SHANGHAI — Huawei is flexing its muscle in the software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) and the Internet of Things (IoT) with the release of a new commercial software-defined networking (SDN) controller called Agile Controller 3.0, which is based on open source components.
The Agile Controller 3.0, launched today at the Huawei Connect show, fits into the company’s theme of taking open source components and building products around them to deliver cloud-based services. The Agile Controller is based on the open source ONOS controller managed by the Linux Foundation, but it is also compatible with the OpenDaylight Project (ODL) controller via APIs, said Huawei officials.
The Agile Controller can federate up to 128 controller units and manage 256,000 virtual switches to network data centers, campus networks, wide-area networks, and IoT applications.
The controller is the basis of an SD-WAN service that Huawei deployed with service provider Telia. It’s also being used in Huawei’s connected elevator partnership with Schindler. Ikeja Electric in Nigeria is another customer.
SD-WAN appears to be a big focus for the Chinese technology provider. It figured prominently into speeches by Huawei executives during keynote speeches here. Eric Xu, one of Huawei’s three rotating CEOs, noted that operators need a model for provisioning services and bandwidth on demand. “With SDN technology evolving, they will be able to deliver bandwidth on-demand,” said Xu in a press conference following his keynote talk here.
Huawei has also established a pattern of getting involved in open source projects and moving them rapidly into its product portfolio. It was an early supporter of ONOS, where it invested many resources, which helped yield the Agile Controller. It is also a big supporter of Open-O, a carrier-class service orchestration project, along with carriers such as China Telecom. Perhaps that is an area to watch for what Huawei might develop next, although Open-O is still in early stages — the first release is not expected until the fourth quarter of this year.
Photo: The fancy Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, site of the Huawei Connect keynotes … with room for all 30,000 people.