CSPs are gung-ho about open source networking claims the Linux Foundation

via Flickr © jalbertbowdenii (CC BY 2.0)

via Flickr © jalbertbowdenii (CC BY 2.0)

  • It has an independent survey to prove it
  • That shows 98 per cent of CSPs confident that open solutions performance will match traditional networking
  • 69 per cent are already using open source in production networks


At the Open Networking Summit (ONS) in Amsterdam this week, the Linux foundation announced the results of an industry survey to gauge industry perceptions of the open approach across networking technologies. It claims the results indicate an increasing maturity of open source technology use from operators, ongoing innovation in areas such as DevOps and CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous delivery), and a glimpse into emerging technologies, such as cloud native.

According to the foundation, the survey indicates continued and increasing importance being laid on open source software for network transformation by CSPs, with an “unexpected level of sophistication” around new technologies and approaches, including the adoption of open networking solutions in numerous domains and the active automation of processes.

The survey drew responses from 150 CSP representatives across 98 companies worldwide.

Key findings indicate:

  • 98 per cent of CSPs confident that open networking solutions can achieve the same level of performance as traditional networking solutions. CSPs are increasingly leveraging open source software in production:  
  • 69 per cent are using open source networking solutions in production networks, signaling a real staying power.
  • SDN in particular is seeing strong deployment, with nearly 60 per cent of CSPs reporting they have either already deployed SDN (39 percent), or are currently trialing SDN (20 percent).
  • Open source is key to SDN solutions; 86 per cent of respondents indicated that it’s important that the SDN products their company uses are open source.

DevOps & CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous delivery)

  • With 77 per cent 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.

On the Horizon: Cloud native and Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

  • While open source is reaching a new level of maturity among telcos generally, some strategies are still being defined among more emerging technologies:
  • The journey towards cloud native network functions (CNFs) is in the early stages
  • Only 5 per cent have already adopted Kubernetes and are running production workloads on it, including VNFs/CNFs.
  • Another 34 per cent say they are considering adopting Kubernetes/OpenShift but haven’t yet.
  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC) strategies are still developing, with 35 percent of CPS respondents considering adopting Infrastructure as Code (IaC) while 22 percent have adopted but are working through challenges.

“From the number of CSPs expecting open source to be a critical component of next-gen networks, to the growing importance of emerging technologies like DevOps and cloud native, it’s encouraging to see open source continue to mature and watch real progress unfold,” said Heather Kirksey, Vice President, Ecosystem and Community, LFN.

The initial survey findings are available here. 

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