Huawei has announced a new SDN controller that can be used in campus networks, the data center, the WAN, and in IoT deployments. Called the Agile Controller 3.0, Huawei announced the product at Huawei Connect 2016 in Shanghai.
Agile Controller 3.0 is a single SDN platform that can serve multiple use cases. The goal is to make networking more operationally efficient. Organizations, whether carriers or enterprises, can get a global management layer across the campus, WAN, and data center and avoid having to manage disparate controller silos for separate use cases.
As for IoT, Huawei sells an edge gateway to collect data from industrial sensors and devices. The Agile Controller can manage these gateways.
Huawei says that up to 128 Agile Controllers can be clustered, which would provide significant scale for a carrier or large enterprise and provide a high degree of failover.
The controller is based on ONOS, an open-source SDN operating system that targets carriers. Originally developed by ON Lab, ONOS became a Linux Foundation project in the fall of 2015.
Huawei says the controller is also “OpenDaylight compatible” with northbound applications and southbound interfaces. It also supports OpenFlow and NETCONF.
Huang He, General Manager of Huawei’s SDN Controller Domain, said the company chose ONOS because it believed ONOS would be more scalable than OpenDaylight, and be suitable for the WAN. ONOS was also chosen because of its frequent upgrades, which provides for faster innovation.
Huawei is a contributor to the ONOS project; the company claims to make the second-most code commits to the project after ON.Lab, which originally developed ONOS.
Huawei did not provide detailed technical specifications on Agile Controller 3.0 or pricing information at the Huawei Connect event. It did say the controller would be generally available some time this year.
The announcement of Agile Controller ties in with Huawei’s strategic emphasis on cloud, which was a major theme at the Connect conference. Huawei believes digital transformation of business will drive more companies to cloud services, whether public or private.
For a network to support a cloud model, it must be able to streamline deployment and configuration, provision bandwidth on demand, and be highly automated. SDN is key to a cloud-enabled network, according to Huawei.