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Majority of Telecom Service Providers Confident OPNFV is Delivering on Promise to Accelerate Open Source NFV Adoption

By June 13, 2017Announcements

OPNFV and Heavy Reading survey reveals growth in importance of OPNFV among operators, broadened scope of upstream integrators

BEIJING –  OPNFV Summit – June 14, 2017 – 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 conducted by Heavy Reading to understand network operators’ perceptions of OPNFV and how the project accelerates NFV transformation. The data indicated continued confidence in OPNFV as 98 percent of survey respondents agree that at almost three years in, OPNFV is delivering on its promise to accelerate open source NFV.

Designed to gauge market perceptions of the OPNFV project over time, the survey is the third in a series conducted by Heavy Reading analyzing telecommunications network operator perceptions of how OPNFV impacts the industry. The data includes an updated analysis of the state and impact of OPNFV among operators, its role in shaping open source NFV, industry intent to leverage OPNFV output, as well as current drivers, barriers and integration needed for success in advancing open source NFV adoption.

Key findings include:

  • OPNFV remains critical to industry adoption of NFV. 98 percent of telecom operators surveyed are either somewhat or very satisfied that OPNFV is delivering on its promise to help accelerate open source NFV adoption, while almost half (45 percent) said OPNFV is most helpful for operators to achieve their NFV goals. The top expected benefits of OPNFV output include easier integration and more rapid NFV deployment.
  • OPNFV is growing in importance, particularly among those currently deploying NFV. More than half (54 percent) of nearly 100 Communication Service Providers (CSPs) surveyed said OPNFV has become more important to their organization over the past year; that number jumps to 70 percent for those with NFV in production. Similarly, 75 of those surveyed actively follow OPNFV, with more than a quarter of them directly contributing to the project.
  • OPNFV is moving from Proof of Concept (PoC) to production. In addition to OpenStack and SDN controllers which are foundational upstream integrators for OPNFVCSPs are acknowledging the importance of additional supports needed for open source telco designs. Now, they are acknowledging the value of hardware based on open source designs (51 percent cited the Open Compute Project specifically), leveraging technologies to provide performance needed to support demanding telco workloads (41 percent cited DPDK), and stronger focus on operational issues (32 percent cited ONAP), and optimizing applications for improved efficiency (37 percent cited Docker).
  • Though still in the early stages, DevOps plays a critical role to the overall success of NFV. 80 percent of survey respondents feel DevOps is essential or important to the success of NFV, with half either evaluating various toolchains (26 percent) or working on automating and testing infrastructure (25 percent). However, less than 15 percent are currently building CI/CD pipelines internally and only 13 percent currently push patches to production daily via automated tools/validation. Bringing true DevOps methodologies across multiple communities is a key tenet of OPNFV and the project continues to make progress in the creation of a truly integrated DevOps pipeline for NFV.
  • Testing and interoperability rank among top OPNFV activities. Top OPNFV activities important to operators include: providing VNF interoperability testing on different platforms; promoting network operator interest in upstream projects; helping converge architectural concepts; and providing end-to-end functional system testing. Similarly, close to half of respondents ranked documentation and consistent environment configuration across multiple stacks as critical OPNFV activities. This is a testament to OPNFV’s testing activities including the Pharos Community Labs, a federated NFV testing infrastructure of community labs designed for hosting CI/CD and testing of the OPNFV platform continue to flourish.
  • Barriers still remain. Despite continued progress, barriers to NFV adoption still remain including interoperability between core infrastructure platforms and VNFs; maturity of MANO software and OSS/BSS integration; and cultural issues/mindset. To help overcome some of these barriers, OPNFV will put a greater focus on developer training and onboarding, improve documentation, and better quantify upstream impact.  

“It’s encouraging to see validation from operators that OPNFV is on the right path, especially among those with NFV in production, and that OPNFV’s importance to the ecosystem continues to increase,” said Heather Kirksey, director, OPNFV. “Feedback continues to be incredibly helpful as we shape our strategy and refine our approach. As the ecosystem evolves it’s critical we work to best meet the ever-changing needs of network operators in the march towards broad open source NFV adoption.”

The survey, which includes input from more than 98 network operator professionals across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East focused on engineering, research and development strategy, network planning and corporate management. Survey results were shared on stage during the third annual OPNFV Summit, which brings together developers, end users, and upstream communities working to advance open source NFV. More details on the survey results are available here.

OPNFV Summit also featured a live keynote demonstration by the OPNFV community of a Virtual Central Office (vCO) hosting Residential and Enterprise vCPE services. The demonstration showed a platform built using an OpenStack cloud, OpenDaylight SDN controller, OpenCompute Platform (OCP) compliant hardware, and on-boarding of a series of VNFs providing end-to-end services. The demonstration showed this network service working live on stage provisioning connectivity and vCPE, with real-time telemetry and analytics, fault management and service assurance. A video of the demo will be available on the OPNFV You Tube channel following the event.

OPNFV also announced plans for its fourth OPNFV Plugfest focused on the upcoming OPNFV Euphrates release. The event will take place December 4 – 9 at the Intel campus near Portland, Ore. A summary of outcomes from the recent OPNFV Danube Plugfest, which took place April 24 -28 at Orange Gardens near Paris, is available here.

About the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV)
Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) facilitates the development and evolution of NFV components across various open source ecosystems. Through system level integration, deployment and testing, OPNFV creates a reference NFV platform to accelerate the transformation of enterprise and service provider networks. For more information, please visit

OPNFV is 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