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felixnkansah at gmail

May 11, 2010, 4:21 PM

Post #1 of 18 (16553 views)
Permalink
Huawei instead of Cisco

Hi,

A telco customer is evaluating tender proposals for next-generation Internet
POPs planned for deployment this year.

Among the bidders is Huawei, who has a very beautiful technical proposal
document with great-looking design/platforms.

They are positioning their Quidway S9300 terabit routing switch platform to
compete (the equivalent of the Cisco ASR 9000).

The customer would have loved to go with Cisco 7609s, but is contemplating
Huawei's because of their low prices.

I know Huawei is doing a good job in mobile switching and access networks,
but do you know how well they do with their products in data/IP/BGP/MPLS
solutions?

How about the maturity of their software? Are there any hidden operational
costs too? What is the total cost of ownership when compared to Cisco's?

Thanks. Felix
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judah.scott.iam at gmail

May 11, 2010, 5:33 PM

Post #2 of 18 (16355 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

Haha. I know personally that operating VRP is oh so painful
(CX-series, though I assume this will translate).

Their lack of operational experience in real networks is made apparent
by many bugs when things don't go "smoothly." How about the fact that
in the version I was using, despite setting MTU on RSVP LSPs, it
simply always sends ADSPEC MTU 1500? Or maybe the fact that doing a
shutdown on an LSP doesn't seem to have an effect (it keeps signalling
or at least believes that it has signalled and the LSP is up). How
about the fact that the router just crashes as it approaches running
out of memory. The fact that 'display fib' shows what I guess to be a
copy of the rib, but 'display fib 1' does actually show a fib. Or
maybe the fact that if you run a config script on the box it doesn't
show the output but it still cycles through all the contexts (very
slowly), one is much better off copy-pasting in thousands of lines
than executing a script; at least when it fails you can actually see
what that little arrow is pointing to (instead of the black spaces it
does when you execute a script).

I could seriously go on for hours.

BUT, if you are just planning on doing something simple with the box
I'm sure it can handle it as long as you don't mind replacing some
keyboards and monitors damaged by disgruntled operators. The basics
are covered well and going through "test cases" you can easily prove
to yourself this box is capable. When you go for testing they may
bring a car-full of engineers to work out your specific issues. They
will also use tricks and customize their paf files for specific test
cases. Getting your hands on it for a while to actually test some
failure scenarios on your own, or what happens when things don't
behave so nicely in the network, may tell you otherwise.

Another thing to add is that Huawei has come a long way in the last
couple years and I expect them to become much better in the next
couple years. At the moment though, so painful and very buggy.

-J Scott


On Tue, May 11, 2010 at 4:21 PM, Felix Nkansah <felixnkansah [at] gmail> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> A telco customer is evaluating tender proposals for next-generation Internet
> POPs planned for deployment this year.
>
> Among the bidders is Huawei, who has a very beautiful technical proposal
> document with great-looking design/platforms.
>
> They are positioning their Quidway S9300 terabit routing switch platform to
> compete (the equivalent of the Cisco ASR 9000).
>
> The customer would have loved to go with Cisco 7609s, but is contemplating
> Huawei's because of their low prices.
>
> I know Huawei is doing a good job in mobile switching and access networks,
> but do you know how well they do with their products in data/IP/BGP/MPLS
> solutions?
>
> How about the maturity of their software? Are there any hidden operational
> costs too? What is the total cost of ownership when compared to Cisco's?
>
> Thanks. Felix
> _______________________________________________
> cisco-nsp mailing list  cisco-nsp [at] puck
> https://puck.nether.net/mailman/listinfo/cisco-nsp
> archive at http://puck.nether.net/pipermail/cisco-nsp/
>

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rdobbins at arbor

May 11, 2010, 7:19 PM

Post #3 of 18 (16321 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

On May 12, 2010, at 6:21 AM, Felix Nkansah wrote:

> The customer would have loved to go with Cisco 7609s, but is contemplating Huawei's because of their low prices.


7600/6500 have serious caveats with regards to NetFlow, uRPF, & ACL construction which eliminate them from serious consideration as edge devices, IMHO.

