Big Switch – Cloud Fabric integration with OpenStack

I will review the Big Switch, Big Cloud Fabric Integration Options with OpenStack, in this post. Hopefully, it will be of use to some of the readers.

Big Cloud Fabric’s OpenStack Integration options:

  • Full Neutron using Switch Light VX (P+V Edition)
  • Nova Networks (legacy support)

Preferred OpenStack Integration option :

  • Neutron, due to improved Flexibility, Scalability, Tenant isolation, Network services, and Integration.
  • It is also the basis for further development in the OpenStack roadmap.

Without integration, we can have a P-Only Fabric where Open Stack Projects/Networks are manually provisioned.

  • With Neutron, BCF provides two integration options:
    1. BCF (P-only) Modular Layer 2 (ML2) Plugin:

      • Uses the Big Switch ML2 driver
      • Enables dynamic provisioning of the BCF physical fabric
      • for Layer 2 networking.
    2. BCF (P+V) BSN Neutron L3 Plugin:

      • Uses both the Big Switch L3-Plugin and the Big Switch ML2 driver.
      • Enables dynamic provisioning of BCF for both Layer 2 and Layer 3 networking.
      • BCF provides virtual switches (Switch Light Virtual/VX) and the BCF controller manages and configures both the physical and virtual switches.

In comparing ML2 vs. L3/vSwitch integration, the following will be useful to remember

  1. P-Only ML2 integration:

    • BCF behaves as an L2 underlay.
    • It manages fabric switches, Leaf & Spine. However, the vSwitches and Network services are managed by Openstack.
    • Automation around detecting nodes, configuring uplinks, VLANs/Segments/Networks and VRFs/Tenants/Projects etc.
  2. P+V L3 Plugin/vSwitch integration

    • BCF provides all Network Services to Openstack Projects.
    • It manages not just the fabric HW switches (Leaf & Spine), but also the vSwitches. The Openstack OVS switches in this case are upgraded & replaced by BSN Switchlight VX switches.
    • All Network Services can be configured from  Horizon or Neutorn CLI.

BCF for OpenStack -

Thus, the integration types with OpenStack are:

  • P-Only :
    • No integration. Manual Provision
    • ML2 (L2 Plug-in)
  • P+V :
    • L3/vSwitch

Big Switch recommends the BCF P+V solution, which integrates with both Neutron ML2 and L3 plugin. This supports distributed routing, Neutron scaling and visibility, compared to the BCF P-only solution, which integrates only with Neutron ML2.

BCF P+V fabric will offer single Pane of Glass for P+V networks, deep visibility (VM to VM) as well as Horizon Extensions such as Heat templates. The following is a comparison list of components BCF solution replaces in the Neutron stack.

BCF components for Openstack

Choice of OpenStack Distribution/Installer : BCF can be integrated with the OpenStack cloud using the RHEL OpenStack Platform (RHOSP), Mirantis OpenStack, Canonical etc.

Having configured a test topology within the Horizon dashboard, the following is the BCF controller view of the respective subnets/segments, as well as the endpoints.





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