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Huawei Launches Converged Agile Gateway to Support Value-Added Branch Services

December 31, 2014

One of the late developing trends of 2014 that is sure to pick up steam in 2015 is the introduction of extending the benefits of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) to the edge of the networks.  In fact, a target of opportunity of said virtualization extensions is to help enterprises with multiple locations empower their branches with high-performance, secure, adaptable and cost effective capabilities that are the same as the home office and are easily maintained and controlled as well.

Back in November, it was Alcatel-Lucent’s Nuage Networks unit that made a splash with the extension of its Virtualized Network Services (VNS) solution to address this market.  As a way to ring out the old year and ring in the new, Huawei has launched the Huawei AR3670. It is what Huawei is calling, “The industry's first ICT converged agile gateway.” And as is the case with the Nuage solution, it is designed to help enterprises:

  • Reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of branch networks
  • Achieve rapid service deployment
  • Simplify network operations and maintenance (O&M)
  • Improve capabilities to launch value-added services
  • Transform to address challenges presented by new information and communications technology (ICT) services.

As the nature of work becomes more global and virtualized, networks must keep up as branch offices not only proliferate but must have secure and complete access to the full tool kits of their enterprise.   Indeed, the cloud, mobility and big data are helping drive a sense of urgency for ensuring that regardless of location workers have the tools they need while IT has the visibility and control to mitigate risks. Adding to the challenge is that the traditional answer of adding more hardware is no longer a viable alternative, especially as the speed of market change accelerates and the requirement to add new services at branch offices takes on a sense of urgency for enterprises and their service providers. 

The traditional approach of adding hardware to existing systems for additional ICT capabilities can no longer meet the growing service demands of branch offices. To address these challenges, the Huawei AR3670 agile gateway has been designed to help enterprises integrate ICT resources through the adoption of Intel's x86 architecture design and best-in-class virtualization technology. The AR3670 is one of Huawei's key agile branch solution products and it is a foundational one.

Agility for the branch

Huawei is boasting the AR3670 agile gateway’s innovations.  Cited are such things as:

  • The AR3670 is the first product of its kind that uses leading virtualization technology to integrate information technology (IT) and communication technology (CT) resources for gateways. As Huawei says, “A single AR3670 device is equivalent to a whole branch ICT system, which substantially reduces enterprise device purchasing requirements and O&M costs.”
  • It is the first agile gateway in the industry to implement unified control and O&M of IT and CT devices through Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)-based architecture. Applications can be remotely and automatically deployed and upgraded through a unified management platform to accelerate service launch and streamline network O&M at branch offices.
  • It is the industry's first open gateway to support integration and compatibility across devices, networks, and applications, and can be rapidly integrated with third-party systems.

"ICT convergence is reaching new heights. This fusion of IT and CT has resulted in architectural innovation and is no longer just a combination of different products with feature-rich functionalities. It is virtualization and SDN-based product innovation developed to address customer requirements," said Mr.Li Xianyin, General Manager, Enterprise Gateway Domain, Switch and Enterprise Communications Product Line, Huawei. "Huawei's AR3670 agile gateway is a pioneering technology in the ICT convergence space. It is the first of Huawei's agile gateway products series dedicated to help enterprises address the challenges of evolving branch services through adopting innovative and cutting-edge technologies."

While Hauwei is claiming a number of firsts for its gateway, realities are as noted at the top that empowering branch offices with end-to-end solutions that extend the power of the data center to them to be more agile in terms of easily turning up cost effective, secure and needed capabilities while allowing the enterprise’s IT professionals to oversee a policy framework that gives them the visibility and control they require to manage and secure an increasingly dispersed workplace is rapidly moving from curiosity to must have. 

This is certainly a space to keep an eye on in 2015 not only for the efficiencies and cost reductions automated capabilities can provide, but also because of the impact empowering the branches with the tools they need to be more productive and customer friendly will have on the bottom line.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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