However, like with any other new system, there are some challenges regarding its implementation and optimization that need to be considered before embarking on this exciting phase of business.  All of these challenges are not insurmountable and can be solved with proper planning and commitment from all involved. SA Business IndexThe South African Business Index (SABI), which is an independent national networking and business alliance organization, was formed in order to fill a significant gap identified in the networking and communication sector of the business market. Cloud computing, linking computing power in data centres with consumers and businesses online, has transformed how we work and play, forever. To use an old analogy, of fairly limited value, the impact of cloud computing on IT is something like that of electricity networks on power generation.
With the flick of a switch, most businesses and most users now have instant access to high-speed broadband connectivity and massive computing power. This is the business model propagated by the likes of Facebook and Google in the consumer space, and by cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and OpenStack, closed and open-source respectively, in the enterprise market. In the past decade, data centres have grown rapidly, both commercially and technologically. There are challenges with each: private clouds deliver better functionality, and public clouds offer superior performance. Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solution provider, is different to most other traditional vendors. Huawei has provided solutions to more than 300 internet companies and data centre service providers to handle the doubled-edged pressure of reconceiving and rebuilding their business operations. On the one hand, this is about straight connectivity – about providing sufficient bandwidth and throughput to cope with the increasing demand being placed on internet companies for data services. Its work to establish high-speed fibre and wireless connectivity to meet spiralling demand for data services and foster economic growth crosses the globe, with both generic and highly-bespoke network solutions.
In network building, less conspicuous solutions are often as notable as more high-profile ones. In the Czech Republic, it has reconstructed 484km of optical fibre broadband to enable telecoms provider GTS to launch a 100G DWDM network, the first of its kind in Central Europe, allowing highly efficient two-way communications along a single line of fibre.
In Thailand, it has helped United Information Highway to establish a nationwide fibre optic broadband network covering 77 cities and stretching 50,000km. On the other hand, cloud service providers need more than just big pipes to carry gushing torrents of data.
Huawei has upwards of 10 joint innovation projects around software definable networking (SDN), a means to manage the interplay between broadband networks and cloud services via agile software-based tools, rather than by expensive and inflexible hardware. Chinese service provider Tencent, which provides an array of madly-popular service platforms, is one of Huawei’s joint-innovation partners around SDN.
Tencent has deployed several hundred thousand servers and several dozen data centres in more than 10 cities around the world. This diversity of services and volume of traffic put strain on the networks connecting its data centres (its ‘DCI network’) – in terms of available bandwidth, quality of service, efficiency and risk control.


To improve throughput and efficiency, and reduce operational complexity, Huawei has phased in a SDN solution between its data centres, making its data networks controllable and scaleable by software programming, rather than by hardware components.
He Zekun, senior architect at Tencent, makes analogy with urban planning and traffic management. By this, he means construction the networking equivalent of park-and-ride facilities and bus lanes to ensure traffic flow in peak hours, and satellite navigation systems so drivers can find the best routes to destinations. But there is a third element to this move from inflexible localised hardware to convergent hybrid architecture spanning both private and public clouds – to this move from heavy generators to grid-based power on-tap, if we revert to our original analogy. A universal control platform is required to manage all of these virtualised resources, and ensure backwards compatability with legacy systems and uninterrupted service provision. Vodafone uses FusionSphere to manage its massive hybrid data centre network across private and public clouds, as well as IT equipment from multiple vendors. Ren Zhipeng, president of Huawei’s cloud computing business, says: “FusionSphere provides the high performance and reliability necessary for moving information and communications applications to clouds. I n ways, it is a perfect example of a 21st century business that is entirely reliant on cloud computing and Big Data analytics, and a feather in the cap for Huawei and its suite of cloud solutions.
But, still, the internet industry faces significant pressures; its essential cloud and data centre technologies remain at an embryonic stage of development. Frameworks are targeted re-usable set of components that iLink has developed to be readily utilized by our customers. There are several benefits that can be achieved by utilizing iLink’s HR framework over traditional model.
But internet companies face huge pressures to meet rising demand for data services, and the technology remains in its infancy. The idea, today, that any forward-looking business should retain vast physical IT infrastructure is akin to them keeping monolithic generators after the arrival of the electricity grid in the last industrial age. This virtualised resource, combining digital storage and processing power, is held in remote data centres, rather than localised server rooms or PC pedestals; it is delivered via the internet, or ‘cloud’, through a variety of over-the-top (OTT) platforms and services. Technologies are still being mapped out, and business models and strategies are still being defined. The old guard of technologists, the trusted vendors of the types of proprietary systems traditionally found on servers in large computer rooms, are at a crossroads; their market influence is under threat. The golden days of ‘vendor lock-in’, where non-standard technologies allowed them huge market share and high gross margins, are gone forever,” explains Huawei’s Wing Kin Leung, chief technology officer in Huawei’s marketing and solution sales department. Its focus, for all its customers, is to improve the underlying technological systems to deliver better operational efficiency, agility and flexibility.
It is a leader in 4G LTE wireless broadband technology, for starters – it owns 25 per cent of global 4G patents, and is author of countess state-of-the-art digital communication networks, from EE’s in the UK to Everest-topping structures at 5,200 metres above sea level, and many locations in between.
It has delivered connectivity to hard-to-reach venues and it has achieved a number of technological firsts.


In Germany, Huawei has deployed a high-bandwidth transmission network for BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world, to connect six ‘Verbund’ networking sites and 380 production sites, allowing real-time communications between them. Its solution has met the rising demand for digital communication services in Thailand, and sets a foundation for future business development in the country. More complicated network architecture is required to allow internet companies smarter ways to manage and orchestrate traffic between data centres and end users.
Its virtualisation tools assist in the design and deployment of bespoke cloud services, and allow owners to compute storage, networking and application resources in just 10 minutes, as opposed to weeks with traditional hardware solutions. Tencent competes with the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Google as one of the largest internet companies in the world, and its portfolio of services for the Chinese market is broadly equivalent to their consumer cloud platforms in the West, ranging from micro-blogging to auction sites. Similarly, intelligent networks must be built upon a foundation of stable and reliable facilities. The Huawei SDN network reserves traffic lanes for data flow, and uses algorithms to calculate fastest travel around network bottlenecks. Huawei’s FusionSphere cloud platform, based on the OpenStack operating system, enables business of any size to bridge the gap between legacy systems and the new world of cloud computing.
Its search engine works as a counterpoint to Google – it lists several result types in columns on a single page, including such things as news sites and social networks, rather than a single list of results based on click volumes. Its service is now available in 50 languages and 25 countries, just two years after launch. Huawei, for one, is well positioned to read the industry’s pulse, and develop solutions to fulfil specific customer requirements. Governments and large businesses tend to prefer the security of private clouds of their own, for instance, rather than public cloud platforms, which are the main recourse for SMEs and start-ups. Either way, users are focused on deploying virtualised computing resources via the cloud – or ‘infrastructure as a service’ (IaaS), to use its industry name. Internet companies are already working on a grander scale with OTT providers, and enterprises are increasingly minded to take modular IaaS solutions supported by open-source cloud platforms. It produces the platforms, networks and devices that connect this digital era, and this way takes a broad view of the developing market.
It also differs in its privacy commitment; Qwant does not track or distribute users’ search histories, personal details or cookies.
It indexes billions of internet data objects, including web pages, news articles, user data, images, and videos. Consequently, the technology industry is required to find new solutions, even as it is finding its own feet.



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