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A Bumpy Ride for Traditional Network Evolution

 A head shot of Xiong Shuang, a Senior Network Planning, Design, and Implementation Engineer for Huawei Enterprise

Xiong Shuang

2020-09-23 6
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Today, services are developing ever more rapidly, supported by emerging, and quickly evolving technologies such as 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, and cloud computing. This development trend brings significant challenges to traditional networks, which now urgently need to be replaced by highly reliable, scalable, and cost-effective Software-Defined Networking (SDN) networks that can offer far higher bandwidth. However, network replacement is always long-term project that cannot be implemented in a short amount of time.

Consider the following network replacement example:

A country's international airport was first put into service in 1998. By 2019, the 21-year-old airport network was regularly encountering network faults, from freezes to unstable signals. Indeed, the airport's network even suffered from a major network outage, resulting in service interruption for five days. The airport’s network specialists attributed the incident to a network storm caused by an improper network architecture design, an outdated system, and insufficient equipment capacity.

To account for future business development, network specialists designed Internet Protocol (IP)/optical dual plane networking for the airport, as well as an open SDN network architecture, supporting the rapid rollout of services. The specialist provided a detailed migration solution, comprehensive verification platform, and various tools to ensure the smooth migration of the entire network within just four months. No incidents, complaints, nor service breakdowns occurred throughout the entire migration process. And the reconstructed SDN network is now expected to support the airport's business development for the next ten years, paving the way for its transformation into an intelligent airport.

Addressing Challenges for Traditional Networks on the Journey to SDN

Traditional networks are often plagued by unfit planning, obsolete architecture, and unreliable equipment. These factors usually lead to limited bandwidth, recurring faults, and costly maintenance. To reduce pressure on customers, Huawei offers:

1. Future-proofed network architecture planning and design to build customer confidence in the process of network upgrades. Huawei conducts thorough research and evaluation on each customer's business status and requirements. Customized network blueprints and roadmaps are developed based on Huawei's extensive industry experience, as well as a customer's unique business challenges and requirements, in order to remove obstacles and reduce workloads.

2. Stringent tests, verification, and adaptation are performed, to ensure that customers are well prepared. Huawei performs compatibility Interoperability Tests (IOTs), design verification, migration solution verification, and Information Technology (IT) system integration tests, to quickly align network improvement solutions with customers' business requirements. All of these steps follow strict standards to ensure the smooth delivery of quality solutions that get the job done.

3. Orderly service migration, enables smooth network upgrades. One-click information collection as early as possible allows Huawei to precisely re-present customers' existing networks. Network experts are specifically assigned for network evaluation, followed by target network planning simulation, formulation of migration and cutover Method Of Procedure (MOP), as well as intelligent translation of third-party device configurations. Additionally, Huawei offers a 1:1 test environment, comprehensive rollback measures, and an end-to-end, integrated delivery platform to streamline the delivery process. In this way, services are migrated in an uninterrupted and cost-effective manner.

Sustaining Upgraded Networks and Ensuring Continuous, Reliable Service

Application rollout, system reliability, and smooth service evolution require a consistently stable network. It is the role of Operations and Maintenance (O&M) teams to manage reconstructed networks and ensure these requirements are met.

Understanding the O&M team's critical role, Huawei provides online support, a responsive 24/7 troubleshooting service, and effective performance improvement services. With Huawei's assistance, customers can build preventive O&M systems that proactively identify and resolve issues. Key O&M engineers can also improve team skills by obtaining Huawei's professional certifications, helping ensure high network quality and reliability.

In addition to being highly experienced in service delivery, Huawei also has affiliated service organizations around the world. Using these advantages, Huawei and partners jointly provide converged network integration solutions to enable smooth network migration for customers. Additionally, the 24/7 online support and end-to-end performance improvement services reduce maintenance times for customers, allowing them to focus on their core businesses, in turn boosting their commercial success.