I've no hands-on operational experience w/Huawei gear, but have heard feedback from others that it's quite buggy and has stability issues. YMMV.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Roland Dobbins <rdobbins [at] arbor> // <http://www.arbornetworks.com>

Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.

-- H.L. Mencken




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pshem.k at gmail

May 11, 2010, 7:39 PM

Post #4 of 18 (16314 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

Hi,

We have a network with quite a few NE40E (and 80E). They are quite
feature reach but in many cases those features are not completely RFC
compliant which causes issues. Troubleshooting of those devices is
extremely difficult. Debug commands either simply don't exist for a
given feature or the return output is very confusing. On one side they
offer many features from the other side - in many cases it's
impossible to tell if they actually work (for example HQoS doesn't
have any statistics).
The support is quite inadequate in many cases. They seems to be very
helpful before you purchase anything and then for a little while
after, but at later stages - you might end up on your own with the
problem.

Generally - IMHO they lack maturity at this stage.

kind regards
Pshem
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rubensk at gmail

May 11, 2010, 8:20 PM

Post #5 of 18 (16387 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

Once upon a time, a very large operator which was previously a
Cisco+Juniper shop, bought some Huawei and a few AlcaLu routers. They
forgot to notice that Huawei followed original IS-IS spec (RFC 1142)
to the letter, including generating LSP Purges when receiving corrupt
announcements, which caused LSP purge/re-announcements war with all
the other routers due to a failed optic module. That was changed by
RFC 3719; Juniper and Cisco default to RFC 3719, Huawei defaults to
RFC 1142, and all three allow you to change to the other option. See
http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/isis-wg/current/msg01800.html for
more on this behavior change.

It took them 3 days of an all-services outage to find the root cause.
And Huawei is not the one to blame for this IMHO, as reading the
manual and doing integration testing are operator duties. If these
costs are added to the project and Huawei still wins, why not ? But in
Cisco, Juniper or Cisco+Juniper scenarios one can leverage the tests
and bug corrections of a larger userbase. C+J are not perfect, they
run code and code is prone to errors, but you can share the pain with
more people.

But as others pointed out, in Cisco-land the ASR families are probably
better long term bets. ASR-1000 MPLS support is new but price-wise it
will probably be a good match for Huawei. So would be Juniper's new
box, MX80-48T.


Rubens



On Tue, May 11, 2010 at 8:21 PM, Felix Nkansah <felixnkansah [at] gmail> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> A telco customer is evaluating tender proposals for next-generation Internet
> POPs planned for deployment this year.
>
> Among the bidders is Huawei, who has a very beautiful technical proposal
> document with great-looking design/platforms.
>
> They are positioning their Quidway S9300 terabit routing switch platform to
> compete (the equivalent of the Cisco ASR 9000).
>
> The customer would have loved to go with Cisco 7609s, but is contemplating
> Huawei's because of their low prices.
>
> I know Huawei is doing a good job in mobile switching and access networks,
> but do you know how well they do with their products in data/IP/BGP/MPLS
> solutions?
>
> How about the maturity of their software? Are there any hidden operational
> costs too? What is the total cost of ownership when compared to Cisco's?
>
> Thanks. Felix
> _______________________________________________
> cisco-nsp mailing list  cisco-nsp [at] puck
> https://puck.nether.net/mailman/listinfo/cisco-nsp
> archive at http://puck.nether.net/pipermail/cisco-nsp/
>

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mtinka at globaltransit

May 12, 2010, 1:39 AM

Post #6 of 18 (16300 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

On Wednesday 12 May 2010 10:39:27 am Pshem Kowalczyk wrote:

> Generally - IMHO they lack maturity at this stage.

Couldn't agree more.

Mark.
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jgitau at gmail

May 12, 2010, 8:27 AM

Post #7 of 18 (16269 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

Your biggest issue will be support and associated costs. they tend to
position themselves as a cheaper option in the begining but in the
long run you end up paying more for deployment, support, spares &
training (not easy to find guys with extensive Huawei background off
the shelf as you would with cisco + Juniper).

