Ethernet equipment

Interop Wrap: Huawei's Enterprising Campaign

NEW YORK -- Interop -- The fall edition of Interop is usually overshadowed by its Las Vegas-based spring sibling, but some big-name companies have a lot going on in the enterprise space currently, so this week's show is going to be punching above its usual weight.

Here are some highlights from the early hours of the show.

Huawei wants the enterprise: Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is announcing its formal entry into the enterprise market. True, Huawei has been in the enterprise market, selling $2 billion of gear in that sector in 2010, according to John Roese, the senior vice president who's leading Huawei's North American R&D and enterprise efforts. But those sales have been primarily in China and Africa, Huawei's easy regions.

"The key to our long-term success is that ultimately, we have to build out our expertise in the U.S. and Europe," says Roese. "Decision making, even for procurement in Asia, is influenced by what the western CIOs do."

What Huawei lacks are channel connections, particularly in North America. So its Interop presence is geared toward attracting distributors and resellers. "It's important for us to be at Interop and to make a lot of noise," Roese says.

Cisco strikes back: ... in WAN optimization, or wide area application services (WAAS), as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) likes to call it. This is an area where analysts have been worried because Cisco has recently lost market share to Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD).

WAN acceleration is a single-digit percentage of Cisco's revenues, but its importance is growing. Enterprises used to apply WAN acceleration in patches; now Cisco sees a reason to make the technology more pervasive.

The reason is the proliferation of user end-devices -- tablets and smartphones in particular -- and the increasing use of video in the enterprise.

Cisco is announcing a new generation of WAAS gear supporting 10Gbit/s ports -- something Cisco had been lacking -- and it's letting multiple services share a WAAS appliance now. The idea was to eliminate bandwidth constraints as a branch-office issue and to open the possibility of additional services in remote offices.

The largest of the new appliances is the WAVE 8541. The smallest, developed for desktop placement, is the WAVE 294.

Juniper minds the little things: Last week, Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) introduced the "Simply Connected" theme for its push into the campus and branch office.

Those networks could use a revamp in response to the variety of mobile devices that workers are using, says Alex Gray, Juniper's senior vice president on the enterprise side. Junos Pulse is already being offered as a security option in these cases, sitting on the user's mobile device and providing some control over the network session. Expect Juniper to talk more about this.

Juniper's announcement last week included the WLC 880 -- its first WiFi controller since its acquisition of Trapeze -- and new EX-family switches, including campus and branch options.

HP keeps flexing: HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) is adding to the FlexNetwork concept it trotted out at Interop in May. (See Interop Watch: Talking OpenFlow & 100G.)

FlexCampus and FlexBranch are all added to the lexicon, showing HP is joining Cisco and Juniper Networks in obsessing about the corners of the enterprise network.

Specific new FlexNetwork products include the new HP 5900 top-of-rack switch, with room for 48 10Gbit/s Ethernet ports and four 40Gbit/s uplinks. Four of the 5900s can be connected to create one virtual server, making it simpler to accommodate the "east-west" links between servers. East-west traffic is expected to become a bigger deal in data centers as virtualization takes hold.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:51:56 PM
re: Interop Wrap: Huawei's Enterprising Campaign

There seems to be a sudden consensus among the equipment providers that the campus and branch-office have been neglected for a long time.

I wonder if IT people dealing with the campus and branch office would actually agree (and if so, how annoyed they've been about it).

Interesting, also, that the mass of smartphones entering the enterprise is creating 'opportunity' on the equipent side.  It's the opposite to the Cius argument I'd made earlier (that there's a place for an IT-controlled user endpoint (which I still believe, but note that I've never said this would be a *popular* option with users, just that there's a good argument for it)).



Silver-Peak 12/5/2012 | 4:51:54 PM
re: Interop Wrap: Huawei's Enterprising Campaign

Good to see Cisco waking up on WAN optimization.  Silver Peak remains the capacity leader in WANop, both on physical appliances with up to 2.5 Gbps WAN capacity on physical appliances, and up to 1 Gbps on virtual appliances, which is 20x more than the nearest competitor. Silver Peak also stands out with unmatched support for 256,000 simultaneous sessions...both TCP and non-TCP. Oh yeah, and if you're adament about keeping your Cisco gear out at the branch, you can run Silver Peak virtual WAN optimization on a Cisco ISR blade. The market for WANop continues to get interesting.

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