Huawei Adds to Its SDN Arsenal
AMSTERDAM -- Broadband World Forum 2013 -- Huawei further set out its SDN stall here today by unveiling a management system for software-defined networking (SDN) to accompany its previously announced OpenFlow-friendly SDN controller.
Briefing analysts and journalists here in the Dutch capital on the latest developments of its SoftCOM strategy, Jeffery Gao, chief marketing officer for Western Europe at Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., presented Netmatrix, a software system designed for the "orchestration" (surely the term of the year) of multiple wide area network layers that enables "traffic-aware-based resource on demand" capabilities. (See Huawei Unfolds SDN Roadmap.)
The same system also enables, according to Huawei, "IT-style service innovation" and has APIs northbound to third-party applications and southbound to the vendor's Smart Network Controller, which supports multiple SDN-friendly protocols, namely OpenFlow, PCE (path computation element), NetConf (network configuration protocol), and BGP (border gateway protocol).
But that's pretty much as far as it goes. Neither Netmatrix nor the Smart Network Controller are available products -- they are ready for proof-of-concept tests by network operators, said Gao, though interoperability tests with other vendors that have SDN controllers have taken place.
It may be a first step, but Huawei has certainly tapped into the most contentious area of SDN -- how to manage a wide area network that comprises physical and virtual network elements. The debate about next-generation OSS and management tools for an SDN world was the dominant topic of conversation at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress in Germany last week and at the Ethernet & SDN Expo in New York earlier this month, and is the biggest challenge facing those developing workable virtualized and programmable networking technologies for next-generation networks. (See NFV Group Finds Its Feet, Deutsche Telekom: A Software-Defined Operator, and ESDN: OSS Implosion.)
In addition to its Netmatrix, Huawei also has a long-term vision for a new OSS and BSS system it is calling the Business Enabling Suite (BES). But that's a way down the line and, it seems, even Huawei isn't quite clear which standards or specifications might underpin that development.
Indeed, in its roll call of SoftCOM industry organization partners, multiple bodies such as the Open Networking Foundation , Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) , OpenDaylight , and even the International Telecommunication Union, Standardization Sector (ITU-T) got a mention, but there was no reference to the TM Forum , the major industry body for OSS developments.
— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading