Huawei equipment

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Huawei equipment

Postposted on Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:08 pm

Anybody have any first-hand experience with any of Huawei's equipment? I'm aware of their status as a major network/telecommunication equipment company, and their possible (probable?) ties to the Chinese military.

I was looking thru job listings and notice Huawei USA is hiring. With the gov't ban on using their gear for gov't/military networks, the US branch is facing an uphill battle mindshare-wise.

Is their equipment any good? Do they use a knock-off IOS, ala Adtran and Tasman Networks? Does their gear fail if so much as a stiff wind happens to blow past it?

I'm genuinely curious to see how they stack up to Juniper and Cisco in production environments. Anybody know?
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:58 pm

They used to be direct Cisco copies, but when the typo mistakes in the command output was identical on the Huawei equipment with the Cisco equipment that got shut down pretty fast. I know they opened an office here in Ottawa and picked up a bunch of ASIC guys from Cisco.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:49 am

When I first heard of Huawei, they seemed to be the #1 patent-infringing copycat Chinese knock-off firm.

They still seem to lack original design but their kit seems reliable and well made. I have only used their phone-related stuff though (smartphones, mobile broadband, tablets). They sell some digital TV set-top boxes around here but I've never seen one because every TV sold in the last 12 years has had a digital tuner by default in the UK.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:18 am

American officials have long considered Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, a security threat, blocking it from business deals in the United States.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/23/world ... .html?_r=0

The chinese are worse then our own government's NSA. I imagine they have around 3-5 times the amount of hackers employed by their own government then we do. I imagine they get paid a heck of alot less though. The last statement's by me is pure speculation but I have a feeling it is very close to the truth.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:31 pm

I wouldn't trust Huawei or any other foreign OEM for critical infrastructure, but many made-in-America companies import a lot of ICs so verifying the provenance of a router can be extremely difficult and truly doing it right involves a lot of time and money. For normal use, it shouldn't matter as the infiltration risk is going to be about the same either way.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:32 pm

notfred wrote:They used to be direct Cisco copies, but when the typo mistakes in the command output was identical on the Huawei equipment with the Cisco equipment that got shut down pretty fast. I know they opened an office here in Ottawa and picked up a bunch of ASIC guys from Cisco.



LOL! That's funny! Even Adtran's AOS got around the issue by changing a few things, like VLANs are called S-TAGs for whatever reason... :D

I was unaware that they poached some of Cisco's ASIC team. That's very interesting.

NovusBogus wrote:I wouldn't trust Huawei or any other foreign OEM for critical infrastructure, but many made-in-America companies import a lot of ICs so verifying the provenance of a router can be extremely difficult and truly doing it right involves a lot of time and money. For normal use, it shouldn't matter as the infiltration risk is going to be about the same either way.


That's what my thinking was, as well. I was mainly curious, since a previous employer of mine replaced all our Cisco equipment with Tasman (and some Juniper VPN gear), and the Tasman routers would fail if you so much as looked at them funny. Of course the fact that our CEO was the brother of one of Tasman's Senior VPs in no way played any part of that decision. :roll:
Last edited by Hz so good on Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:36 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:"When I first heard of Huawei, they seemed to be the #1 patent-infringing copycat Chinese knock-off firm.

They still seem to lack original design but their kit seems reliable and well made. I have only used their phone-related stuff though (smartphones, mobile broadband, tablets)... *snip*



Hmm... Interesting. I haven't had the chance to test out any of their gear, but I have had the misfortune of helping friends try to use their ZTE phones. Those things suck so hard, they could be re-purposed as vacuum cleaners. As long as WiFi is around, they're OKish, but God forbid you try to use the 3G radio...
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:37 pm

Hz so good wrote:Of course the fact that our CEO was the brother of one of Tasman's Senior VPs in no way played any part of that decision. :roll:

You would be surprised (and/or disgusted) at how much of that kind of sh*t goes on.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:41 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Hz so good wrote:Of course the fact that our CEO was the brother of one of Tasman's Senior VPs in no way played any part of that decision. :roll:

You would be surprised (and/or disgusted) at how much of that kind of sh*t goes on.


I remember when my first CTO got kickbac... err, "revenue-share", from D-Link. Nothing says "fun" like unmanaged L2 Switches EVERYWHERE (even at the network core).

"Broadcast storms? What're those?"
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:49 pm

Hz so good wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Hz so good wrote:Of course the fact that our CEO was the brother of one of Tasman's Senior VPs in no way played any part of that decision. :roll:

You would be surprised (and/or disgusted) at how much of that kind of sh*t goes on.

