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The Future of Enterprise Networks

On Huawei's One Net Enterprise Network Solution

By Ma Da, Head of Router & Switch Marketing Execution Dept. at Huawei EBG

As Enterprises adopt cloud computing and continue to tax their networks with increasingly diverse workloads and devices, they need to achieve a balance between cost control, operational efficiency, and overall user experience.

One World, One Dream!

The slogan of the 2008 Beijing Olympics is still fresh in our minds, as is the vision of "building a harmonious global village together" that it symbolized. In this global village of the future, a communications network covering the earth will allow anyone to get access to any information anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

Today, we are closer than ever to realizing this vision.

The Enterprise Network of the Future

Cloud computing has led to a large-scale integration of information resources across the globe. We are living in a world where everything — from smartphones and tablets to buildings, cars and appliances — is connected to the Internet. Enterprise networks in this new Information and Communications Technology (ICT) era will become more powerful and also more complex.

1. Entities connected to the network are more diverse: The network has been expanded from PC-to-PC connections to people-to-people connections, people-to-machine connections, and machine-to-machine connections. As a result, the number of network elements (NEs) and the size of the network are growing exponentially.

2. Network traffic is more diverse: The network has evolved from carrying simple data packets to carrying multimedia content and supporting high-performance computing, highly reliable data storage, and high-precision, real-time industrial control signals. The performance requirements of the network have shifted along with this change in traffic.

3. The network is smarter: The network has evolved from a dumb pipe for simple data

exchange to being capable of doing intelligent interactions with applications, users, and terminals. The precision control of business security, user authentication, and terminal power management all require deep network involvement.

On November 10, 2010, Gartner Group released the research report The Enterprise Network of the Future Will Be Hyperconverged, which provided an in-depth analysis of the evolution of enterprise networks. Gartner found that application traffic has become more unpredictable and its traffic model more difficult to define. The report concluded that collaboration must be considered in the architecture design, and that a traditional hierarchical network design inhibits good performance. To cope with these challenges and better carry enterprise IT applications, Gartner believed that future enterprise networks would become extensively converged into a single network platform. This convergence needs to include a wide range of resources, from data center networks, servers, and storage to local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs) and beyond that to wireless networks.

One Net Helps Enterprises Meet the New Demands for ICT Efficiency, Cost Reduction, and User Experience

The enterprise shift to cloud computing and a single network platform will shift the demands placed on vendors. A new breed of network equipment vendors will emerge to meet these new challenges and provide leadership in this new ICT environment.

With this fundamental shift in mind, Huawei has developed One Net, an enterprise network solution that provides customers with a cost-effective, highly efficient network that delivers a seamlessly unified user experience.

Evaluating the quality of a network solution will no longer be based on a simple price/performance ratio. Increasingly enterprises are not satisfied with network solutions that merely meet their basic requirements for features such as higher bandwidth, higher stability, and higher reliability. Instead, enterprises are searching for new networking technologies that can help improve their businesses by allowing them to quickly and efficiently respond to changes in demand. They are also looking for network solutions that can shield end users and network managers from the complexity of the underlying technologies. Lastly, enterprises want their IT applications to run seamlessly across the enterprise.

Working with enterprise customers, Huawei has developed One Net to help meet these requirements.

Standards, Collaboration, and Solutions Are Key Elements of One Net

The One Net solution is not just about a single product or technology. Instead, it provides a solution that can form the base of any enterprise ICT initiative.

One Net was designed with three key elements in mind: Support for standards, collaboration and convergence, and a complete range of products, services and solutions.

  • About Industry Standards
  • It is well known that support for standards is an effective means of balancing efficiency and cost, allowing enterprises to get the most out of their existing equipment investments while avoiding vendor lockin. However, choosing the right standards to support is not always as simple as it might seem. In enterprise networking there are often conflicting standards or standards that are not uniformly supported. Enterprises need to be wary when choosing standards that are not broadly supported in the industry.

    As the use of cloud computing continues to expand and ever greater numbers of devices become networked, standards will become increasingly important. Huawei has been actively involved in a large number of international standards bodies and is committed to supporting standards in all of our products and solutions. Huawei is one of the leading vendors involved in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF, the leading Internet standards body). Table 1 demonstrates Huawei's investment in the creation of IETF standards in comparison with other vendors.

    Huawei's One Net solution builds on our work with international standards bodies such as the IETF, IEEE and others to provide enterprises with an assurance that their investments will be protected in the future.

  • Collaboration and Convergence
  • In the context of enterprise networking, "collaboration" and "convergence" have similar meanings, and both are related to building a single enterprise network platform. However, there are fundamental differences. In convergence, one side effectively takes control over the other. In collaboration, the two sides work hand in hand toward a common outcome while appearing to be one entity from the outside. In the construction of an enterprise network, there are many cases where it would be desirable to have one kind of network equipment completely converged with another. However, it is seldom the case that the equipment is completely converged. In most cases, convergence is simply the integration of network nodes. The operating systems are still separate, and from a network management perspective, the equipment is still separate.

    There are also cases where enterprises want to build distinct, separate networks for security reasons or because they need them to perform dedicated functions. In these situations, the goal is to have the networks collaborate across boundaries and appear to end users as a single network without true convergence.

    Ultimately enterprises will need different types of collaboration to accomplish their business goals. Huawei's One Net solution enables both vertical and horizontal collaboration.

    Vertical collaboration refers to interaction between network components. Eliminating the boundaries between the network, devices and the cloud allows these components to seamlessly and intelligently work together. Vertical collaboration allows for improved quality of service across the network and improves network efficiency.

    Horizontal collaboration refers to the interaction between networks. Allowing networks to collaborate enables precision control of information flows between networks while maintaining network boundaries.

    The high-level collaboration between a network and its terminals, between a network and its NEs, between networks, and between a network and the traffic carried by the network forms a virtual, integrated network structure oriented around user experiences. All information and services — including voice, video, data, wired, wireless, storage, and computing services — are carried within a converged network structure. Users are sheltered from the heterogeneity of the networks, for a seamless unified experience.

  • Products, Services and Solutions
  • Huawei offers a broad range of products and solutions spanning networking, cloud computing and devices. Huawei also provides expert services to assist in the design, development and deployment of solutions to ensure that long-term success of its customers.

    With offices in over 140 countries, Huawei offers service, support and training around the globe and has deep expertise in global networking planning and service provisioning. Huawei has extensive experience operating in emerging markets across Asia, Africa, Central America and the Middle East. We can help global companies looking to expand in these regions by drawing on our experience in delivery, services and customization for those markets.

    Huawei works with a large number of partners that can provide fulfillment, support and customization for particular regions or vertical industries. Huawei is committed to engaging in technology and solution partnerships to deliver value to our customers, and we are active partners with many leading technology companies such as Microsoft and IBM.

    Connect Everyone. Connect as One. One Net

    Huawei's One Net solution for enterprise networks is designed to meet not only the current network needs of enterprises, but also their needs in the future. One Net delivers unique value to enterprise customers through a commitment to standards, support for network convergence and collaboration, and Huawei's ability to deliver a broad range of solutions globally..