Innovation unlocks new value of data

Huawei solutions transform mission-critical FSI scenarios

Sponsored feature Cardless transactions and digital-only banks will feature prominently in the financial services industry (FSI) by 2030, according to Huawei's Intelligent World 2030 report, which offers a discerning perspective on anticipated digital innovation over the next decade.

"Only by looking back from the future can we know the right path to take," said Bob Chen, Vice President of Huawei Enterprise Business Group, in his keynote speech titled 'Innovation Leads the Co-Creation of New Value' at the recent Huawei Intelligent Finance Summit 2023 in Shanghai, China.

"With tomorrow's intelligent world on the horizon, we look forward to working with global financial customers and partners to achieve 100x higher transaction efficiency, dozens of times higher O&M efficiency, and 10x higher energy efficiency for high-value industry scenarios through ICT infrastructure innovation, igniting value creation in the financial industry."

Huawei has already worked with numerous FSI industry partners on core systems, risk control and mobile finance solutions. One is the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPDB), which used AI to boost the efficiency of the data warehouse solution it used for inventory financing.

Elsewhere the Shanghai-headquartered Bank of Communications (BOCOM) built a data lakehouse - designed to combine the flexibility, cost efficiency and scale of data lakes with the data management and transaction capabilities of data warehouses - that enhances decision making and analyses to reduce time needed for regulatory reporting from 8 hours to 2 hours.

Optimized campus networks play a critical role

High speed networks which transmit large volumes of data quickly, reliable and securely between those systems play a critical role in FSI deployments.

Data acquisition, analysis, and application capabilities will become the core competitiveness of enterprises, including the financial industry. Huawei has increased the data transmission rate by 10 times through advanced wireless and new IP technologies, achieving ubiquitous Gbps connections.

Barcelona's recent Mobile World Congress 2023 event saw Huawei introduce a prototype 50G Passive Optical LAN (POL) component designed to help organizations build next-generation Wi-Fi 7 campus networks. The single-mode, all-optical fiber POL solution can also extend transmission distances, simplify cabling architecture, cut the need for active aggregation devices and reduce power distribution and cooling costs.

The 50G POL prototype includes symmetric 50G PON Optical Line Terminal (OLT) and Optical Network Units (ONUs), which allow organizations to upgrade their existing networks to 50G PON while maintaining their 10G OLTs and the Optical Distribution Network that connects the ONUs to the OLTs. Since the 50G PON ONU features both 10GE and 25GE interfaces, upgrading from Wi-Fi 6 to Wi-Fi 7 standards does not require ONU changes.

That flexibility is enhanced by dense coverage and high-speed connectivity for demanding applications. At the moment Huawei's high-quality 10 Gbps CloudCampus network can sustain, for example, the needs of 10 users in a virtual reality-based immersive conference, where required bandwidth for each use could hit as high as 800Mbps, says the company.

Similarly for manufacturing environments, should there be 143 Automated Optical Inspection devices per thousand square meters, each requiring 100Mbps+ bandwidth at a concurrency rate of 60 percent, the bandwidth required per thousand square meters would be 8.6Gbps, calculates Huawei. The campus network also delivers 10Gbps to branch offices, supporting 50 concurrent workers using cloud-based services such as a SaaS-based HD video conferencing application at a speed of 160Mbps per channel, for example.

Wi-Fi APs and 400G backbone boosters

Alongside the 50G POL prototype, Huawei further expanded its campus network equipment portfolio with its CloudEngine S16700 core switch and the Wi-Fi 7 AP AirEngine 8771-X1T.

These utilize Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 7 access points (APs) which draw on technologies such as dynamic-zoom smart antennas and multi-AP Coordinated Spatial Reuse to deliver above 10Gbps of wireless bandwidth by minimizing Wi-Fi signal interference, says Huawei. The AirEngine 8771-X1T Wi-Fi 7 AP delivers up to 18.67 Gbps of bandwidth and ultra-low 10ms latency, for example, while the CloudEngine S16700 has been designed to prevent packet loss during heavy traffic bursts.

Huawei's AirEngine Wi-Fi 7 AP supports on-demand switching between 5 GHz and 6 GHz radios. Working with dynamic-zoom smart antennas, the AP intelligently adjusts the coverage angle like a signal spotlight and improves network-wide performance by 20%.

While demanding end users and applications are putting a strain on available bandwidth in campus networks, the problem is exacerbated in the datacenter backbones responsible for aggregating all of that traffic. As datacenter servers evolve from using 10GE to 25GE network interface cards (NICs) and rack connectivity requirements move from 40GE to 100GE, hosting companies are looking to double their bandwidth while maintaining interconnection costs and power consumption.