I remember when my first CTO got kickbac... err, "revenue-share", from D-Link. Nothing says "fun" like unmanaged L2 Switches EVERYWHERE (even at the network core).

"Broadcast storms? What're those?"

It's not just technology infrastructure either. How about being stuck in a facility that is physically ill-suited to the needs of the business because of "connections"? Meh.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:09 pm

just brew it! wrote:It's not just technology infrastructure either. How about being stuck in a facility that is physically ill-suited to the needs of the business because of "connections"? Meh.



That most definitely has to suck. At the WISP I worked for, the leadership all came from the dial paging world, so at least they had ignorance as an excuse. We were constantly having to explain and correct the VPs, because they didn't understand how WiFi and the underlying infrastructure worked. Well, the VPs who weren't sleeping thru the meetings or watching porn, anyway. Seriously, one of the VPs (and shareholder) had the awesome idea that we should cache all the porn as close to the users as possible, since they were mostly college students.

How much porn you ask? "ALL.THE.PORN.". Brilliant! :roll:

/Literally, that's all that guy would do. Come in (suit and tie, no less), and watch porn all day. No one was brave enough to ever go into his office without knocking.
//As for the others, it was like "Do you even know what we do for a living? No? Ok, go back to sleep [REDACTED]. *pats gently on head* We'll wake you up before quitting time".
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:17 pm

NovusBogus wrote:I wouldn't trust Huawei or any other foreign OEM for critical infrastructure, but many made-in-America companies import a lot of ICs so verifying the provenance of a router can be extremely difficult and truly doing it right involves a lot of time and money. For normal use, it shouldn't matter as the infiltration risk is going to be about the same either way.

And you think made-in-America equipment does not have NSA backdoors and planted stuff in them? :roll:
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:22 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
NovusBogus wrote:I wouldn't trust Huawei or any other foreign OEM for critical infrastructure, but many made-in-America companies import a lot of ICs so verifying the provenance of a router can be extremely difficult and truly doing it right involves a lot of time and money. For normal use, it shouldn't matter as the infiltration risk is going to be about the same either way.

And you think made-in-America equipment does not have NSA backdoors and planted stuff in them? :roll:



That's the thinking behind the home-grown MIPS64 chip China developed, and why the Russian gov't is ditching Intel and AMD in favor of indigenous options (ARM and MIPS, IIRC).
Last edited by Hz so good on Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:24 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Hz so good wrote:Of course the fact that our CEO was the brother of one of Tasman's Senior VPs in no way played any part of that decision. :roll:

You would be surprised (and/or disgusted) at how much of that kind of sh*t goes on.


On a slightly unrelated note, there was an engineering freshman that was on academic probation and got an internship without having to submit a resume or do an interview. I recall her mentioning that she preferred to be a plastic surgeon, but her parents forced her to do engineering.

Coincidentally, her father was the senior plant manager or something.

Me? Got to the final round of interview for that same company. Then I relieved an email two months later stating that they "found more qualified" candidates and suggested me to try again next year.

I was a bit annoyed at losing an internship position to someone who would've been insta-rejected for having a GPA lower than 2.00.

Hz so good wrote:
just brew it! wrote:/Literally, that's all that guy would do. Come in (suit and tie, no less), and watch porn all day. No one was brave enough to ever go into his office without knocking.
//As for the others, it was like "Do you even know what we do for a living? No? Ok, go back to sleep [REDACTED]. *pats gently on head* We'll wake you up before quitting time".


I know a relative that rocked the boat at their workplace when he/she discovered what the managers were doing.

Let's just say that the relative was asked to leave after blowing the whistle.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:38 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
NovusBogus wrote:I wouldn't trust Huawei or any other foreign OEM for critical infrastructure, but many made-in-America companies import a lot of ICs so verifying the provenance of a router can be extremely difficult and truly doing it right involves a lot of time and money. For normal use, it shouldn't matter as the infiltration risk is going to be about the same either way.

And you think made-in-America equipment does not have NSA backdoors and planted stuff in them? :roll:

Ehh... who are you more afraid of -- the NSA or the Chinese? At least the NSA are on our side... supposedly. Seems like a "lesser of two evils" thing to me.

At least these days you can build your own router using Open Source software and lock it down. Beyond that you're at the level of worrying about whether your BIOS or CPU chip has been compromised, or whether there's a back door or vulnerability in some admin interface. On the admin interface compromise front, you can minimize your exposure by requiring a SSH tunnel for all admin access.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:51 pm

UnfriendlyFire wrote:
I know a relative that rocked the boat at their workplace when he/she discovered what the managers were doing.

Let's just say that the relative was asked to leave after blowing the whistle.



