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Stronger Connectivity for Greater Digital Productivity

A head shot of Leon Wang, President of Huawei's Data Center Network Domain

Leon Wang

2022-09-29 81
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Metcalfe's law states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users. In layman's terms, the more users use a network, the greater its value.

In today's world where everything is getting connected, networks are becoming more important than ever. Nowadays, we no longer need to wear employee badges when going to the office. Instead, we can pass through access control using target recognition. This also means that fewer security guards are needed.

More importantly, the office building has full Wi-Fi coverage. This allows us to work or hold a video conference anywhere, anytime. When we arrive at the office, the lights turn on automatically and the air conditioners adjust to the most comfortable temperature. If we go into a conference room, a conference call on our smartphones will automatically switch to the big screen in the conference room.

What allows all this to happen? The answer is networks. Lights, air conditioners, and access control systems are all connected through networks to create higher value.

When thinking about networks, however, most people's first thought is complexity. And it is true that networks connect large numbers of terminals, with network nodes deployed across the core, aggregation, and access layers in a structure similar to a spider web. Facing this, how can we fully interconnect the headquarters and branches? And how can we efficiently manage the wireless network that we can neither see nor touch? These pain points have long plagued the industry.

Huawei has always been committed to taking complexity and creating simplicity. To this end, Huawei recently unveiled its CloudCampus 3.0 + Simplified solution. Simplified refers to simplified access, simplified architecture, simplified branch, and simplified Operations and Maintenance (O&M). As its name suggests, this solution helps enterprises greatly simplify their networks.


Huawei CloudCampus 3.0 + Simplified

Simplified Access

Nowadays, more and more wireless terminals are used in enterprises, making Wi-Fi the preferred access mode for enterprises.

Internet Company B is a typical example. The company's live streaming and short-form video services grow rapidly. As a result, its workforce has doubled within just one year. Specifically, the number of employees per 100 square meters has increased from 20 to 40, and the number of their terminals has grown from 40 to 80, with each terminal requiring at least 4 Mbps.

To cope with such rapid growth, Internet Company B decided to build a new wireless network. After testing Wi-Fi solutions from multiple vendors, none met their expectations. Internet Company B then turned to Huawei. The two parties carried out joint innovation, making technical breakthroughs in coverage, concurrency, capacity, and Intent-driven network construction. All of this hard work culminated in the "200 Mbps @ Anywhere" solution, which fully met Internet Company B's network requirements.

Building on this, Huawei also developed the industry's first construction standard for replacing wired networks with wireless. Beyond this, Huawei pioneered the "500 Mbps @ Anywhere" solution based on Wi-Fi 7, better supporting future bandwidth-hungry and low-latency services such as Extended Reality (XR).

Simplified Architecture

As wireless becomes an increasingly popular access mode and bandwidth demands surge, the wired network becomes more complex than ever. In response, Huawei proposed a unique simplified architecture to help future-proof networks.

Hunan University, a renowned university in China, was under pressure to upgrade its networks to keep up with the explosion of new teaching applications such as online classroom and remote education.

However, some buildings in the university were protected due to their historic value, and so Extra-Low Voltage (ELV) reconstruction was not allowed. To solve this pain point, the university selected Huawei's CloudCampus 3.0 Solution for its simplified architecture. This solution uses the central switch, CloudEngine S8700, and Remote Units (RUs) to simplify the network architecture. Functioning as the extended ports of the central switch, RUs require no configuration or management and receive power supply from the central switch through hybrid cables. This means that one CloudEngine S8700 serves as one logical network, requiring no ELV reconstruction and protecting the historic buildings. According to estimations, the simplified architecture reduces the number of managed nodes by 80%, cuts cabling by 77%, and lowers power consumption by 30%.

Simplified Branch

As enterprises grow, they often need to build new branches around the world. Connecting these branches, however, can be a headache. Until now, professional IT engineers had to deploy networks on-site, resulting in high labor and travel costs and taking a long time. In most cases, network provisioning for a single store took three days.

That all changed with Huawei's Simplified Branch Solution. This powerful solution uses SD-WAN for intent-driven deployment. Simply put, all users need to do is select the recommended intelligent policies. Then, LANs and WANs can be remotely and centrally deployed. All you need is 3 minutes to complete equipment configuration and half a day to finish installation and onboarding. Just like that, you can provision the network for a store in less than a day.

Another difficulty stores face is that their networks usually have firewalls, switches, routers, and other devices, making the network relatively complex and difficult to maintain. Huawei AR6710 hyper-converged gateway provides an effective solution by integrating routing, security, and switching. In this way, a single device can serve one store network. As a result, the number of network elements drops by 60%, greatly simplifying O&M.

Simplified O&M

We cannot see wireless signals. That's why it has always been especially difficult for engineers to locate wireless network faults.

A postal company, for example, had a warehouse packed with all kinds of wireless terminals, such as barcode scanners and Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs), resulting in severe wireless interference.

In the past, employees frequently complained of a poor Wi-Fi connection, sometimes with no network connection at all. After receiving these complaints, HQ had to send experts on long journeys to fix the problem onsite. Unfortunately, they couldn't find the interference source, leaving the problem unsolved for more than 1 year. This seriously impacted productivity and employee morale.

Later, the postal company tried Huawei's CloudCampus Solution. An integral part of this solution is Huawei's iMaster NCE-CampusInsight, which helped directly and quickly locate the interference source. Then all that was needed was to remove the interference source, and the Wi-Fi problem was fixed. This was enough to convince the postal company that Huawei was the right supplier.

Einstein once said, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler".

The simpler things are, the more difficult they are to control. The only way to achieve true simplicity is through complexity.

In this spirit, Huawei has always been taking complexity itself and creating simplicity for customers. Huawei's CloudCampus 3.0 + Simplified solution is a prime example for this, given that this solution is a result of complex practices with over 100,000 customers.


Leon Wang, President of Campus Network Domain, Huawei's Data Communication Product Line

Looking ahead, Huawei will continue to work with more customers in every industry to unleash greater digital productivity through stronger connectivity with the CloudCampus 3.0 + Simplified Solution.

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