How do you manage 100 billion connections ? You invest $30 billion into Research
It is estimated that there will be 100 billion communications points by 2025 which means cities, organisations and service providers need to become very smart very quickly as everything becomes connected to everything else.
A big shift is heading our way. From simply using smart light bulbs to becoming part of the smart Power Grids. From stopping at red traffic lights, to vehicles connecting to sensors for better traffic management.
These 100 billion connections and 6.5 billion internet users are said to be create 1766 Zeta byte of data as by 2020 88% of services will be based in the cloud. In other words, we will need more internet access than ever before as everything becomes reliant on connectivity.
These connections need to be managed in order to ensure that services are delivered without any loss of quality or hesitation. However, considering that currently we are wasting 70% of our network capability due to packet loss and delays, how do we manage such vast amount of the near-future connections?
At CeBIT 2015, I sat in on the Huawei Enterprise press briefing in order to understand how Huawei has managed to become a leader in the movement of data at such vast quantities.
4 components of Smart Future
Mr. Ding Yun (Ryan Ding), Executive Director of the Board President, Products & Solutions Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. explained that for the connected world to become a reality, there are four components that need to come together: Smart City, Smart Grid, 4k Omni-media (for streaming 4K definition video feeds), Omni-channel Finance (for faster and more efficient banking services).
However, these components have challenges which all rely on the underlying networks. Slow networks means that citizens of the city can’t connect to emergency services, the city can’t detect safety issues, transmission of power are inefficiently distributed, users experience an inconsistent experience when streaming moving & using banking systems via their various communication devices.
ICT industry is forced to change from being a support system
To address these, the ICT industry is forced to change from being a support system to a becoming part of the production value system. In other words, no longer is receiving emails and watching YouTube on your mobile good enough. IT needs to deliver much smarter services.
As part of Huawei’s vision of “Innovative ICT, Building a Better Connected World”, Huawei as reinvented the traditional network by introducing Agile Networks which was explained by Mr. Stefano Giachetti, director Western Europe Fixed Network Solutions Sales Department at Huawei Technologies Co. LTD.
Huawei’s Agile Network has several advantages over traditional network at they are able to marry current IP based network with Optical network which has unlimited bandwidth and speed.
Currently we use QoS to split the bandwidth we have so that we can give different applications priority over others eg. Email has priority over YouTube. Huawei has reinvented this too by introducing a IP Hard Pipe which prioritises key services not only with software but with hardware which results a 5 times reduction in packet loss.
Another innovation is having the ability to not only monitor if network links are up or down, but being able to delve deep into the network and examining live traffic to understand where issues might occur.
Huawei is all about Innovation & Partnerships
Huawei’s secret is investing heavily into Research and Development (R&D). Over the past 10 years, Huawei has invested $30.7 Billion. However, in the past year alone, Huawei invested $6.5 billion in Research and Development.
The key is to develop global partnerships where each innovation lab around the word focuses on specific areas of the business. In France the aesthetic lab was created to focus on the aesthetics of devices whereas the innovation lab in Russia focuses on mathematic algorithms and in Japan the lab focuses on the physical material used to build hardware.
At the press conference, Huawei showcased its eLTE Broadband Trunking Solution, Agile Wide Area Network (WAN) Solution, OceanStor 9000, and Next Generation Anti-Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Solution. The core reason for these technologies is to provide the next generation of networks which will have to deal with information overload and process it faster than ever before.
Looks like all that investment in research is clearly paying off.
* I was at CeBIT as a guest of Huawei Enterprise