Huawei Expands Agile Network With Agile Branch And Data Centre Cloud Connect

Huawei expands its agile SDN platform to cover all parts of IT infrastructure

Huawei has expanded its ‘agile’ software defined network (SDN) platform with new Agile Branch and Data Centre Cloud Connect products, announced at Huawei Network Congress in Beijing.

Agile Network was first revealed last August and now comprises Huawei’s Agile Branch, Agile Campus, Agile Data Centre and Agile Wide Area Network (WAN) services, with the firm claiming the platform has since been used to create nearly 200 networks in a variety of industries.

The Chinese equipment manufacturer says the new additions to the platform will bring benefits to all areas of the enterprise, allowing organisations to cope with the major trends in IT such as mobility, cloud, big data, social networking and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Agile Branch

Huawei HNC William XuAgile Branch promises to simplify the process of detecting problems and deploying services on networks as they become increasingly complex thanks to the increased use of 4G and growing demands from remote workers. It sees mobile, enterprise and IoT evolve into three distinct network branches.

“The Huawei Agile Branch Solution completely changes the form and structure of traditional devices,” said Xianyin Li, General Manager of router products for Huawei. “This solution changes the network construction and operation models of branches, producing new business models.”

The Agile Controller allows administrators to set policies in natural language within 30 minutes and detect problems through a visual control panel, making it easier to manage up to 2,000 pieces of equipment. Network quality and issues such as packet loss can be seen in real time, while the convergence between wired and wireless equipment is something Huawei believes sets it apart from other vendors.

The company also wants to make it easier for developers to future proof their infrastructure, hoping to create a programmable environment using APIs, plug-ins, libraries and the ability to create user-defined protocol types. Huawei says it has tested the environment internally, but will welcome any examples of improvement.

Cloud Connect

The Shenzhen-based firm also detailed plans to create a virtualised cloud management system for computing, storage and physical network resources. The snappily-titled Huawei Agile Data Centre Cloud Connect promises to integrate various pieces of virtual and physical infrastructure so they can work together and improve efficiency.

The company explained that although some aspects of data centres, such as servers, storage and switches had become virtualised, there is still a large number of physical network devices, and the two types of equipment are not aware of each other. It wants to bring advantages of the “virtualised age” to physical infrastructure, such as remote management and the ability to buy and deploy software from a variety of vendors with one-click.

Cloud Connect works with the firm’s CloudEngine data centre switches and is also managed by the Agile Controller, which can display both physical and virtual network resources, allowing administrators to monitor usage and  identify faults.

Huawei’s commitment to openness extends to this platform too, with the architecture open to Android, Microsoft and Linux developers. The platform is also compatible with other cloud platforms such as VMWare’s vCloud, Microsoft Cloud OS and Openstack.

Enterprise CEO William Xu told the audience at HNC that connectivity was becoming just as important to humanity as air and water, and that all businesses must eventually become agile to cope with the increasing number of connected devices.

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