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Huawei Announces Next-Generation CloudEngine Switches
Huawei Announces Next-Generation CloudEngine Switches

By Barry Levine
May 9, 2012 2:36PM

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Features of Huawei's CloudEngine series include bandwidth per slot of up to 2 Tbps, and switching capacity of up to 48 Tbps, which Huawei said was 300 percent more than the highest level in the industry. The Huawei CloudEngine switches also support moving from GE/10GE servers, over a 10-year span, to 40GE/100GE servers.

China-based Huawei has announced its next-generation CloudEngine 12800 data center series of switches, which provide what the company described as the largest single-frame switching capacity in the industry. The announcement was made at the Interop 2012 show in Las Vegas.

The new switches provide a capacity of up to 48T and support switching of 100GE, 40GE, 10GE, and GE interfaces. They also offer virtualization and convergence of computing, storage, and networks, which Huawei said could help data centers project their use over a 10-year lifespan.

Cluster Switch System

CloudEngine is Huawei's next-generation switch family, and is intended to handle the extreme networking challenges that come with cloud-based services, such as traffic growth, service scale and manageability. The company said that it was offering customers a solution for this environment with solid reference architecture and a highly scalable, virtualized platform.

The switches are intended for midmarket and high-end enterprise customers, with management through a single interface.

Features of the CloudEngine series include bandwidth per slot of up to 2 Tbps, and switching capacity of up to 48 Tbps, which Huawei said was 300 percent more than the highest level in the industry. The switches also support moving from GE/10GE servers, over a 10-year span, to 40GE/100GE servers.

Traffic bursts, not uncommon for such cloud apps as data access and parallel computing, are processed by non-blocking CLOS fabric architecture and large distributed buffers. The switches also offer front-to-rear ventilation channel design for heat dissipation.

Multiple switches can be virtualized into one logical switch using the Cluster Switch System, and the Virtual System can virtualize a single switch into many logical devices. The result, the company said, is the ability to facilitate allocating network resources on demand.

Target: Cisco

Virtual machines are supported, in that network administrators can build large, Layer 2 networks with over 500 nodes, permitting flexibility in service deployment and speed in migration. Coupled with the nCenter network management system, Huawei said that the CloudEngine products can provide 10 times more virtual parallel processing capability than the average in the industry.

The CloudEngine series also supports Fibre Channel over Ethernet, allowing companies to deploy SAN-based network traffic over Ethernet, thereby establishing a converged network. Additionally, Priority Flow Control helps to provide non-blocking transmission.

Last year, Huawei began moving on a more organized basis into the U.S. and global enterprise market, with cut-rate products that appear to target Cisco.

In addition to the CloudEngine announcement, Huawei also announced at Interop that it would sell various products -- including IP network infrastructure and communication/collaboration products -- to enterprise customers in the U.S. through a distribution deal with Synnex.

The company has set a goal of $7 billion in enterprise networking revenue by the end of this year, up from the $2 billion it was doing when it embarked on its global rollout in 2011. If it did hit that goal, it would be second to Cisco in that market. In 2011, Huawei had global revenue of $32 billion, compared with Cisco's $44 billion.

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