IPsphere Forum, Huawei-3Com news

Von Sheila Lam

The concept of service-oriented architecture (SOA) is no longer limited to an enterprise environment. SOA, which creates business services by assembling various application components, will soon be used in telecommunication networks, according to Kevin Dillion, chairman of IPsphere Forum.

Established in June this year, IPsphere Forum is an industry organization consisting of major network vendors and carriers, including Juniper, Cisco, Huawei, Alcatel, China Unicom, BT, Korea Telecom, HP, IBM and Oracle.

The non-profit organization was spawned from Juniper?s Infranet Initiative Council (IIC), which establishes standards to combine interconnections between major global carriers into a single IP network, rather than operating as multiple independent networks.

Currently there is much heterogeneity among carriers, noted Dillion, so integration work is required when enterprises rely on multiple carriers to support their global corporate network. Major differences include jurisdiction requirements among different countries and the nonstandard IP infrastructure, he added.

Creating a public network like IPsphere leverages the ubiquitous connectivity of the Internet to assure performance and security like in a private network, said Dillion. This global meta-network also aims to standardize inter-carrier connections, providing telecommunication services like business services within an SOA.

In addition to the carriers, IPsphere also benefits other parties, like application service providers (ASPs), who can bundle their services with telcos to ensure QoS traffic to supports their applications, said Dillion. Software vendors can also enhance their product delivery channel by distributing new releases or updates through the network in a much more controlled manner.

"For enterprises, IPsphere allows the management and establishment of the global corporate VPN in a much easier and integrated manner," he said. "It can reduce the complexity of network management."

He noted the group is currently identifying various applications over the IPsphere and is planning to provide its first showcase of ubiquitous connectivity by Q4 2005.

Huawei-3Com?s high-speed management

Huawei-3Com last month announced a new core router and a series of 10-gigabit Ethernet switches, during a technology tour at the company?s headquarters in Hangzhou.

As enterprises network requirements shift from connection and control to high quality services, the AR46 core router is designed to improve the flow of data, voice and video traffic and improve security. Targeted for large enterprises and carriers, the AR46 delivers a performance of up to 1Mbps (1M packet per second). It also supports MPLS VPN, firewall and IDS, said the company in a statement.

"The AR46 is the new generation enterprise core router (that will) satisfy the shift in market demand," said Frank Wang, vice president of international marketing and sales. "AR46 is a new benchmark to meet network demand."

In addition, Huawei-3Com also unveiled details of the 10G Ethernet switch family, which include the Quidway S8500 series, S6500 series and S5600 series. The top series can provide a switching capacity of 720Gbps, said Huawei-3Com.

Leveraging Huawei?s Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF), a LAN switching technology, the 10G Ethernet switches also provide easy management for network administrators, according to the firm.

"Gigabit Ethernet switching has become the mainstream application of Ethernet networks," said Wang. "With 10G Ethernet switches, the Quidway switches are becoming the main devices for core and convergent networks."

The firm?s 10G Ethernet switches are already installed at the Hong Kong Government?s Electrical and Mechanical Service Department (EMSD). The network, supported by the S8500 series and S6500 series 10G Ethernet switches, went live at the EMSD?s new Kowloon Bay facility in August. It is expected to support the increasing traffic over EMSD?s network as the department expands its role to provide IT services for other government departments, said Huawei-3Com.

Wang said the new products are a result of the company?s heavy investment in research and development (R&D). Huawei-3Com dedicated over 10 percent of the company?s 2004 revenue and 55 percent of its total workforce to R&D. The company?s development centers are located in Hangzhou, Beijing and Shenzhen.