Easing the cloud migration journey

Huawei’s Net5.5G converged IP network can improve cloud performance, reliability and security, says the company

Sponsored Feature The appetite across most vertical sectors for migrating applications and services to the cloud shows no sign of abating. Independent analyst firm Gartner estimates that global spending on public cloud services will hit $679 billion this year.

That figure likely to exceed $1 trillion by 2027. Gartner expects that within the next few years the hosting of applications in the cloud will have moved on from simply being a disruptor of traditional IT to being considered a business necessity when it comes to maintaining competitiveness.

Organisations from worlds as diverse as finance, healthcare, retail, energy, transportation, manufacturing, education and government are all actively investing in cloud thanks to its power to drive innovation, unlock hidden value, create opportunities and boost customer experiences.

But even the best planned cloud migration project is only as good as the network that supports it. Along with cloud's benefits – which include reduced costs, improved availability and scalability of services and greater manageability - come challenges and risks that traditional enterprise networks are not always able resolve.

It's those cloud migration challenges that Huawei's new Net5.5G converged IP network solution is designed to help address. The manufacturer bills it as ideal for organisations in all industries looking to 'accelerate intelligent transformation and maximize digital productivity'. Companies across a variety of industry verticals can rely on the solution to improve the performance, reliability and security of the cloud-hosted applications and services they provide to their end users, says Huawei.

Connectivity issues that puncture the cloud

There's no doubt that poor network quality can affect the impact of a move to digital services. In many cases the deployment of technologies like cloud are not fully translated into digital success on account of network failings, often necessitating that networks are upgraded to the next generation.

Let's consider the challenges around latency, reliability and security in more detail:

Latency: Network latency issues can seriously impact cloud application performance. Just a few milliseconds of delay can significantly degrade end users' experience and productivity, particularly in the case of cloud-based video conferencing and online document editing tools for example. Associated lower data transfer speeds can also cause network bottlenecks for organisations handling large volumes of data.

Reliability: The success of any cloud migration strategy depends in no small part on providing users with consistent, reliable access to the mission critical applications from wherever they happen to be, and regardless of what device they are using. Downtime is effectively death for many digital services – imagine a transport ticketing system which sees unpredictable packet loss regularly disrupting purchases, for example. All cloud infrastructures need some level of fault tolerance to avoid that type of scenario.

Security: Ensuring network security is equally critical given the amount of data which flows in and out of the cloud, as well as the penalties imposed for the loss, theft or corruption of sensitive information. Organisations need to monitor and control who has access to cloud-based resources to help build their own stakeholders trust in the cloud and avoid falling found of data protection regulation. Legacy cyber security solutions built for on-prem environments rarely deliver the protection required, calling for dedicated, cloud native security solutions built for the task.

A solution at hand with Huawei Net5.5G

Designed specifically for the cloud era, the Huawei Net5.5G converged IP network solution is built to deliver the kind of high-quality connectivity that can overcome these challenges and help organisations drive their digital transformation initiatives. At its heart are Huawei NetEngine 8000 series routers which provide an all-service, intelligent routing platform, billed as the most powerful routing solutions on the market. The top of the range features performance of 19.2Tbit/s per slot for example, offering what Huawei says is the industry's largest switching capacity and highest density of ports and allowing users to build simplified and converged ultra-broadband networks with a modest cost of ownership and the lowest possible levels of latency.

These routers combine with Huawei's next generation Network Cloud Engine (NCE) to deliver full-lifecycle automation and proactive Operations and Maintenance (O&M). It's an intent-driven approach which can free organisations from the unnecessary constraints of legacy networking, says the manufacturer.

The solution's support for end-to-end IPsec and SRv6, as well as CGN and BNG functions, is central to its reliability and security. A large number of the wide area networks (WANs) deployed in in sectors that range from government to financial services involve the leasing of third-party links. When data is travelling across these other networks, it needs to be encrypted end to end to ensure security, which is what Huawei says IPsec and SRv6 support guarantees. The company believes that most solutions on the market can't match this capability, because they only support IPsec at the edge.

Network security steps in

Huawei's Network Security Solution is differentiated by three features: rapid threat handling within seconds, industry-leading detection performance, and precise ransomware prevention.

Let's think about why this sort of fast and secure coverage throughout the network layer really matters. Imagine an organisation with widely distributed end points that needs to connect to a fresh distant location at short notice. With end-to-end support for SRv6 and IPsec, it can enable link provisioning in minutes, all while ensuring 100 percent security for its data as it traverses the public network. It can, if it needs to, achieve this at scale, adding thousands of new nodes in short order without compromising the safety of data.

A combination of SRv6 and network slicing, the solution deals with the restrictions of legacy connectivity in other ways. Cross-domain automatic connections can deliver one-hop access to the cloud, while minute-level service provisioning, and both tenant and application-level Service Level Agreements (SLAs) guarantee an improved user experience says Huawei, ensuring smooth evolution away from legacy standards like MPLS. Support for intelligent traffic steering allows for on-demand scheduling of network resources and the configuration of SLAs for different services.

With the technology upgrade, it also can boost throughput for certain applications and services. At the service bearer layer, those slices can be upgraded using a fingerprint solution that allows them to be deployed based on user ID, for example. When it comes to the management layer, Huawei's Network Digital Map 2.0 supports application-level service visualization and optimization, designed to deliver accurate insights into the customer service experience.

Traditional O&M methods can only view the tunnel layer, leading to congestion when multiple applications exist in the same tunnel, says Huawei. But the company's Network Digital Map 2.0 supports application-level service visualization and optimization which can automatically locate and optimize congestion points. This means it can, for example, optimize and adjust video conferences separately, helping customers improve operation quality and experience.

Organisations everywhere are constantly on the lookout for new ways to exploit the cloud's potential to support their digital transformation goals. But as they migrate more and more of their mission-critical applications and services off premise, many find that existing enterprise WANs are just not up to the job. Secure, reliable low latency network links will be the foundation of the digital economy, and Huawei's new Net5.5G converged IP network solution was designed specifically for the task.

Sponsored by Huawei.

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