Huawei Launches the Industry's First L3.5 Autonomous Driving Network Solution for DCs


[Shenzhen, China, September 27, 2021] At HUAWEI CONNECT 2021, Huawei launched a novel L3.5 autonomous driving network (ADN) solution for data centers (DCs) and introduced its architecture, major features, key technologies, and use cases.

As digitalization gains momentum, new applications are proliferating, and network devices are growing in quantity and category. This exponential growth puts a huge strain on DCNs, leading to more frequent network changes. One knock-on effect has been increasingly complicated network operations and maintenance (O&M). To keep up, more and more network engineers are needed. However, merely increasing manpower is neither sustainable nor practical. To address this, Huawei has consistently explored new ways to cope with the ever-increasing network complexity through technological innovations, finally proposing a vision for ADN — enabling networks to be highly autonomous, just like autonomous vehicles.

Huawei Rotating Chairman Eric Xu introducing Huawei's vision for ADNs in the Diving into Digital keynote at HC 2021

Eric Xu, Huawei's Rotating Chairman, introducing Huawei's vision for ADN
in the 'Diving into Digital' keynote at HUAWEI CONNECT 2021

Huawei defined six levels (L0–L5) of automation and intelligence for the ADN solution for DCs, as well as key capabilities and features at each level. The six levels span the entire network lifecycle from network planning, construction, O&M, all the way to optimization, paving the way toward self-fulfilling, self-healing, self-optimizing, and autonomous DCNs. ADN is currently going through a long-term evolution from L0 to L5. As well as researching ADN standards and technologies, Huawei is committed to joining forces with industry partners to build an ADN evaluation system as a standard reference to drive networks toward a higher plane of automation and intelligence.

In September 2020, Huawei launched the L3 ADN solution for DCs, which implemented high-level automation on a single network. Post-launch, the industry environment has changed drastically in merely a year; the digital economy developed in full swing and became the key driving force of the global economy. To keep our ADN solution up to date with industry trends, Huawei joined hands with representative enterprises in multiple sectors to expand ADN exploration and practices. Since banding together, they have found that multi-cloud, multi-vendor heterogeneous DCNs already became the new norm, leading to siloed network management and diverse levels of network automation. To handle this, they reached a consensus that automating complex, heterogeneous networks in an end-to-end (E2E) manner should be a top priority to eliminate manual breakpoints throughout the lifecycle of DCNs.

In response, Huawei released the L3.5 ADN solution for DCs in September 2021. The solution draws on a lineup of cutting-edge technologies, such as the industry's unique service designers, an open and programmable framework, and a unified database. With these strengths, the solution achieves high-level, E2E network automation capabilities, including unified and undifferentiated management and control of multi-cloud, multi-DC, and multi-vendor networks. Not only this, the solution is also capable of collaborative, flexible network orchestration and network-wide simulation. These features enable rapid provisioning of multi-cloud networks in seconds.

Wu Shengwei, Vice President of Huawei's Data Center Network Domain, introducing the L3.5 ADN solution for Data Centers

Wu Shengwei, Vice President of Huawei's Data Center Network Domain, introduces the L3.5 ADN solution for DCs

Currently, DCNs are a cornerstone for rapid innovation and rollout of enterprise services. Implementing network as a service (NaaS) on DCNs can well help them achieve this. The implementation, however, is hindered by many challenges. For example, multi-cloud, multi-vendor networks lead to siloed network architectures and separated O&M views. Network engineers are buried in massive work orders and have no time for network optimization. This is where Huawei's L3.5 ADN solution for DCs comes in. It takes the lead in achieving unified, undifferentiated management & control, and collaborative, flexible orchestration of multi-cloud, multi-vendor heterogeneous networks. The solution can also seamlessly interwork with enterprises' IT management systems, implementing NaaS and accelerating agile innovation of enterprise services.

"It is a long-term process for ADNs to evolve from L0 to L5. Huawei's ADN solution for DCs has already gone through a future-oriented evolution from L3 to L3.5, showing that network autonomy can be achieved not only on single-vendor DCNs, but also on multi-cloud, multi-vendor networks," said Leon Wang, President of Huawei's Data Center Network Domain. "This also demonstrates Huawei's constant dedication to resolving problems based on customers' service scenarios and pain points. Looking ahead, Huawei will continue to join hands with our customers and industry partners to promote mature applications of network AI technologies at scale, and accelerate DCNs' pace toward an autonomous driving era characterized by agile business, superb customer experience, and efficient O&M."

Huawei hosts HUAWEI CONNECT 2021 online from September 23 to October 31. The theme of this year's event is Dive into Digital. We're going to dive deep into the practical application of technologies like cloud, AI, and 5G in all industries, and how they can make organizations of all shapes and sizes more efficient, more versatile, and ultimately more resilient as we move towards economic recovery.