Those same cost and power considerations have led the industry to move from 200GE to 400GE datacenter interconnect (DCI) networks. Both types of optical modules use the Pulse Amplitude Modulation 4 (PAM4) high-order modulation technology, have comparable module design costs and power consumption, but 400GE is double the bandwidth. Put simply, a 400GE optical network backbone uses the simplest, most efficient interconnection configuration to speed up transmission and transaction performance for datacenter applications and workloads, says Huawei.

Cloud Stack and Elastic Cloud Servers make most of AI

The company has built what it calls a "diverse computing ecosystem" around its Kunpeng computing platform and Ascend AI processors which can help its partners develop agile and efficient applications based on its cloud platform, explained Mr. Chen. The Huawei Cloud Stack hybrid cloud infrastructure provides the secure, scalable, on-demand compute resources via Elastic Cloud Servers built on x86, Kunpeng, Ascend systems and components which allow organizations to flexibly deploy compute-intensive applications and workloads, such as big data analytics, AI and blockchain while keeping mission-critical data on-premises. 

The use of standard APIs which continuously synchronize data across on and off-premises infrastructure helps to address FSI customers' need for scalable performance to handle spikes in demand of thousands of transactions per second as well as for efficient end-to-end data governance on systems, processes, platforms, and services.

The Ascend-based AI platform helps to accelerate FSI applications and workloads such as marketing and risk control. It includes the Huawei Atlas AI computing solution – comprising modules, cards, edge stations, servers and clusters – that enables a device to edge to cloud infrastructure suitable for many different AI applications and workloads.

The Atlas 200 AI accelerator module, for instance, can be used for target recognition and image classification and is applied in smart cameras and robots, packing up to 22 tera operations per second (TOPS) of performance, to help financial institutions better engage with their customers via mobile apps, social media, video and audio. Omni-channel access offers 24/7 robot support, AI assistant and intelligent quality assurance to help simplify and streamline customer service, anti-fraud, and risk mitigation processes.

Data at your fingertips

Huawei predicts that 1 yottabyte of data will be generated annually worldwide by 2030, representing a 20-fold increase over 2022. The research group FinTech Futures reported that up to 80 percent of banking data is encrypted in an unstructured format, however, so to extract value from these data, companies have to consider how to properly back up and archive it.

Huawei is advocating a new vision for backup, switching from Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape to Flash-to-Flash-to-Anything as flash-based primary storage systems go mainstream. The Huawei OceanProtect Backup Storage portfolio, which won Best of Show Award at Interop Tokyo 2022, delivers up to 155 TB/h backup bandwidth and 172 TB/h recovery bandwidth while an advanced reduction feature allows enterprises to achieve a data reduction ratio of up to 72:1.

Importantly for FSI companies, Huawei's ransomware protection solution bolsters backup storage with end-to-end data encryption, WORM and secure snapshot, and Air Gap technologies. Further, OceanProtect's active-active redundancy hardware architecture and RAID-TP technology, which can tolerate three disk failures and implement failover within seconds of a controller failure, enables 99.9999% reliability.

Complementing the OceanProtect is the OceanStor Dorado All-Flash Storage for production storage. Using Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) architecture, FlashLink technology, and a multi-core Kunpeng-based computing platform, the OceanStor Dorado enhances both NAS and SAN capabilities with data transfer latencies as low as 0.05ms. This translates to faster core banking services and processing of mass small files during mission-critical data exchanges. When integrated with the cloud for automatic resource provisioning and centralized O&M, Dorado can deliver 99.99999% data availability.

Huawei has also harnessed AI and IoT technologies to help healthcare professionals establish personalized treatment plans and deliver coordinated telemedicine services to patients' homes. Doctors can identify optimal treatment for each patient via more accurate drug trials and assessment of the efficacy of different treatments based on the patient's specific condition, for example.

Elsewhere in food production, the use of visualized data graphs will make precision farming and vertical farms productive and sustainable. A space of 7,000 square meters can potentially yield 900,000 kg of crops per year. A resilient and sustainable food system can sustain growth environments that overcome climate and weather constraints, says Huawei.

The Huawei Intelligent Finance Summit 2023 was held June 7-8 in Shanghai, China. Under the theme "Navigate Change, Shaping Smart Finance TOGETHER", the two-day summit has witnessed Huawei's key strategies announcement and strategic MOUs signing in the finance sector, along with its newly launched solutions. Industry leaders have gathered and shared their insights on digital trends for the future of finance and successful cases. For more details, please visit Intelligent Finance.

Sponsored by Huawei.

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