Huawei is unveiling an interconnected group of laboratories that are designed to help network operators more quickly and easily embrace and deploy cloud computing solutions in their environments.
The Chinese tech giant, whose reach extends from the data center through the network and out to the edge—it's the world's third-largest smartphone maker behind Apple and Samsung—this week launched its Cloud Open Labs, comprising four linked facilities that touch on such emerging networking trends as software-defined networking (SDN) and network-functions virtualization (NFV).
The Cloud Open Labs will be key drivers behind Huawei's ambitious All Cloud strategy announced in April, through which the company will cloud-enable all of its products and solutions and in turn help telecommunications companies chart a path for their own migration to the cloud. Company officials have said that the eventual goal is to enable service providers to reconstruct their entire network infrastructures, from the equipment and services to operations.
The Cloud Open Labs also stress the central role open technologies play in the evolution of infrastructures into cloud environments, with such groups as the Linux Foundation, Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) and China Association of Communication Enterprises and vendors like Red Hat, VMware, Wind River and Accenture on hand during the announcement Aug. 4 in China.
"Our Cloud Open Labs will establish an industry ecosystem and support open collaboration, allowing operators, industry organizations and partners to jointly address the challenges of digital transformation," Jim Lu, president of global technical service at Huawei, said in a statement.
Bruce Xun, vice president of global technical service, said, "Operators will face numerous challenges during the transformation to the cloud, including multi-vendor integration, evolution from existing networks to target networks, and problems relating to agile operations." The Cloud Open Labs will help Huawei and its partners create an ecosystem around the All Cloud strategy, conduct pre-integration and verification testing and be a joint innovation platform, he said.
The labs represent the latest step by Huawei designed to help network operators make the move to cloud environments. The company, among the market leaders in networking equipment for telcos, last year introduced the ROADS (real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social) effort, outlining five elements carriers needed in more scalable and agile networks to address increasing consumer demands for network bandwidth and quality.
Telcos also need to be able to push back at the growing challenge of over-the-top (OTT) vendors that are a threat to carriers' traditional voice and messaging services.
The All Cloud strategy is the key initiative to enable network operators to build these infrastructures, and the Cloud Open Labs will help accelerate their efforts.
Huawei is connecting its four open labs, building a unified digital operations platform that operators can use to transform their networks, officials said. The labs include the Global Network Evolution and Experience Center (GNEEC), NFV Open Lab, SDN Open Lab and DC Open Lab. In the labs, Huawei, partners, network operators and industry groups can work together on everything from developing certification and authorization programs to testing interoperability of products and solutions, conducting proofs-of-concept and working with the open-source software.
According to officials, the labs already have been used by more than 40 partners for integration and verification projects, pre-verification of more than 550 projects and joint innovation efforts.