Kathy Gibson reports from Huawei Connect in Shanghai – The new intelligence revolution will herald massive changes that haven’t been envisaged yet.
Ken Hu, chairman and rotating CEO of Huawei, believes the revolution will be enabled by devices, connections and the cloud, where intelligence will reside
All people and things will have the ability to sense their environments, with entry points everywhere, Hu says. This is epitomised by the explosion of wearables and the possibility of more human-machine integration in future.
Meanwhile, ubiquitous, high bandwidth and low-latency connections will become available through the introduction of ultra-broadband, he adds
“In an intelligent world, globally distributed and connected computers will offer cloud-based intelligence,” Hu says. “This digital brain will learn as it goes along and it will never forget or grow old.”
High bandwidth and ubiquitous devices will increase the intelligence in this so-called brain.
Hu believes that cloud has extended far beyond the confines of the technology itself. “It is responsible for a non-stop series of commercial transformations,” he says.
The new-age digital companies all use cloud computing to enable a breakthrough into traditional enterprise and disrupt their business models.
“These disrupters have awakened all traditional industries, which are now moving to explore how to use cloud technology and gain the mindset to expand their business operations,” Hu says.
“In Cloud 2.0, a series of new industry clouds will emerge. By 2025 all industries will be using cloud, and 85% of all workloads will be deployed on the cloud.”
Cloudification is a huge step for companies, Hu adds. It involves massive transformation, and companies have to extract practical value.
“At Huawei we believe the process of cloudification is not just about what technology a company chooses, but what they do.”
The first step is to change mindsets, he says. Companies need to be bold enough to use technology to drive innovation – changing processes to meet changing business needs.
The second step is to attract and retain top talent. “The ability to embrace cloud and be able to adopt new technology is critically important, especially for top management.
“Top talent in this area is extremely scarce,” Hu says. “So companies need to plan ahead to start recruiting top talent now.”
The influence of the CIO is going to change in the Cloud 2.0 environment, he adds. “We predict that CIOs have huge potential in years to come – those with the ability to promote this potential will be worth their weight in gold.”
Huawei has adopted a cloud-first strategy, with the vision of becoming an enabler and driver of the intelligent world, and aims to achieve this as preferred supplier of cloud technology.
“Huawei aims to position itself as a provider of innovative cloud technology,” Hu says. “It will do this by being customer-centric meeting customer needs and providing industry insight.”
Zheng Yelai, president of Huawei IT product line, says the company has committed to developing hardware and networks, while leaving applications and data to its partners and customers.
The company is making progress in its chosen areas of hardware development, It has been recognised by Gartner and Forrester for its server, storage and networking products, and has been named as a preferred partners in a number of industry verticals.
Huawei has engineered its business and products around cloud computing, and is rolling out this strategy across the world.
“We are dedicated to building an open cloud ecosystem.” Yelai says. “We being with the end in mind, to provide a full-stack solution that is adapted for the enterprise.”
Partnering with locally-based telecommunications companies let Huawei remain true to its strategy of being the hardware and networking supplier of choice.
The company today launched 31 new services on its FusionCloud offering in categories that include: compute, network, database, management and deployment, enterprise applications, data analysis and DevCloud.
FusionCloud has been adapted for enterprise use, offering zero loss for legacy critical services; one-stop development and testing; and up to 1-million containers to support innovation from customers.
For development, Huawei has adopted an open architecture, so FusionStage 2.0 is an agile, one-stop environment.
Huawei has traditionally offered three distributed storage products: distributed block storage with 450 000 virtual machines; distributed file storage with 130-million mobile users; and distributed object storage with 150-million sensors.
“We think it might be more efficient to have one platform for the three different storage services,” Yelai says. “Today we have launched a converged storage product, FusionStorage 6.0.”
The new product will support block, file and object storage at the same time. It is elastic, and open.
“We hope this will be able to take down the silos in data storage,” Yelai says.
In the digital age, the network has a central role to play, says Swift Liu, president of Huawei Network product line.
“What should the network look like in the digital era?” he asks. Throughput and network architecture have seen dramatic changes over the last few years, culminated in virtualisation.
“We are asking is it possible to use software-defined networking to reduce operating costs.”
Cloud has had huge effects on the network, and it’s important to develop a network for the cloud.
Huawei has launched its network cloudification strategy with Agile Network 2016.
One of the biggest challenge in campus networking is the operating costs, which accounts for more than 70% of the total cost of ownership.
To reduce this, Huawei’s Cloud Campus is a cloud management platform. The new product allows for service rollout in minutes, an 83% reduction in operations and maintenance labour, precise decision-making, and openness to promote the development of new services.
The Cloud Campus product can cover all scenarios, Liu adds, from SMB to branch and campus. It is dual-mode, being cloud-managed or traditional
There are now 106 models, including AP, AC, switches, firewalls and ARs.
Cloud Campus can provide full lifecycle management, from 4D network planning to deployment. Acceptance is app-based, while operations and maintenance as well as inspections are online and realtime.
Huawei is offering Cloud Campus as either an enterprise product or a managed service. It will also be available in the cloud.
The company has also launched its Cloud VPN so network administrators can optimise services.
Reducing the time required for enterprise provisioning, and extending services as required.
Key to CloudVPN is the Agile Controller 3.0, a scalable and open product that addresses a variety of scenarios including DCN, campus, WAN, transmission and IoT.
“It is flexible because you can turn services on and off depending on what is needed.”
The controller can be federated with up to 128 units, managing up to 256 000 virtual switches.
The AC 3.0 supports unified control and flexible deployment in multiple business scenarios and meets the requirements of various service deployments as well as operations and management, and the requirements of industry-leading data centres and commercial deployment of super-large networks.
Based on the open ONOS platform, the AC 3.0 uses the app which has the loosely coupled architecture and can be integrated with the ODL and has abundant northbound API capabilities.
As cloud services become more widely used, global data centre traffic has seen explosive growth. It is estimated that data centre traffic will reach 10,4 Zettabytes by 2019, and Ovum RHK has indicated that 83% of worldwide network traffic will be through data centres.
The deployment of WANs focused on cloud services also creates new challenges: low latency is at the core of a good cloud service experience; low network utilisation results in excessive ICT construction costs and must therefore be avoided; and resources must be schedulable so that they can respond immediately to cloud services; this puts increased requirements on traffic bursts.
To help meet these challenges, Huawei has launched its Agile WAN Solution for enterprise customers.
Using cloud architecture to restructure WANs, the Agile WAN 2016 offers a series of solutions for Data Center Interconnections (DCI), integrated transport, IP hard pipes, and the all-optical campus. These solutions meet the new challenges of the cloud architecture in terms of bandwidth, latency, and efficiency for cloud connectivity, industrial-grade cloud pipes and cloud access networks.
The Huawei Agile WAN 2016 uses the cloud architecture to restructure WANs, creating agile WANs that are simple and secure and ensure low latency.