I run a mixed network Huawei NE40, NE-40E, NE80's and some GGSN's
based on the same platforms. Im happy with them but having worked with
cisco/juniper and Huawei and a few other vendors switching/routing
gear, I'd say go with cisco unless you have a budget for the enhanced
models (NE-40E and NE-80E - I have never had issues with this apart
from specialized applications that cisco won't have on a router
anyway) and or your environment is lighweight ....

I however have to agree that they are slowly catching up and In a few
years I suspect I'll have changed my opinion.....

JG
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gert at greenie

May 13, 2010, 2:33 AM

Post #8 of 18 (16243 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

Hi,

On Wed, May 12, 2010 at 03:27:39PM +0000, jgitau [at] gmail wrote:
> Your biggest issue will be support and associated costs. they tend to
> position themselves as a cheaper option in the begining but in the
> long run you end up paying more for deployment, support, spares &
[..]

What about the CPE side? We have been offered Huawei devices to be used
as G.SHDSL.bis termination devices (on the CPE side), and they look quite
interesting - a Cisco 1841 with a SHDSL-WIC would also work, of course,
but the WIC is just too expensive for a CPE...

(We have not yet received the boxes, so I couldn't test 'em yet)

gert
--
USENET is *not* the non-clickable part of WWW!
//www.muc.de/~gert/
Gert Doering - Munich, Germany gert [at] greenie
fax: +49-89-35655025 gert [at] net


tim at pelican

May 13, 2010, 3:30 AM

Post #9 of 18 (16281 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

> What about the CPE side? We have been offered Huawei devices to be
> used as G.SHDSL.bis termination devices (on the CPE side), and they
> look quite interesting - a Cisco 1841 with a SHDSL-WIC would also
> work, of course, but the WIC is just too expensive for a CPE...

It's been a few years, but I did take on some of the CPE as a Cisco alternative for both DSL and E1 termination for enterprise customers.

It's definitely cheaper, and if you're doing fairly basic stuff it works well, but there are some rough edges on some of the more advanced features like BGP and SNMP. The CLI and the documentation hurt from being almost IOS but not quite, in that things that you expect to be in one place are in another, and command syntax is similar but not the same. (Also some absolute howlers, like "rip work" / "rip no work", and the unforgettable "reset-recycle-bin"). In fairness, the command reference was comprehensive, and largely a true reflection of what the software did.

I had some issues with the development process - the quality testing was sometimes limited to "it ran for 24 hours without crashing". I do not have fond memories of filing a bug report of BGP being available but totally non-functional on a particular platform, being assured that it would be fixed in the next release, and weeks later receiving a release that had all trace of BGP completely removed.

I've had a more recent look at some of their consumer-grade output by virtue of friends and family getting one bundled with their broadband service. The web GUI on these is quite well layed-out and straightforward with minimal clutter, and the functionality (again, at least for basic connectivity) seems quite solid, although that's firmly anecdotal rather than lab-tested.

Out of curiosity, what are you doing that necessitates that 1841+WIC instead of the much cheaper 878 / 888, or even 1803?

Regards,
Tim.
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mtinka at globaltransit

May 13, 2010, 3:32 AM

Post #10 of 18 (16248 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

On Thursday 13 May 2010 05:33:23 pm Gert Doering wrote:

> What about the CPE side? We have been offered Huawei
> devices to be used as G.SHDSL.bis termination devices
> (on the CPE side), and they look quite interesting - a
> Cisco 1841 with a SHDSL-WIC would also work, of course,
> but the WIC is just too expensive for a CPE...
>
> (We have not yet received the boxes, so I couldn't test
> 'em yet)

Huawei's a bag of mixed feelings if you go around all their
platforms.

I know GSM/3G engineers who swear by them, and a few
DWDM/SONET/SDH experts that are 50/50. While some IP
engineers are polarized altogether.

It really all depends on if your application is IP or telco.
As an IP engineer, reiterating what Pshem said, they are
just not yet mature.

We've used some of their kit for GPON access, those just
work with no major drama. But then again, feature
requirements aren't that major there compared to an IP/MPLS
core backbone.

