Sharpening its focus on open source projects in networking, Huawei has hired a couple of well known experts: Chris Donley from CableLabs and David Lenrow from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). They’ve joined the team of Ayush Sharma, Huawei’s CTO of IP, SDxCentral has learned.
“It’s natural that we as a company can’t become a leading player in building new solutions using open source software without building a top-notch team and developing an environment for them to excel,” says Sharma in an email. “Ever since I took over the realm last year, that has been one of my prime motivations.”
Sharma, who recently rejoined Huawei himself after a stint at Ericsson, says he will continue to add to his team in the upcoming months.
Lenrow’s new title is chief architect of software-defined networking (SDN) with FutureWei Technologies, according to LinkedIn. FutureWei is Huawei’s wholly owned U.S. subsidiary. Lenrow is deeply involved in multiple open source groups including OpenDaylight, ONOS, and OpenStack.
Donley was director of virtualization and network evolution at CableLabs as recently as last Thursday when I spoke with him about OpenStack being used in telco clouds. But an email to CableLabs today bounced. Donley hasn’t returned a call for this story.
Donley, who’s a leader within the OpenDaylight Project and OPNFV, has said that by using SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV), telcos can do the same thing with network functionality that Amazon Web Services (AWS) did with compute and storage.
“The trend is to at least have an open source reference platform, which is still very much tied in with OpenStack,” he says.
Although telcos could copy AWS and Microsoft Azure by acquiring data centers and filling them with servers that run cloud software, they are instead attempting to incorporate cloud technology within their existing telco networks. “When you’re bringing in the network components, that adds complexity,” says Donley. “There are so many circuits involved and potential paths.”
Huawei’s Sharma says he’ll let us know more about the focus of his group later this month. But with the hiring of these open source networking experts, it looks as if the company’s American subsidiary is becoming more focused on network virtualization.