Huawei’s Hank Chen: Build Intelligent Cloud-Network, Enabling All-Service Growth
[Dubai, UAE, October 20, 2021] At the Ultra-Broadband Forum (UBBF) 2021, Hank Chen, president of the Router Domain of Huawei's Data Communication Product Line, delivered a keynote speech during the Intelligent Cloud-Network session titled "Build Intelligent Cloud-Network, Enabling All-Service Growth." He emphasized that Huawei's Intelligent Cloud-Network Solution can help operators build future-oriented target networks, adapt to diversified service changes, unleash the potential of traditional services, seize new B2B opportunities, and ultimately enable all-service growth.
Hank Chen, President of the Router Domain, Huawei's Data Communication Product Line spoke at the conference
Consumer and vertical industry services are becoming more diversified. For individuals, the user experience is continuously improving, with short videos, social apps, live streaming, and AR/VR rising in popularity. For homes, they are expanding from places for entertainment to places for work and education, with the traffic volume and number of subscribers continuously growing. For enterprises, more and more services are becoming cloudified at an astonishing pace. All these diversified services bring huge opportunities to operators — B2C and B2H services are the cornerstone of an operator's stable revenue, and the B2B service is the largest and most important opportunity.
Operators mainly face two waves of service development challenges: The first wave is that consumer services are shifting from connection-oriented to experience-oriented. This involves three specific challenges. First, the multi-service aggregation point— the central office — becomes a bottleneck due to a lack of space when downward DC movement to the edge gains popularity. Second, traffic and its directions are getting increasingly uncertain, but networks lack an intelligent scheduling capability, leading to low network utilization. Last, traditional IP networks work in shared and best-effort-forwarding modes, which are difficult to guarantee the user experience once congestion occurs. The second wave is that more enterprises need multi-cloud connection capabilities for their digital services. However, network and cloud capabilities do not match well. Challenges such as slow network service provisioning and lack of tenant-level assurance are present.
To address these challenges and fuel all-service growth, Chen believed that a future-oriented target IP network must have the following four characteristics:
- First, all services in one network. This network must be able to bear all B2C, B2H, B2B services.
- Second, network programmability. This network must be able to flexibly schedule route paths between clouds and networks based on SRv6 to optimize network utilization.
- Third, deterministic experience. This network must be able to provide tenant-level bandwidth and latency guarantee, replacing traditional best-effort forwarding.
- Last, agile cloud connection. This network must support flexible multi-cloud connection for fast service provisioning.
Huawei's Intelligent Cloud-Network Solution is specially designed for operators to build such a future-oriented target IP network. This solution provides five key capabilities to enable operators' all-service growth.
- All-service super edge CO, enabling all-service bearing. Huawei's compact super edge CO can bear diversified services, significantly reducing the TCO and improving the service experience. Specifically, Huawei's super edge CO router adopts an all-in-one design. It integrates the BRAS, CGN, IPsec, and service router (SR) functions into one box-shaped device, saving 60% of space and reducing power consumption by 70%.
- SRv6-based network programmability for flexible cloud-network scheduling: Huawei's Intelligent Cloud-Network Solution supports flexible network path programming and service orchestration, and on-demand traffic scheduling, optimizing the utilization of the entire network. SRv6-based service chaining enables VASs to be flexibly orchestrated and subscribed to on demand. At present, SRv6 has been put into large-scale commercial use.
- Elastic slicing for differentiated service assurance: Innovative technologies are used to make slices operable, productizable, and monetizable, helping operators increase revenue and optimize return on investment. According to Chen, Huawei made the following slicing innovations: NetEngine A800 series devices provide tenant-level slicing, enabling one line to be used for multiple purposes. Hierarchical slicing upgrades the original one-dimensional slicing to two dimensions, enabling fine-grained service assurance and doubling the monetization capability. Elastic slicing enables lossless dynamic capacity expansion and on-demand adjustment, without affecting services or wasting resources.
- One-hop connection to multiple clouds for flexible multi-cloud connection and scheduling: The multi-cloud backbone network can pre-connect the resources of multiple cloud vendors. Enterprises only need to negotiate services with a single operator. Services can be quickly migrated to the cloud and flexibly scheduled based on SRv6, and service paths can be flexibly selected based on latency and bandwidth to ensure service experience. Huawei's unique intelligent cloud-map algorithm enables operators to intelligently and evenly schedule multi-cloud resources, improving cloud resource utilization by 30%.
- Network as a Service (NaaS) for an e-commerce-like service experience: The cloud-network integration architecture provides an e-commerce-like service experience. This involves three stages: At the pre-sales stage for service subscription, optimal cloud access position and latency-based path selection capabilities are provided. At the in-sales stage, services can be quickly provisioned with a visualized network-wide status. At the after-sales stage, tenant-level self-services are provided, enabling operators to query private line SLAs anytime anywhere. In addition, Huawei significantly simplifies the number of northbound interfaces from 1000 to 100, and reduces the integration time by 90% through modular interfaces. Services can be provisioned in minutes, bandwidth can be adjusted on demand, and orders, SLAs, and faults can be visualized from multiple dimensions.
To date, the key capabilities of the Intelligent Cloud-Network Solution have been deployed on more than 100 networks around the world, including both operators' and vertical industries', such as smart healthcare, smart education, smart government, and smart manufacturing. Huawei will continue to cooperate with operators and partners to accelerate the innovation and deployment of the Intelligent Cloud-Network Solution and promote the evolution of IP networks.
Chen believed that the Intelligent Cloud-Network Solution is the foundation for DICT transformation and can help operators achieve all-service growth. For B2C services, it will help build ultra-broadband, automated, and intelligent networks and promote long-term evolution. For B2H services, it will accelerate network monetization and increase the ARPU through experience assurance and refined operation. For B2B services, it will provide differentiated cloud-network capabilities to help operators boost digitalization development.
"IP On Everything will be the future," said Chen. "IP connectivity will continue to extend, continuously bring intelligence and computing power to every person, every home, and every industry for a fully connected, intelligent world."