Mark.
Attachments: signature.asc (0.82 KB)


b.turnbow at twt

May 13, 2010, 4:31 AM

Post #11 of 18 (16254 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

>What about the CPE side? We have been offered Huawei devices to be
used
>as G.SHDSL.bis termination devices (on the CPE side), and they look
quite
>interesting - a Cisco 1841 with a SHDSL-WIC would also work, of course,

>but the WIC is just too expensive for a CPE...

We have a couple installed , and they have been very reliable although
with very basic configs.
It is a good sign that I can't even remeber where they were installed :)
In the end though we found that used/refurbed cisco was competative,
made our techs happier, and our customers prefer to see the cisco
bridge...

Brian

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swmike at swm

May 13, 2010, 6:30 AM

Post #12 of 18 (16250 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

On Thu, 13 May 2010, Mark Tinka wrote:

> As an IP engineer, reiterating what Pshem said, they are just not yet
> mature.

My take on this:

Huawei wants to win RFQ:s. Anything people usually put in their RFQs,
Huawei will most likely have. If it's usually not in RFQs, it's quite
likely it's not in there or it doesn't work very well.

People don't RFQ "working" CLI, so with Huawei ctrl-a and cltr-e doesn't
work (windows keys home/end works though). Do you want to paste a lot of
lines into the CLI? Forget it, Huawei employs a mechanism that overflows
when there are more than 25 lines in the buffer it reads off of the TCP
socket. It doesn't stop reading and let TCP buffer, it just overflows and
throws away characters. When you say this is bad, the "solution" you get
back is to emply line paste pause in your "terminal program" (when you're
in an xterm this is kind of hard to do).

My guess is that Huawei sells a lot of turn-key solutions where people who
run it are fairly fresh out of school and educated only on Huawei gear and
with very little unix experience, so they don't lack what a lot of
other network engineers with Unix backgrounds find lacking in their gear.

This also explains why the transmission/telephony/mobile people like their
gear as well, because they usually work in GUI and not in CLI. Their
interaction with the gear is usually so lacking I want to cry when I see
it, but they're used to even worse so they're still happy.

--
Mikael Abrahamsson email: swmike [at] swm
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gert at greenie

May 13, 2010, 7:39 AM

Post #13 of 18 (16246 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

Hi,

On Thu, May 13, 2010 at 10:30:52AM +0000, Tim Franklin wrote:
> > What about the CPE side? We have been offered Huawei devices to be
> > used as G.SHDSL.bis termination devices (on the CPE side), and they
[..]
> Out of curiosity, what are you doing that necessitates that 1841+WIC instead of the much cheaper 878 / 888, or even 1803?

Well, the 878 seems to be end-of-production...

Besides that, I've been told that the smaller ones are not powerful enough
to run 5.7 or 8Mbit SHDSL.bis lines. This might not be correct, but we've
not specifically tested them yet.

gert

--
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lukasz at bromirski

May 13, 2010, 9:45 AM

Post #14 of 18 (16232 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

On 2010-05-13 16:39, Gert Doering wrote:

>>> What about the CPE side? We have been offered Huawei devices to be
>>> used as G.SHDSL.bis termination devices (on the CPE side), and they
>> Out of curiosity, what are you doing that necessitates that 1841+WIC instead of the much cheaper 878 / 888, or even 1803?
> Well, the 878 seems to be end-of-production...
> Besides that, I've been told that the smaller ones are not powerful enough
> to run 5.7 or 8Mbit SHDSL.bis lines. This might not be correct, but we've
> not specifically tested them yet.

The 888/888E may be of interest to You. It easily fills in the
G.SHDSL wire-speed with services, the drawback for 888E being it's
available right now only with 15.1(1)T image.

--
"Everything will be okay in the end. | Łukasz Bromirski
If it's not okay, it's not the end." | http://lukasz.bromirski.net
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gert at greenie

May 13, 2010, 11:20 AM

Post #15 of 18 (16234 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

Hi,

On Thu, May 13, 2010 at 06:45:58PM +0200, ?ukasz Bromirski wrote:
> The 888/888E may be of interest to You. It easily fills in the
> G.SHDSL wire-speed with services, the drawback for 888E being it's
> available right now only with 15.1(1)T image.

