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Into the IoT era with Agile networking

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Kathy Gibson reports from Huawei Network Congress in Beijing – Huawei today launched its Agile Network 3.0, which it believes will help to enable the Internet of Things (IoT).
Liu Shaowei, president of the switch and enterprise communications product line at Huawei, points out that the end user devices have changed dramatically over the last few years, but the network infrastructure is still largely based on older switching technology.

The new move to software defined networking allows for centralised management and control, virtualisation and openness.

With the launch of Agile Network 3.0, Huawei specifically targets the IoT market.

IoT will be a key driver for growth and social development, says Shaowei. It will bring about massive connections which will raise the value of the network.

Huawei and IDC have done IoT research and found that 40% of IoT data will be processed at the network edge, while 79% of the IoT devices will be accessed via gateways.

In future, IoT traffic will take up 50% of total network bandwidth, thus driving network growth with 50-billion new connections from IoT.

The first layer of IoT is the sensor and actuator layer, with the network and convergence layer on top of that, handling connection management, edge computing and translation.

The third layer is management and control, comprising network, computing, app and data management.

The final layer is industry applications where the convergence of business and industry takes place.

Huawei’s Agile IoT will include the Agile IoT Gateway and the Agile Controller, both working with the software-defined network.

At the device or sensor level here is no standardisation in the industry, Shaowei says. “We need standardisation to drive growth, which is why we are launching LiteOS,” he adds.

In addition, the network needs to use less power and respond quickly, which is also addressed by LiteOS.

As an open source system LiteOS can be used by partners and developers, and Huawei.

The Agile IoT Gateway will be used across various industries so it is rugged and adaptable. It is able to interface with multiple systems and includes a variety of protocols while offering local intelligence at the edge.

The gateway AR500 product line-up includes an industrial switch, an industrial router and an ICT-converged gateway.

The Agile Controller opens up the Agile Gateway potential, offering open, elastic and convergent features, allowing people to people, people to machine and machine to machine communications.

The reality of IoT is that it will increase network security threats. With 70% of IoT terminals having an average of 25 vulnerabilities each, the danger is very real.

This means the IoT could become the target of advanced persistent threats (APT) and botnet attacks.

Companies consider APTs as the biggest threats in the future, with an average loss of $7,6-million from each attack. This is because APTs are generally unknown threats and could go for years without being detected.

Huawei offers its big data anti-APT solution which is a three-dimensional defence architecture that compares normal behaviour to identify anomalies.

The system combines software-defined security with sandboxing and a cyber-security intelligence system.

Huawei’s solution is enabled by the FireHunter Sandbox, its Cyber Security Intelligence System (CIS) and the USG6000V Virtual Firewall.

Botnets, or DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks, are also a danger to IoT, with devices and data centres both under threat as the cloud becomes more prevalent.

To address the problem, Huawei has proposed a Cloud Clean Alliance Solution which aims to gather all resources on one cloud platform to eliminate botnets. This will allow attacks to be quickly identified and neutralised at source.

These centres would span four continents, offering global coverage and near-source scrubbing. As an open system, learning could be shared while it would be compatible with various other systems.

To underpin the Cloud Clean Alliance, Huawei has launched its AntiDDoS product that would be installed at the client’s site.