After Arista and before Cisco/Insieme, Huawei hikes 100G bar again

CloudEngine 12816 supports 192 100G ports, tops last year's Interop intro

Huawei this week unveiled a high-end upgrade to its CloudEngine core switch, which debuted here at Interop a year ago.

The CE12816 is a 16-slot version of the Cloud Engine switch, capable of supporting up to 192 100G Ethernet ports. The previous high-end of the Cloud Engine line was the 12-slot 12812, supporting 96 100G ports.

The Huawei CloudEngine series switches comprise the CE12800 core switches, as well as CE6800 and CE5800 top-of-rack switches.

Huawei's 192-port 100G switch comes a week after Arista Networks rolled out a 96-port 100G switch in an 11 RU form factor. Some viewed Arista's introduction of the 7500E as a prelude to the Cisco/Insieme Networks programmable switches expected later this year.

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The CE12816 provides 64Tbps of capacity. In addition to 192 100G ports, the switch supports 384x40G, or 1,536x10G Ethernet line-speed ports, Huawei says.

The CloudEngine series provides bandwidth of up to 2Tbps per slot, and is expandable in the future with upgradeable fabrics and linecards to a total system switching capacity of up to 64Tbps. The switch line is designed to accommodate data center lifecycle targets of up to 10 years, Huawei says.

The CloudEngine series incorporates Huawei's Cluster Switch System (CSS) feature to virtualize multiple switches into one logical switch, as well as a Virtual System (VS) feature to virtualize one switch into multiple independent logical devices. Together, CSS and VS turns the network into a resource pool, allowing network resources to be allocated on demand, Huawei says.

The CloudEngine series also allows network adminstrators to build large-scale Layer 2 networks with over 500 nodes based on the IETF's TRILL specification for lossless, multipath Ethernet, Huawei says.

Also at Interop, Huawei plans to articulate its commitment to the enterprise market with the "ICT Nation" initiative. ICT Nation will showcase Huawei and partner products to address enterprise challenges such as bring your own device (BYOD), cloud data center, enterprise LTE and software-defined networking (SDN).

Huawei established its Enterprise business group in 2011. It employs 18,000 worldwide and 80 in Silicon Valley, the seat of its U.S. enterprise operations. Huawei Enterprise did $1.9 billion in revenue in 2012.

Huawei executives recently disclosed plans to retreat from the U.S. market in telecom, but the company's enterprise business is not affected by that. These executives, however, downgraded Huawei Enterprise's revenue goals for 2017.

Huawei partners HVE Connexion, Netfast, Primasense, Softnet Solutions and Zadara Storage will participate in the ICT Nation demonstrations at Interop.

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 25 years, 21 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.

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Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.