Thanks, we'll check this out. Will it only do G.SHDSL or G.SHDSL.bis
as well, with up to 5.7 mbit per copper pair? Is it 4-wire or 8-wire?

gert
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pavel-subscriptions at pavel

May 15, 2010, 9:07 AM

Post #16 of 18 (16172 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

Hi,


My first advice regarding S9300 or any other Huawei box is not to trust
any lab test they might propose to you, but get one demo box and place
it in the target live environment, if possible.

In particular for S9300, it's a surprisingly well done
non-oversubscribed 10G IP-switch with hardware MPLS support, but no
match for 76xx, so be sure to ask for a much lower price. S9300 is done
using technology from the NE40 series ( not the NE40-E / NE80-E, who is
positioned on same level with 7600 and also has the LPUF and LPUG cards
that try to compete with ES+ cards ).

Depending on your desired position on your customer's network, things
could go well with this box for running L2 carrier services, as EoMPLS /
TE looks good on them. For IPv4/v6 routing things get nasty, even if
they have LC that support 512k FIB, QPPB, enough LFIB space. The
problems that you should lookup with these things are the CPU processing
limits, as it seems that the MPU, as they call it, is somehow too week
for holding even a decent flow of control-plane traffic, so you might
want to keep things simple there.


>From the operational part, you must pray that you don't need to interact
with their post-sales support team, as they are unable to help you on
complex problems or give you info on "what happens with this packet
inside the box" questions. They tend to escalate this problems to their
over-worked suicidal R&D guys.

Documentation is useless most of the times and looks like it was google
translated from mandarin.

For the software, try to get them to give you an image that has GA
status with at least one maintenance release ( for ex. SRD2 ) as they
try to push newer feature releases on to small customers for beta-testing.


Don't trust anything they tell you but test it yourself, You would be
surprised to find that simple things you would take for granted on
Cisco/Juniper/Alcatel/etc are not implemented the way you expected.

Also, what if hear from happy GSM/WDM/SDH Huawei owners is not relevant
for IP/Ethernet/MPLS/Carrier Service, as they are totally different BUs
with different experience and strategy.

On the commercial side, they will do "ANYTHING" to sign with you, as
they are desperately trying to extend their datacom portfolio to more
than the current China Telecom, Asia and other banana republics
customers that they currently have.



Good luck!

--
Pavel Stan
pavel.stan [at] pavel


Felix Nkansah wrote:
> Hi,
>
> A telco customer is evaluating tender proposals for next-generation Internet
> POPs planned for deployment this year.
>
> Among the bidders is Huawei, who has a very beautiful technical proposal
> document with great-looking design/platforms.
>
> They are positioning their Quidway S9300 terabit routing switch platform to
> compete (the equivalent of the Cisco ASR 9000).
>
> The customer would have loved to go with Cisco 7609s, but is contemplating
> Huawei's because of their low prices.
>
> I know Huawei is doing a good job in mobile switching and access networks,
> but do you know how well they do with their products in data/IP/BGP/MPLS
> solutions?
>
> How about the maturity of their software? Are there any hidden operational
> costs too? What is the total cost of ownership when compared to Cisco's?
>
> Thanks. Felix
> _______________________________________________
> cisco-nsp mailing list cisco-nsp [at] puck
> https://puck.nether.net/mailman/listinfo/cisco-nsp
> archive at http://puck.nether.net/pipermail/cisco-nsp/
>
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mauritz at three6five

May 17, 2010, 3:28 AM

Post #17 of 18 (16113 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

Hi

We've had very similar experience with Huawei and not just related to the kit mentioned in the thread thus far.
But the cost and end-to-end cover from a single provider does make them a pain in the sides of most competitors.

Has anyone had any experience with ZTE?

