SDN pioneer Big Switch Networks this week is expected to unveil "starter kits" designed for its Big Cloud Fabric product that began shipping in September amidst a stream of positive product reviews.

The starter kits provide the hardware and software necessary for a simple lab proof of concept up to a full two-rack production network fabric ready for Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds, big data and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) projects.

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"While our largest customers are building pods for 16K [virtual machines], we realize that the majority of enterprise architects want to experiment with hyperscale networking on a small project first," said CEO Doug Murray. "These starter kits are intended to make that fast and easy."

Big Cloud Fabric offers an application-centric approach to configuration, a single point of management, modern features for troubleshooting and security workflows. By leveraging Trident2-based bare metal switch hardware used by hyperscale data center operators, Big Cloud Fabric reduces vendor lock-in risk and hits price points that are dramatically below competitive data center switching fabrics.

The first starter kit, listed at $40,000, is intended for lab use and comes with two bare metal leaf switches, one spine switch and one year software licenses for a pair of Big Cloud Fabric controller virtual appliances. The second starter kit, listed at $99K, is intended for production use and comes with four bare metal leaf switches, two spine switches, and a pair of Big Cloud Fabric controller physical appliances with three year software licenses. Both starter kits include detailed deployment guides for projects such as OpenStack clouds.