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Survey Reveals 93 Percent of Network Operators View OPNFV as Important to Success of NFV

By June 22, 2016November 28th, 2016Announcements

OPNFV and Heavy Reading survey finds the majority of operators plan to leverage the output of OPNFV

BERLIN, OPNFV Summit,  June 22, 2016 – The OPNFV Project, a carrier-grade, integrated, open source platform intended to accelerate the introduction of new products and services using Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), today announced onstage at OPNFV Summit the results of a global survey commissioned by Heavy Reading to understand network operators’ perceptions of OPNFV and how the project can help accelerate NFV transformation. The data indicated an overwhelming majority (99 percent) of those surveyed agree that at just 21 months in, OPNFV is poised to deliver on its promise to accelerate NFV.

The survey was  designed to gauge market perceptions of the OPNFV project, including expected outcomes, its role in shaping open source NFV, industry intent to leverage OPNFV output, and overall impact.The survey follow-up a baseline survey also conducted by Heavy Reading in September 2015.  Specifically targeted towards telecommunications network operators, the data reveals an updated look at the drivers, barriers, timelines and critical upstream integration needed for OPNFV to succeed in advancing open source NFV adoption.

Key findings include:

  • OPNFV is critical to the telecom industry. While 99 percent of those surveyed believe OPNFV will deliver on its promise, 93 percent also believe OPNFV is either essential or important to the telecom industry as a whole. And 97 percent of those surveyed plan to leverage the output of OPNFV in some way.
  • Upstream integration is more important than ever. 99 percent agree OPNFV is relevant to upstream open source projects. Respondents overwhelmingly (85 percent) ranked OpenStack as the most important upstream project to OPNFV’s success, followed by OpenvSwitch (49 percent), KVM (42 percent) and OpenDaylight (37 percent).
  • NFV is making headway. While NFV deployments are still young, operators are further along in the journey than they were eight months ago. Data shows that only six percent of operators have no NFV strategy planned at all, compared to 14 percent in September 2015.
  • Barriers remain. Some of the biggest barriers for organizations to get involved with OPNFV include “lack of skill set” and “lack of upper management support.” While these factors are keeping some organizations on the sidelines, many (47 percent) recognize NFV is a priority for their company and the majority of those (53 percent) indicated they know how to get involved with OPNFV when their organization is ready to begin NFV planning and execution.
  • Security. Security was cited as the top technology that OPNFV should investigate. Recognizing its growing importance in the community, last year OPNFV formed a security working group dedicated to improving security through architecture, documentation, code review, upstream inter-work with other groups, and vulnerability management and security research. Their work provides an umbrella group focused on developing security-centric functions within the ecosystem, including a proposal to deliver a security management system for OPNFV.
  • Management and Orchestration (MANO), and the related value OPNFV can provide, is increasingly important. Ranked as one of the top three technologies OPNFV should investigate (along with security and OSS/BSS integration), operators believe OPNFV can aid in addressing MANO by proposing industry-wide APIs in support of orchestration; demonstrating integration of MANO projects into the OPNFV platform;  and providing upstream feedback to MANO projects components (including Virtual Infrastructure Managers, Virtual Network Function Managers, and Software Defined Networking controllers).


“It’s inspiring to see that the industry believes in the importance of what we’re doing with OPNFV,” said Heather Kirksey, director, OPNFV. “Our strong community continues to grow and thrive and while we’re still  a young organization, the results of the survey indicate we’re still on the right path. It’s important we get a regular pulse on what the industry needs so we can refine our approach, and focus our efforts on how best to accelerate open source NFV.”

The survey results, which include input from more than 90 network operator professionals focused on engineering, research and development, network planning and corporate management, primarily based in North America, Europe and Asia, were shared on stage during the second annual OPNFV Summit, which brings together developers, end users, and upstream communities working to advance the creation of an open source framework for NFV. More details on the survey results are available here.

About Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV)

Open Platform for NFV is a carrier-grade, integrated, open source flexible platform intended to accelerate the introduction of new products and services using NFV. It brings together service providers, vendors and users to collaborate in an open forum on advancing the state-of-the-art in NFV. For more information, please visit:

OPNFV is a Collaborative Project at The Linux Foundation. Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects are independently funded software projects that harness the power of collaborative development to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems.

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Jill Lovato
OPNFV Project