Huawei Introduces Universal CPE for SD-WAN

Smart City Shanghai

By: R. Scott Raynovich

SHANGHAI - Huawei today announced updates to its software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) product line, with the launch of a series of universal computing gateways, known as universal customer premises equipment (UCPE), which will enable enterprises and service providers to deploy an array of SD-WAN services on a standardized computing platform.  

Huawei officials said the strategy is to consolidate WAN equipment into one UCPE device line to provide more flexibility.

Huawei's moves come at a critical juncture, as the SD-WAN market picks up steam and many competitors offer competing solutions. The market for SD-WAN equipment and services is expected to grow into the billions by 2020, according to Futuriom research. 

The idea behind a UCPE is to offer one device that can connect with many WAN services controlled in the cloud. It will also support and control use of many broadband connections, including passive-optical networks (PONs), MPLS, and mobile 4G and eventually 5G connections. Huawei believes that offering a consistent platform will be an advantage in a marketplace where differing SD-WAN solutions for enterprises and service providers can be confusing. 

"This is a huge differentiator by offering one solution for both enterprise and carrier," said Ian Foo, Director, Product Marketing & Management of Huawei's Network Switching, Gateway, & Security Product Line. 

Huawei says it has both enterprise and service provider customers, though it is not disclosing the names of many customers at this time. It did cite Softbank as a customer in a corporate release. Huawei says that Softbank has started deploying the SD-WAN solution to provide leased line services for enterprise customers in Japan and across the world. 

In a session on SD-WAN here at the Huawei Connect conference, YongDong Zhou, Director of Enterprise Router Marketing, said that enterprises are finding that traditional WAN services, which often use proprietary routing equipment and expensive leased lines, are not keeping up with the demand to deliver more WAN bandwidth at low costs. The move to a UPE and an SD-WAN service can optimize WAN traffic and lower costs by as much as 50 percent, said Zhou.

The Huawei SD-WAN offering now includes the UCPE on the edge, which connects to its Agile Controller in the cloud, which acts as a "brain" to direct traffic based on application needs. This can streamline deployment in the field and enable cloud-deployed value-added services such as remote management and security services. 

Cloud is changing the way networking connectivity is delivered. This is driving growth in the SD-WAN market. For more information on the fast-growing SD-WAN market, you can purchase the premium Futuriom research report, "The SD-WAN Growth Report," which includes an overview of the leading vendors as well as a market growth forecast.