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Watch out Cisco. Huawei's coming!

May 8, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
huawei_show_display.jpgMay 7, 2012 by Stacey Higginbotham via GigaOm.com -- Huawei, six months after creating its enterprise networking division here in the U.S., is ready to make a big splash at Interop this year. The Chinese networking gear maker is the one thing Cisco's CEO John Chambers has said he's worried about, even as the networking world embraces software-defined networks, new protocols such as OpenFlow and even whitebox switch makers. So what does Huawei have that Chambers' fears?

As of today, it has a powerful top of rack switch that will doubtless cost less than Cisco's gear, and it has a distribution deal with Synnex, a huge contract manufacturers and reseller of IT gear. Basically, Huawei has launched the goods to fight Cisco (and Juniper) in the enterprise networking market and has the means to get it in the hands of customers. Huawei has shaken things up in the carrier equipment market for quite some time, precipitating consolidation and lower pricing by major vendors, as well as a rush into services. And now that change is about to break like a wave in the data center world.

However, unlike the carrier gear market, Huawei isn't entering a staid business as a newcomer with low prices and the rumored support of the chinese government (and financing arm). Enterprise networking is a far more competitive world with a variety of companies pushing into the unified communications and video conferencing market at both the high and low end. Cisco's at the high end with its Telepresence suites, and Skype and Logitech are at the lower end. Huawei's bringing its high-end telepresence product to market to compete directly with Cisco's high end telepresence products.

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