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OpenStack Gains Momentum within the Telecom Sector

Informed telecommunications service providers have reduced their infrastructure cost and improved their development agility by adopting open source software.  According to findings from a recent survey, 85.8 percent of telecom industry respondents consider OpenStack to be essential or important to their success.

The survey, commissioned by the OpenStack Foundation, explores current usage and adoption plans of telecom service providers -- particularly with respect to Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), 5G cellular communications, Internet of Things (IoT) and enterprise cloud computing.

Facing unprecedented traffic and rapidly evolving customer expectations, telecom providers worldwide are accelerating their adoption of NFV to increase network agility and mitigate costs, and OpenStack has emerged as the NFV infrastructure platform of choice.

OpenStack Market Development Results

The OpenStack survey included 113 responses from representatives of telecom companies around the world: 54 percent from the U.S. market, 14.2 percent from Europe, 11.5 percent from the Asia Pacific region, 8.9 percent each from Central or South America and Canada; and 2.7 percent from the Middle East.

Highly Valued: 85.8 percent consider OpenStack to be essential or important to their success.

Rapid Adoption: Telecoms are already using or currently testing new use cases with OpenStack for:
  • NFV: 60.3 percent using or testing; 37.8 percent considering (total 98.1percent)
  • IoT: 41.3 percent using or testing; 49.5 percent considering (total 90.8 percent)
  • 5G: 30.6 percent using or testing; 49.1 percent considering (total 79.7 percent)

Multiple Benefits: In popularity order, the benefits cited most often are:
  • Offer new services more quickly (This was by far the most-cited benefit, outpacing the next by 24 percent)
  • More rapid virtualization of the data center
  • Reduced operational cost
  • Reduced software cost

Strong Community Engagement: 73.5 percent of respondents are engaged with OpenStack, primarily by contributing to the software, contributing requirements and use cases, and attending OpenStack Summits and OpenStack Days community events. Neutron is the OpenStack project most contributed to, followed closely by Nova.

OpenStack Neutron Plug-in Popularity: The survey revealed that telecoms are using a mix of open source and commercial OpenStack Neutron plug-ins for Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and virtual switching. The variety of plug-ins selected in the survey validate OpenStack's strategy of providing user choice.

Containers on the Rise: 99 percent of respondents are considering containers for both VNFs and business applications. 68.4 percent will definitely use containers for VNFs, and almost all others are considering them (30.6 percent). This is slightly higher than using containers for business apps (63.6 percent definitely or likely, 35.5 percent potentially).

“The flexibility and versatility of OpenStack as a cloud and NFV platform allows telecom companies to combine business and communications IT under a single technology,” said Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation.

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