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A Second Decade of Cooperation

By Wang Tao, Editor-in-Chief, ZDNet China; Fan Ping, Brand Manager, Server Division, Huawei IT Product Line

Intel and Huawei have long cooperated on a range of platforms that include communication networks, servers, and storage products. More recently, the two companies reached joint agreements on cloud computing and Big Data solutions.

Huawei: Farsighted

Over a decade ago, an Intel Global Business Director, Fang Yuesheng, visited Huawei to discuss cooperation in the server business. His visit helped Intel gain a deep understanding of Huawei, and opened the door to cooperation over the next decade.

Fang’s vivid impression was that Huawei possessed top-tier technical capacity and farsighted vision — two key enablers for Huawei’s spectacular success.

Every year, Huawei reinvests at least 10 percent of its sales revenue in R&D, and 10 percent of its R&D budget in cutting-edge or fundamental technologies. Approximately 43 percent of the company’s workforce is engaged in R&D.

Huawei has organized 14 R&D centers around the world, from Santa Clara, California to Stockholm, Bangalore, and many cities in China, in addition to setting up 19 joint collaboration centers with 36 of the top 50 telecommunications carriers worldwide.

Today, almost everyone is familiar with the implications of a seamless information and communications infrastructure. Yet, years ago when IT and telecommunications seemed more like distinct empires, Huawei had the foresight to point out that the telecom and IT industries would converge and integrate into a single Information and Communications Technology (ICT) environment. Standing-by our vision, over a decade ago, we proposed a software-defined routing concept that could be considered a direct predecessor of today’s Software-Defined Networking (SDN) solutions.

As Fang Yuesheng commented, “No one can deny Huawei’s farsighted vision for effective industry insights.”

A Strategic Partnership

Intel and Huawei signed a global strategic partnership agreement for IT products and solutions in Shanghai during the 2012 Huawei Cloud Congress (HCC). This strategic partnership agreement deepened each company’s efforts to offer competitive products and applications to the marketplace by fully leveraging each other’s technology and resource advantages.

Beyond a typical cooperation agreement involving collaboration on market strategy, Intel and Huawei have joined forces in technology R&D. At HCC, Yang Xu, Corporate Vice President and President of Intel-China, said, “Intel and Huawei are both driven to create great products and technologies, so, on the side of business cultures, the two companies are headed in the same direction.”

Intel is well known as an innovative leader in the data center processor market. By partnering with Intel, Huawei has made breakthroughs in its high-end servers. For example, built on Intel Xeon E7-4800 v2 processors, Huawei’s RH5885H V3 server, launched to accommodate mission-critical applications, delivers stability and performance comparable to what is expected of Unix servers.

With frequent contact over more than a decade, Intel and Huawei have collaborated across all IT sectors, including server, storage, data centers, and cloud computing. Looking ahead, the two companies are jointly creating solutions, developing channel partners, expanding markets, in addition to the continuing execution of branding and marketing activities.

Big Data Collaboration

Huawei and Intel signed a formal strategic partnership memorandum at the 2014 Intel Developer Forum in which the two companies have agreed to strengthen their existing R&D collaboration and joint-marketing initiatives to drive the advancement of Big Data technologies.

By combining the advantages of Huawei’s OceanStor 9000 storage system with Intel’s leading technologies in data analytics, horizontally scalable storage, and software-defined storage, Huawei and Intel are developing scalable storage solutions based on Intel’s microprocessor architectures.

Additionally, Huawei and Intel have agreed to establish a core technical team to cooperate on network architecture training, R&D roadmaps, and the development, verification, and optimization of products, solutions, and cutting-edge technologies.

The two companies have agreed to devise a comprehensive marketing strategy, share a joint branding initiative, and cooperate on fair-trade matters. This cooperation marks a new starting point for the two companies in the storage sector and is aligned with Huawei’s strategy of cooperating with leading IT companies to build mutually beneficial industry ecosystems.

Rose Schooler, Vice President of Intel’s Data Center Group and General Manager of the Communications and Storage Infrastructure Group, said, “Cooperation with Huawei not only helps more Chinese customers and partners make better use of Intel’s technologies, but also meets the needs of enterprise business transformation in the era of Big Data.”

Shared Vision for the Cloud

In cloud computing, enterprises have a more open, convergent environment. A shared vision in the cloud computing sector has brought Intel and Huawei together.

As members of the OpenStack Foundation, Intel and Huawei have jointly developed the Huawei FusionSphere cloud operating system. By incorporating Intel’s innovative hardware virtualization technologies, FusionSphere has improved reliability, compatibility, and security.

FusionSphere is an open and efficient cloud platform that consolidates computing, storage, and network resources from different vendors in a single data center package. This consolidation improves IT infrastructure utilization, increases Operation and Maintenance (O&M) efficiency, and reduces IT expenditures.

FusionSphere is the first step in Intel and Huawei’s collaboration on virtual hardware platforms, with the aim of making cloud infrastructures simpler, more secure, and more efficient.

He Jingxiang, General Manager of Intel Asia Pacific R&D and Intel Software and Services Division, said, “Huawei has been a major strategic partner of Intel. Huawei’s FusionSphere incorporates cutting-edge technologies from both companies, and it will continue to bring significant business value to customers.”

Looking back on the history of cooperation between Intel and Huawei, each step seems inevitable based on the two companies’ commitment to creating maximum value for customers. The companies fulfill this commitment by building a healthy ecosystem and offering high-quality solutions that deliver the reliability, compatibility, and security required by every enterprise.

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