Light Reading

Huawei Unfolds SDN Roadmap

Ray Le Maistre
2/15/2013
50%
50%

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. outlined its "SoftCOM" software-defined networking (SDN) strategy to industry analysts and media in London late Thursday, giving some insight into where the Chinese vendor believes it can add value to network operators' next-generation infrastructure strategies.

This wasn't the first outing for SoftCOM: It made an appearance on the Huawei stand at the Broadband World Forum show in Amsterdam last October for anyone peering closely at the small print (like us…). (See SoftCOM: Huawei's Take on SDN.)

While the London presentation didn't deliver anything strange or startling -- Huawei's approach follows the same basic principles as any technology equipment company wanting a piece of the SDN action -- it did provide a broader picture of Huawei's aims and identify particular areas of attention for the vendor's SDN-focused R&D team.

It also introduced some new terminology that, hopefully, won't make it any further than this week's marketing materials -- "cloudlization" (and that is the correct spelling) should be filed under "end of line" as quickly as possible, where it should be joined by its close (but distinct) relative "cloudization."

Away from the nomenclature, here are the highlights of Huawei's approach.

The overall picture is a familiar one: Current communications architectures are "closed, complicated and controlling" and need to be "open, simplified and enabling."

This latter state, in Huawei's view (and in tune with others in the industry), can be achieved through the use of:

  • SDN technologies (separate control and data planes)
  • The virtualization of network elements, such as session border controllers (SBCs)
  • Hosted OSS and BSS functions within a cloud services-enabled telecom data center
  • The mass deployment of cloud services -- Infrastructure–as-a-service, Platform–as-a-service and Software–as-a-service.

The vendor also envisages a network architecture that would distribute cloud/hosting capabilities across the network -- at edge aggregation points and in metro nodes as well as in regional and national data centers. That same vision was also shared by Ericsson AB earlier this week. (See Ericsson Gets Trendy for MWC.)

All of this functionality would, in theory, minimize capex, reduce operational complexity, increase efficiency and flexibility, vastly improve time-to-market for new services/applications and, with additional intelligence and insight from the use of "Big Data" business intelligence techniques, improve customer experience levels.

"It's comprehensive but it's a vision statement -- there's a lot of detail that needs to be filled in," notes Heavy Reading Chief Analyst Graham Finnie, who attended the presentation. "It's pretty much what you'd expect from a large vendor such as Huawei."

What particularly caught Finnie's eye were Huawei's initial areas of R&D focus. It is developing SDN tools that can be deployed in an IP radio access network (IP RAN) architecture. It's also building network functions virtualization (NFV) capabilities for the multiple elements -- home subscriber server (HSS), the serving and packet data network (PDN) gateways and the mobility management entity (MME) -- that comprise the 4G evolved packet core (EPC). Other network elements that will get the NFV treatment in Huawei's R&D labs include the SBC and various IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) functions.

Huawei expects to engage in commercial trials in 2014 and achieve commercial deployment in 2015. By that time, hopefully, "cloudlization" will be just a distant memory.

In the meantime, Huawei will be talking more about SoftCOM during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where SDN, NFV and all manner of Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) developments will be in the spotlight.

In addition, you can get a more in-depth Huawei take on its SoftCOM approach by checking out this video: Huawei SoftCOM: Reshaping the Future of Network Architecture.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The Swedish vendor has undergone a significant transformation during the past few years, adjusting to the demands of next-generation communications companies.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Du Puts Its Faith in Huawei's Routers

4|9|15   |   3:42   |   (0) comments


Adnan Masood, director of Enterprise MS Solutions Marketing at du, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) operator also known as Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, explains why his company chose to use Huawei's multifunctional AR routers as part of its managed enterprise services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Gets Active in the Data Center

4|9|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


With enterprise users looking to maximize the use of their data center assets, Huawei’s Chief Architect & Technical Director of IT Data Center Solutions, Bruce Su, explains how the company's six-layer active-active data center solution is eradicating the need to deploy passive, redundant data center assets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Blue Consult & Huawei for a Better Solution

4|8|15   |   4:01   |   (0) comments


Martin Rott, CEO, and Marc Metzler, head of sales virtualization, from Germany's Blue Consult discuss their collaboration with Huawei and TrendMicro to develop a secure, scalable IT platform that can meet the needs of the most demanding enterprise users.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Beach Petroleum on eLTE & Mining

4|8|15   |   3:09   |   (0) comments


Network systems integrator Jeremy Hamlyn explains how Huawei's secure packet-based trunking communications system, eLTE, can help remote communities and companies in the mining, oil and gas sectors, deploy efficient communications networks that are perfect for video and data as well as voice.
Upcoming Live Events
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network Instruments, a JDSU division, shares results from its 2015 State of the Network, a global survey on security.
Hot Topics
Verizon Scores New OTT Content Deals
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/16/2015
Can WiFi Calling Find Its Voice?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/13/2015
Senator Proposes New 'Title X' for Net Neutrality
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/13/2015
Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent in Merger Talks
Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/14/2015
Nokia & Alcatel-Lucent: What's Going On?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/15/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.