrid cloud.

One of the reasons for going down this path was that even if a specific cloud provider decided to build a similar service, our product would address a use case in multiple cloud environments and thereby create consistent user experiences across both the on-prem world and multiple public clouds. The discussion reminded me of an excerpt from the wikipedia article that describes the ‘Innovators’ Dilemma’ - “Value to innovation is an S-curve: Improving a product takes time and many iterations. The first of these iterations provides minimal value to the customer, but in time the base is created and the value increases exponentially. Once the base is created then each iteration is drastically better than the last." Big Cloud Fabric for AWS is that base in our public cloud journey. The obstacles are commonplace for the community of people who care about modernizing our industry.

What stands out about this new product?

1. We are enabling customers to manage VPC-based networking across multiple AWS accounts and their resources from a single pane of glass by leveraging the AWS SDK. IT teams can manage AWS VPCs, get visibility, do configuration and troubleshooting -- thus have better control of shadow IT

2. We’ve leveraged the Elastic Stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana) to build an analytics and visualization platform that ingests AWS VPC Flow Logs and enriches the logs with a plethora of context to make it more meaningful.

3. Have you had to answer questions such as the ones below? If yes, then try 'Big Cloud Fabric for AWS' to help you answer these questions. 

  • What rules in my security group are causing traffic to be rejected?

  • Is my network access control list properly configured? 

  • What does my route table look like for traffic flowing from instance 1 to instance 2?

  • What does the throughput of my instance's network interface look like? 

4. Enabling hybrid cloud for our customers by integrating with our 'Multi Cloud Director' to provide a single dashboard for managing on-prem and AWS networking.

Why was it exciting to build this product?

This product represented everything about what working at a startup means. I had a front row seat to witness the actions of the management team that had the foresight to venture into this space and to witness the talent of the engineering team that built this product. We asked our customers about what problems they face with their public/hybrid cloud deployments. The brainstorming sessions were followed by the fun part which was about building prototypes, demoing it within the company and to our external design partners. With an absolute focus on usability, cloud-native principles and quality - ‘Big Cloud Fabric for AWS’ was born.

Try BCF for AWS (for free) 
and let us know if you have feedback:  

To learn more about BCF for AWS: 

Onkar Bhat, 
Member of Technical Staff, Big Cloud Fabric team 

To learn more about BCF for AWS, connect with Onkar on LinkedIn