Huawei is using Interop, the networking industry conference underway this week in Las Vegas, to strengthen its position in the U.S. enterprise networking market. The Chinese networking giant is introducing the CloudEngine 12800, a next-generation data center switch, and is announcing a distributorship agreement with Synnex to sell its portfolio of IP network infrastructure, unified communications, collaboration, and data center products to enterprise customers in the United States. Topping it off, Huawei also intends to vie for a piece of the smartphone market in the U.S.
Huawei unveiled a U.S. subsidiary a year ago called Huawei Enterprise Business Group, and had previously announced a distribution agreement with Synnex in 2010 to sell network firewall, security routers, intrusion detection technology, and NAS and SAN storage hardware in a partnership called Huawei Symantec.
With global 2011 revenue of $32.4 billion, translated into U.S. dollars, Huawei is within striking distance of industry leader Cisco Systems, at $44.8 billion. Huawei's corporate engineering staff is about 60,000 employees strong, close to Cisco's total employment of about 71,000.
While Huawei has long been selling into the service provider market, including wireless carriers, the new U.S. business is called the Enterprise Business Group, because it's making a particular focus on serving the enterprise market. Many of these enterprises are building networks similar to those operated by carriers, said John Roese, senior VP and general manager of Huawei R&D.
"Many enterprises are adopting ... next-generation data centers, cloud architectures, the use of mobile networks and broadband mobile networks. Those are all intrinsically carrier technologies moving into the enterprise," he said.
The CloudEngine 12800 is the latest release in the CloudEngine 12000 series. It will deliver switching capacity of up to 48 terabits per second (Tbps), which Huawei claims is three times the industry average for such switches, and bandwidth of 2 Tbps, which it claims is twice the industry average. The 12800 switch, as well as the 5800 and 6800 top-of-rack switches (ToR), support the full range of Ethernet connectivity speeds, 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), 40 GbE, 10 GbE, and 1 GbE.
Although Huawei was represented at the Interop conference in New York City in fall 2011, the Las Vegas Interop is a bigger event, says Roese, and Huawei intends to make a bigger splash. The company believes there is still unmet demand to be served there.
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