How Huawei is Accelerating Network Evolution towards “All Cloud” Architecture

At the NFV World Congress 2016 in San Jose, U.S., Huawei has unveiled three stages of network evolution towards an “All Cloud” architecture enabled by the NFV technology for the first time to help telecommunication operators transform their networks so they can support growth, deliver high service levels and reduce costs.

Huawei provided operators with a clear roadmap for network transformation and outlined its strategy to drive industry development around three core stages: “Virtualization”, “Cloudification”, and “Cloud Native”.

The advent of 4.5G and later 5G, a better connected world featuring the Internet of Things (IoT), video and cloud services will place telecom operators at the center of delivering a Real-time, On-demand, All-online, DIY, and Social (ROADS) experience for enterprise and consumer customers. However, the demand for these services together with intensifying competition to roll out services faster will place pressure on operators’ networks. Many operators will be challenged with the rigidity and complexity of their networks which limit their ability to meet customers’ needs.

To gain greater agility and flexibility, operators need to leverage SDN and NFV technologies to transform from traditional static, equipment-centric network planning, deployment and management to a dynamic, on-demand approach that will enable them to rapidly expand or change services to meet customer demands.

“Huawei’s strategy and solutions are designed to help operators transform from legacy networks to a cloud based infrastructure enabled by NFV and SDN to reduce network complexity, gain network agility and control to deliver service innovations and generate increased revenues,” said Libin Dai, Director of Network Transformation at Huawei. “By outlining the three stages of carrier network transformation, we are helping operators overcome the complex process of migrating their current networks to NFV to ensure continued performance of the network, high-quality service provisioning and more agile innovations than ever before.”

The three core stages outlined by Huawei for “All Cloud” network evolution are based on comprehensive industry analysis and opportunity evaluation, providing a clear transition roadmap for operators:

Virtualization: This is the initial stage of NFV development and enables network functions to be separated from underlying hardware and deployed as software on standardized platforms. This stage improves resource usage and increases O&M efficiency to scale up or down rapidly. So far, most operators are in the Virtualization stage, and the industry has a long way to go towards the third stage of ‘Cloud Native’.

Cloudification (Virtualization + Orchestration + Automation): At this stage the entire software system is decoupled in finer granularity to evolve the network towards ‘Cloud Native’. Specifically, the system is broken down into discrete software services, which are scheduled flexibly and deployed separately. This creates a flexible and agile system, improves resource usage and performance, and optimizes the use of cloud computing technologies on communication networks.

Cloud Native: At this stage of NFV evolution, the entire software system comprises a series of software microsystems that provide microservices. These microservices can be independently developed, deployed, and maintained. Operators efficiently integrate them into a cloud platform system, helping achieve fast service provisioning, improve operational efficiency, and respond to shifting demand from consumers and enterprise customers. The openness of cloud telecom networks allows operators to share resources with software developers in real-time and perform joint innovation. Mutually beneficial collaboration among operators, third-party developers, and end users allows more traffic to be introduced to networks through a healthy ecosystem of innovative services.

SDN/NFV is the core technology in SoftCOM, Huawei’s strategy for future network architecture. Through its SoftCOM strategy Huawei is committed to helping operators with SDN and cloud-based network transformation enabling them to address the business dynamics of the new connected world. To date, Huawei has already partnered with over 40 operators around the world to deploy 30+ commercial SDN projects and 50+ commercial NFV projects.

The NFV World Congress 2016 is held in San Jose, U.S., on April 19 to 22. Huawei will deliver the keynote speech “SDN/NFV, Awaken the Force of the Network” and participate in the forums “Technology” and “Operations”.