Let's just say that the org chart was sooo top-heavy at that one company, that they couldn't afford to get rid of any of us "peons". We were the only thing keeping that hodge-podged, "chewing gum and bailing wire" network afloat. :P

And that was even after a coworker and I took it upon ourselves to document the entire network (core to edges), and made it as standards-based and robust as humanly possible, given the random assortment of equipment in use. That shows just how out of the loop management was.

/Sure, our paychecks almost bounced, and we had zero spares, but the 30 or so VPs still got performance bonuses for "growing" the company. :roll:
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:58 pm

just brew it! wrote:At least these days you can build your own router using Open Source software and lock it down. Beyond that you're at the level of worrying about whether your BIOS or CPU chip has been compromised, or whether there's a back door or vulnerability in some admin interface. On the admin interface compromise front, you can minimize your exposure by requiring a SSH tunnel for all admin access.



The only issue I have with that is performance level. You won't hit wire-speed level routing/switching using a software-based solution. Otherwise, NT4 and Netware 5.x would've cleaned Cisco's clock, back in the late 90's. Even lower-end multilayer switches do "route once, switch many", to lessen the impact of software routing.

The big switches have dedicated L3 processors (among others), and still rely on the switching ASICs (and their FIB, CAM, and TCAM tables) during Supervisor/Route Processor failover. I think there are a few failover modes that don't, and they are much slower to re-converge (think ~2 min outage vs ~2-5 seconds).

*EDIT*

For full disclosure, I have seen Aggregators (Adtran Total Access series, to be specific) that use fast Xeon processors on the line-cards (40Gbps Ethernet/ATM cards. I dunno what the SHDSL/VDSL2 boards or SONET cards used). I don't know enough about them to really feel comfy commenting. I just installed, configured, and provisioned the things according to Windstream's instructions, since they were being deployed in their COs.
Last edited by Hz so good on Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:13 pm

Hz so good wrote:
just brew it! wrote:At least these days you can build your own router using Open Source software and lock it down. Beyond that you're at the level of worrying about whether your BIOS or CPU chip has been compromised, or whether there's a back door or vulnerability in some admin interface. On the admin interface compromise front, you can minimize your exposure by requiring a SSH tunnel for all admin access.

The only issue I have with that is performance level. You won't hit wire-speed level routing/switching using a software-based solution.

Agreed, you won't. But most companies don't have a wire-speed connection to the Internet anyway. I was thinking more in terms of gateway routers, not internal ones. If an internal router tries to "phone home" you'd see it at the point where your traffic hits the public Internet.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:17 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Hz so good wrote:
just brew it! wrote:At least these days you can build your own router using Open Source software and lock it down. Beyond that you're at the level of worrying about whether your BIOS or CPU chip has been compromised, or whether there's a back door or vulnerability in some admin interface. On the admin interface compromise front, you can minimize your exposure by requiring a SSH tunnel for all admin access.

The only issue I have with that is performance level. You won't hit wire-speed level routing/switching using a software-based solution.

Agreed, you won't. But most companies don't have a wire-speed connection to the Internet anyway. I was thinking more in terms of gateway routers, not internal ones. If an internal router tries to "phone home" you'd see it at the point where your traffic hits the public Internet.



Yeah, I come from Telco-land, so my "acceptable" criteria is much different from a lot of folks. I did use a software-based firewall at a smallish site (less than a thousand simultaneous users) when a major device failed, and it was fine for an emergency. I wanna say it was P4 runningslackware linux(I'm wrong, it was pfSense on FreeBSD) with a 100mbps NIC (our primary link was a full DS3). I dunno how well it would've faired if it was the main gateway router (we used a 7200 VXR directly connected to AT&T's wideband-reach gear).

Sidebar: At least I'm not from the financial network sector. They measure acceptable latency in nanoseconds. :o
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:40 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Hz so good wrote:
just brew it! wrote:At least these days you can build your own router using Open Source software and lock it down. Beyond that you're at the level of worrying about whether your BIOS or CPU chip has been compromised, or whether there's a back door or vulnerability in some admin interface. On the admin interface compromise front, you can minimize your exposure by requiring a SSH tunnel for all admin access.

The only issue I have with that is performance level. You won't hit wire-speed level routing/switching using a software-based solution.

Agreed, you won't. But most companies don't have a wire-speed connection to the Internet anyway. I was thinking more in terms of gateway routers, not internal ones. If an internal router tries to "phone home" you'd see it at the point where your traffic hits the public Internet.



