Survey Shows Service Provider Confidence in Open Source, SDN

The Linux Foundation published results of an industry survey that revealed strong confidence among communication services providers (CSPs) in open source networking, and software-defined networking (SDN) in particular.

The foundation announced the results during the Open Networking Summit Europe in Amsterdam, reporting on a survey conducted by Heavy Reading that polled 150 CSP representatives from 98 companies around the globe, with help from sponsors Affirmed/Intel, Amdocs, CloudOps, Ericsson, Netgate and Red Hat.

"Top takeaways from the survey indicate an increasing maturity of open source technology use from operators, ongoing innovation in areas such as DevOps and CI/CD, and a glimpse into emerging technologies in areas such as cloud native and more," The Linux Foundation said in a statement.

Specifically, it further detailed some of those top takeaways:

  • 98 percent of CSPs are confident that open networking solutions can achieve the same level of performance as traditional networking solutions.
  • 69 percent are using open source networking solutions in production networks, signaling a real staying power.
  • Nearly 60 percent of CSPs reported they have either already deployed SDN (39 percent), or are currently trialing SDN (20 percent).
  • 86 percent of respondents indicated it’s important that the SDN products their company uses are open source.
  • With 77 percent of respondents seeing DevOps as either essential (41 percent) or important (36 percent) to the long-term success of service delivery at their company, the survey indicates focus has shifted from whether to adopt this approach to the more operational elements of how and when to best roll it out.
  • While the stage at which CSPs are in their DevOps journey is split, an impressive 67 percent have implemented some aspect of DevOps and 22 percent are evaluating DevOps tool chains and methodologies. Less than 1 percent have no plans to adopt DevOps.

However, the survey indicated some emerging technologies are still being defined, including cloud-native network functions (CNFs) and Infrastructure as Code (IaC).

The adoption of CNFs is in the early stages, the foundation said, with only 5 percent of respondents reporting they have already adopted Kubernetes and are running production workloads on it, including VNFs/CNFs. Meanwhile, 34 percent said they are considering adopting Kubernetes/OpenShift but haven’t done so yet.

Another less-defined, emerging technology is IaC, with 35 percent of CPS respondents considering adopting Infrastructure as Code, while 22 percent have adopted it but are working through associated challenges.

"The survey findings show open source has become core to the ways in which service providers are reinventing their networks and basic assumptions on how networks are managed has evolved," The Linux Foundation said in a statement. "The journey so far has come with both successes and challenges that LFN, with collaboration from its membership and broader community, is committed to helping resolve."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


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