Regards,

Mauritz Lewies

email: mo [at] three6five
mobile: +27 83 647 4901
Skype Phone: +27 11 08 365 02
three6five network solutions
www.three6five.com

On 15 May 2010, at 6:07 PM, Pavel Stan wrote:

> Hi,
>
>
> My first advice regarding S9300 or any other Huawei box is not to trust
> any lab test they might propose to you, but get one demo box and place
> it in the target live environment, if possible.
>
> In particular for S9300, it's a surprisingly well done
> non-oversubscribed 10G IP-switch with hardware MPLS support, but no
> match for 76xx, so be sure to ask for a much lower price. S9300 is done
> using technology from the NE40 series ( not the NE40-E / NE80-E, who is
> positioned on same level with 7600 and also has the LPUF and LPUG cards
> that try to compete with ES+ cards ).
>
> Depending on your desired position on your customer's network, things
> could go well with this box for running L2 carrier services, as EoMPLS /
> TE looks good on them. For IPv4/v6 routing things get nasty, even if
> they have LC that support 512k FIB, QPPB, enough LFIB space. The
> problems that you should lookup with these things are the CPU processing
> limits, as it seems that the MPU, as they call it, is somehow too week
> for holding even a decent flow of control-plane traffic, so you might
> want to keep things simple there.
>
>
>> From the operational part, you must pray that you don't need to interact
> with their post-sales support team, as they are unable to help you on
> complex problems or give you info on "what happens with this packet
> inside the box" questions. They tend to escalate this problems to their
> over-worked suicidal R&D guys.
>
> Documentation is useless most of the times and looks like it was google
> translated from mandarin.
>
> For the software, try to get them to give you an image that has GA
> status with at least one maintenance release ( for ex. SRD2 ) as they
> try to push newer feature releases on to small customers for beta-testing.
>
>
> Don't trust anything they tell you but test it yourself, You would be
> surprised to find that simple things you would take for granted on
> Cisco/Juniper/Alcatel/etc are not implemented the way you expected.
>
> Also, what if hear from happy GSM/WDM/SDH Huawei owners is not relevant
> for IP/Ethernet/MPLS/Carrier Service, as they are totally different BUs
> with different experience and strategy.
>
> On the commercial side, they will do "ANYTHING" to sign with you, as
> they are desperately trying to extend their datacom portfolio to more
> than the current China Telecom, Asia and other banana republics
> customers that they currently have.
>
>
>
> Good luck!
>
> --
> Pavel Stan
> pavel.stan [at] pavel
>
>
> Felix Nkansah wrote:
>> Hi,
>>
>> A telco customer is evaluating tender proposals for next-generation Internet
>> POPs planned for deployment this year.
>>
>> Among the bidders is Huawei, who has a very beautiful technical proposal
>> document with great-looking design/platforms.
>>
>> They are positioning their Quidway S9300 terabit routing switch platform to
>> compete (the equivalent of the Cisco ASR 9000).
>>
>> The customer would have loved to go with Cisco 7609s, but is contemplating
>> Huawei's because of their low prices.
>>
>> I know Huawei is doing a good job in mobile switching and access networks,
>> but do you know how well they do with their products in data/IP/BGP/MPLS
>> solutions?
>>
>> How about the maturity of their software? Are there any hidden operational
>> costs too? What is the total cost of ownership when compared to Cisco's?
>>
>> Thanks. Felix
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lukasz at bromirski

Jun 8, 2010, 12:05 PM

Post #18 of 18 (15682 views)
Permalink
Re: Huawei instead of Cisco [In reply to]

On 2010-05-13 20:20, Gert Doering wrote:

>> The 888/888E may be of interest to You. It easily fills in the
>> G.SHDSL wire-speed with services, the drawback for 888E being it's
>> available right now only with 15.1(1)T image.
> Thanks, we'll check this out. Will it only do G.SHDSL or G.SHDSL.bis
> as well, with up to 5.7 mbit per copper pair? Is it 4-wire or 8-wire?

It's 4-wire, both as 888E fixed and as a HWIC for modular ISRs.
For HQoS, Firewall and VPN at the same time 888E can push over
8Mbit/s of traffic, while for pure IP traffic it can go over 190Mbit/s.

--
"Everything will be okay in the end. | Łukasz Bromirski
If it's not okay, it's not the end." | http://lukasz.bromirski.net
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