The week in networking? It's SD-WAN all the way down

Also: Huawei cloud lands in Africa, Nokia OpenStack, Cisco Nexus BIOS bugs

Riverbed made two announcements covering its SteelHead SD-WAN solution this week – a bunch of enhancements, and subscription pricing options.

The networking firm said its core routing stack had been enhanced to improve support large, complex enterprise networks, and provide interoperability between legacy and SD-WAN networks.

In-field upgrades allow customers to easily add the new capabilities to existing installations, and cover the SD-WAN, network security services, and WAN optimisation.

There's also a new WAN edge solution which puts the SD-WAN, application acceleration, visibility and security services into one box.

The company said subscription-based pricing is now available for SD-WAN-only customers, and SD-WAN plus WAN optimisation environments.

"Belt and Road" brings Huawei cloud to Africa

Huawei has announced it will build a cloud region in Africa, in what analysts interpret as an extension of China's soft power on the continent.

The Chinese giant said its South Africa region will be offer services like elastic cloud, an elastic volume service, and object storage.

The reason Huawei gave is that this will cut latency for African companies wanting cloud services; and the company said it will expand its cloud services to other African locations.

As well as the facility, the company announced a partner programme with 11 members at launch, and a telco-targeted platform-as-a-service called InTouch Aggregator, which will support inter-carrier connection and over-the-top applications.

Beijing-based analyst Liu Dingding told China's Global Times the move "reflects a bigger picture of Chinese enterprises' participation in the Belt and Road initiative".

Huawei separately fired off a bunch of security patches this week, covering its FusionSphere OpenStack software; its eSpace enterprise communications software; and in the TLS software eSpace uses.

Nokia expands OpenStack capabilities

Nokia this week unveiled an OpenStack-based suite it said will give 5G operators secure virtual infrastructure management.

Its CloudBand Infrastructure Software, part of the CloudBand management and orchestration (MANO) solution, is designed to manage cloud-based virtual machines.

Nokia said it expects service providers to adopt virtualised cloud architectures so they can minimise the footprint of kit they deploy at 5G base stations.

As well as OpenStack, the CloudBand Infrastructure Software included an integrated software-defined networking (SDN) domain controller.

The other key components of CloudBand are a network function virtualisation director; and an application manager, both supporting OpenStack and Vmware.

Cisco plugs Nexus BIOS brick bugs

Cisco ran into a BIOS upgrade issue in Nexus 3000, 3500 and 9000 devices.

During an automatic BIOS upgrade, some units might return a fail because the system believes the BIOS has been corrupted.

Cisco explained that two auto BIOS version checkers – PrimaryBootRom and SecondaryBootRom – run "too aggressively" (every 30 minutes), exposing the bug. "During an 'install all' upgrade procedure, if bios upg-required is set to yes, then a BIOS content read/write error might result in a BIOS programming failure and the NX-OS upgrade will fail."

The good news: there's an operating system patch available. The bad news: if your switch was hit by the bug, it'll have to go back to Cisco. But we suppose if you've been hit, you already knew that. ®

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