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Glenn Conley, president and CEO of Metropark Communications, a St. Louis-based solution provider and Huawei partner, said it's this level of flexibility delivered through Huawei's new Agile switching series that really sets it apart from the competition. He also said that customers are starting to demand this kind of programmability in their networks.
"If there is some new application that needs extra priority in the future, I am able to do that without having to rip it all out and put it back in," Conley said. "I think customers are getting more savvy now, and they like the flexibility of being able to change [to accommodate] whatever the future is going to bring at the software level, instead of having to rip it out and put something brand new in."
According to Huawei's Gupta, the Agile S12700 switch series -- which will come in both an eight- or 12-slot chassis -- will help Huawei's channel partners round out their switching portfolios with a more programmable, SDN-centric solution.
"This is huge for our channel, actually," Gupta said. "Partners were [saying], 'when we are competing with the Cisco's and the Juniper's of the world and we show our road map, there's nothing high-end from a flexibility or programmability point of view.' This switch really fills that gap."
Shenzhen, China-based Huawei has been working to grow both its U.S. enterprise and partner base over the past two years, with the launch of its formal U.S. channel program in 2011. In a recent interview with CRN, Huawei said it currently has between 75 and 100 U.S. partners.
The company has also, however, been facing allegations from the U.S. government of collusion with the Chinese government, which, in some cases, has hurt Huawei's efforts to grow its U.S. presence.
Both Conley and Gupta said they could also see Huawei's new Agile S12700 making its way into data center networks down the line. "In the future, it might play really, really well in that arena, as well," Conley said.