OK, I know why I was thinking Slackware. Way back in the day, I built some WiFi "captive portal" equipment at startup company using old Pentium 75s, 64MB CF card, and a WiFi card, running a custom 48MB image of Slackware. I stripped it down to the bare-minimum needed to run the software the other guys on the team wrote, and the network modules. It fit on the Compact Flash as ro, with a tiny portion left over for rw. It did almost all of what the (then) $2000 Bluesockets did, at ~$100 for material costs. We were looking at moving the prototype to a singleboard computer (Soekris, IIRC) that would happily run in a NEMA4 outdoor enclosure, right when the backers pulled out and shut the company down. It ran rather well on a ADSL or Cable modem connection.

Ah, memories...
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:09 pm

Hz so good wrote:Sidebar: At least I'm not from the financial network sector. They measure acceptable latency in nanoseconds. :o

Yup. And roll their own custom FPGAs/ASICs to shave a few nanoseconds here and there. It's effectively an arms race in the HFT world...
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:51 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Hz so good wrote:Sidebar: At least I'm not from the financial network sector. They measure acceptable latency in nanoseconds. :o

Yup. And roll their own custom FPGAs/ASICs to shave a few nanoseconds here and there. It's effectively an arms race in the HFT world...


There was a DEFCON video about a hacker noticing that a day-trader was using an overclocked computer (or a Xeon workstation) without any AV or firewall.

On a side note, lots of financial institutes pay an arm and a leg to setup their trading computers in the same building as the stock exchange so the only connection would be a short Ethernet or intranet fiber optic cable.

EDIT: A few years ago a fiber optic line was laid through the Great Lakes to reduce the latency between traders living in the upper Midwest and the NYSE by a few milliseconds. Don't remember who paid for the cable installation

Laying cable through deep water is a bit pricy...
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:13 pm

When you're skimming billions from ordinary investors, milliseconds count.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:56 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:When you're skimming billions from ordinary investors, milliseconds count.
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/201 ... all-street


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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:51 am

Ah, HFT, what a lovely bunch. At least their existence is great for trolling people who whine about cryptocurrency.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:41 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:When you're skimming billions from ordinary investors, milliseconds count.
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/201 ... all-street



Why do you hate Job Creators(tm) ?
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:43 am

UnfriendlyFire wrote:
EDIT: A few years ago a fiber optic line was laid through the Great Lakes to reduce the latency between traders living in the upper Midwest and the NYSE by a few milliseconds. Don't remember who paid for the cable installation

Laying cable through deep water is a bit pricy...


I've been unable to find specifics for that submarine cable, but the lowest price I've seen was $28K per kilometer, and that was a run between CONUS and Japan. There was a regional cable in the Mediterranean that cost ~$90K per kilometer.

I think the entire UK to Tokyo Artic cable (actually 3 cables) ended up costing $1.5B

/I've zero experience in that part of Telecom, so take this with a boulder of salt.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:41 am

just brew it! wrote:
Hz so good wrote:Of course the fact that our CEO was the brother of one of Tasman's Senior VPs in no way played any part of that decision. :roll:

You would be surprised (and/or disgusted) at how much of that kind of sh*t goes on.


At one place I worked, a VP handed out a service contract to a company that was 2 million underneath the lowest bidder. That same VP then quit once the contract was signed and moved to VP position at the service company. The service company underbid the contract so badly that they only had provisions for two people to support a thousand plus server twenty-four by seven in two locations with a two hour response time. It was brutal to watch. Then it got scary when the main tech sub-contracted some of work to his techs at his computer repair side business. It was understandable since the main company wouldn't hire anymore people, but a couple of them were highly unqualified.

I moved to another company midway through their contract, so I'm not sure how it turned out.
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:06 pm

NovusBogus wrote:Ah, HFT, what a lovely bunch. At least their existence is great for trolling people who whine about cryptocurrency.


A while ago, a stock trading company said they wanted to launch a HFT that manages bitcoins, or at least participate in trading bitcoins...

I don't see how they could make a profit out of that, and if they could, that revenue has to come from someone's pocket.

EDIT: Well, apparently someone did create a HFT bitcoin bot: http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comment ... raders_is/

Hm, I wonder what would happen if you perform quote-stuffing (massive buying and selling at the same time) or flash trading (predicting value of the shares milliseconds before others can) on bitcoins?
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Re: Huawei equipment

Postposted on Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:16 pm

UnfriendlyFire wrote:A while ago, a stock trading company said they wanted to launch a HFT that manages bitcoins, or at least participate in trading bitcoins...

I don't see how they could make a profit out of that, and if they could, that revenue has to come from someone's pocket.

In other words, just like HFT with regular stocks and options.
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