Ying Weimin is Huawei’s President of R&D Wireless Networks and a leader in the company’s network functions virtualization (NFV) efforts. He is responsible for mobile communication network research and development. Mr. Ying has been an important part of the Huawei team for more than 17 years and has held several key leadership positions across a number of product lines and various business units.
SDxCentral: With OPNFV Summit held in Silicon Valley last week, there’s been a lot of buzz in the NFV ecosystem around the role of OPNFV and its many prominent members. Can you help me understand what is Huawei’s view of the role of OPNFV in the overall NFV marketplace?
Ying: OPNFV is a carrier-grade, integrated, open source platform that aims at accelerating the introduction of NFV into marketing. OPNFV serves as a forum for the industry to come together to define the carrier cloud and develop components in upstream projects. OPNFV integrates and tests many components from upstream projects, which will help the industry to develop a reference carrier cloud platform based on open source components.
The main purpose of OPNFV is that it provides a forum for the industry to:
- Discuss and identify the gaps between an IT cloud and a carrier cloud
- Agree on how the gaps should be closed
- Work upstream as an industry to close the gaps
OPNFV has many member companies who have made commitments and are heavily invested in its success. Can you describe Huawei’s contribution to OPNFV?
Ying: As the founding platinum member, Huawei is one of the leading companies and main contributors of OPNFV community. Huawei has put more than 31 engineers actively participating in the OPNFV community and helping to develop the OPNFV ecosystem. Among all of the 45 approved OPNFV projects, Huawei is leading 11 projects and participates in almost all of the projects, which gives Huawei the number one position from an overall open-source project contribution perspective. Huawei also continues to contribute code to the OPNFV community and occupies the number two position from the code contribution perspective.
How does Huawei view the progress of OPNFV so far?
Ying: OPNFV has made tremendous progress in the first year. It has accomplished something that no other community has done: The integration of several upstream projects with its Arno release. The Brahmaputra release will build upon this and deliver a lab-ready reference platform that allows vendors and carriers to verify the NFV concepts in their labs.
We’ve noticed that Huawei established three NFV open labs this year, what is the relationship between these labs and OPNFV and how does Huawei intend to continue its investment across all four initiatives?
Ying: NFV is one of Huawei’s focuses as far as core next-generation network technologies goes. Huawei has established three global open labs in this NFV/SDN area. These labs are located in China, Germany, and in the U.S for global operators and partners. As you mentioned, Huawei has also contributed two OPNFV Labs in Xi’an, China and Santa Clara, U.S. to the OPNFV community. Both OPNFV labs are part of functionality of Huawei global three NFV/SDN Open Labs. Both OPNFV Labs will continue to make contributions to the OPNFV community, e.g. as the slave Jenkins servers for continuous integration (CI) testing, and also as an open lab to all OPNFV developers. Currently Huawei has deployed the Compass, ONOS, and continuous integration environment in those Huawei OPNFV labs.
Given Huawei’s heavy investment in NFV, can you provide a brief description of Huawei’s commercial NFV products and the top use cases in the marketplace for these products?
Ying: Huawei products for telecommunication systems have fully supported virtualization, e.g. vEPC, vMSE, vIMS, vSDM, etc. Huawei has rich experience in providing telecom solutions and is a leading professional ICT vendor throughout the world. Huawei has provided NFV cloud solutions that guarantee 99.999 percent availability. These you can say are first generation NFV products where we mostly virtualized the existing network functions. As a matter of fact, this will be the topic of our keynote talk at the OPNFV Summit, where we will discuss how the next generation network can take advantage of SDN, NFV, and cloud computing components to design a new network architecture. A network that will provide unprecedented agility, scalability, and elasticity to unlock the potential of the gigaband world; a world built upon human cooperation through better interconnections.
Are Huawei’s NFV products in production deployments at carriers worldwide? Can you give me a few examples of exciting NFV developments at carriers?
Ying: Huawei has completed the verification of innovative NFV solutions in partnership with more than 20 leading operators, including Vodafone, DT, CMCC, Megafon, and Telefonica. Huawei has contributed more than 236 NFV POCs. We have also helped Russia Antares, Ooredo, and the UK to commercialize their virtualization products. Moreover, Huawei has deployed the world’s first NFV VoLTE commercial network in Europe. In this project, Huawei provided the vIMS solution along with the end-to-end vertical and horizontal integration. Huawei has shown that innovation, based on NFV technology, will be as easy as installing apps.
Ying: The OPNFV platform is an integration platform which combines many components coming from upstream open source projects, i.e. OpenStack, OpenDayLight, ONOS, Open vSwitch, etc. So we could call it as an open source platform, which will help to give chance for all the participation to learn how to develop such a complex NFV/SDN cloud platform for carriers. It will clearly speed up the NFV technologies to be mature enough and reduce the time to market. With considering the CT specific requirements, it would become a reference open source carrier cloud platform. The players in this area are able to develop exciting solutions and features based on such a reference platform.
Huawei has wonderful virtualized solution for wireless, fixed and core network area, i.e. the CloudEdge products for both wireless and fixed network, and CloudCore products for core network. Both CloudEdge and CloudCore could deploy and run on Huawei’s FusionSphere platform, which is developed based on open source OpenStack components. CloudEdge and CloudCore also support the third party platform. Huawei OPNFV Lab has also been successful in deploying and running Huawei’s vEPC and vIMS components on the OPNFV platform, with Huawei’s MANO component. The deployment is performed by the OPNFV deployment tool Compass, which is leading by Huawei as one of the important OPNFV open source deployment tools.
How did Huawei contribute to the OPNFV summit last week? And what would you say were the main highlights of your presence at OPNFV?
Ying: Huawei was a Gold Sponsor of this OPNFV Summit, within which Huawei showcased next-generation network and IoT innovations based on the OPNFV platform. Mr. Kang Pang, vice president of wireless R&D, delivered a keynote speech about the rollout of next generation networks and how it meets the needs of operators. Dr. Anthony C.K. Soong is an OPNFV director, chief scientist for wireless research and standards, and head of Huawei’s open source networking, and he covered next generation mobile network architecture and what further extensions are needed from the OPNFV platform. Huawei also led several panel sessions regarding OPNFV service function chaining, upgrade scenarios in an OPNFV-based telco environment, OPNFV mobile networking, and additional related OPNFV topics.
Huawei also showcased three key OPNFV technologies:
- VNFs over OPNFV: Huawei’s VNFs (vEPC and vIMS) running successfully over the OPNFV platform with Huawei’s MANO component in FusionSphere. Huawei’s VNFs and MANO components both support open source platforms along with Huawei’s FusionSphere platform. This provides customers more choices for various use cases.
- VTN of ONOS for OPNFV: ONOS is the carrier-grade open source SDN Controller. As one of the leading companies of the ONOS project, Huawei is driving ONOS as one of the important options for carrier-grade OPNFV platform.
- Compass for OPNFV: Compass is Huawei’s leading open source installer and DevOps tool for OPNFV. It has an advanced software architecture, friendly GUI, rich feature set, and is one of the best OPNFV deployment tools to help Huawei customers reduce opex.
Huawei has a great deal of experience in participating in open source networking projects and has been an active player in more than 170 open source communities, for example, the founding platinum member of OPNFV, platinum member of Linux Foundation, gold member of OpenStack and CloudFoundry and a founding member of ONOS. Huawei is a professional ICT solution vendor. We provide customized solutions with regard to customers’ requirements and make our customers and partners successful.