OPNFV should accelerate adoption of NFV – survey

Telecoms professionals are overwhelmingly in favour of the new OPNFV initiative to make the virtualization of networks less confusing and stressful, according to a new study commissioned by the OPNFV.

The results suggest that NFV presents a number of challenges that are slowing the adoption of the technology. The research claims to have uncovered issues that need to be resolved in order to speed the application of open-source NFV.

The collaborators behind the OPNFV Project, described as a carrier-grade integrated open-source system designed to smooth the path of progress for NFV-enabled new products and services, commissioned a study by analyst Heavy Reading in a bid to unveil the hidden blockages and secret issues that telco engineers may have with the multi vendor technology.

The headline discovery of the one year study was that the majority (86%) of telecoms professionals surveyed agree that OPNFV will speed the adoption of NFV in the industry overall but a number of issues hinder progress from that baseline of good intentions.

The success of NFV hinges on a number of other constituents. T​he majority (68%) of respondents cited upstream open-source project OpenStack as very important to the success of OPNFV. Meanwhile a range of knowledge ingredients also need to be in place before telco pros are confident they can create the full OpenStack, including OpenvSwitch (47%), Carrier Grade Linux (42%), OpenDaylight (40%) and KVM (37%).

Three quarters (74%) said the process of integration could benefit from being made less difficult, and hailed this as the primary objective of getting involved with OPNFV.

With NFV installations still in their infancy many admit it is still too early to identify the obstacles that stand between them and completion. A quarter of the survey respondents (26%) said they have reached the testing and proof­of­concept phases of their NFV deployment but only 19% could speak with the confidence of having achieved full NFV deployment.

With 60% actively exploring NFV and 33% developing their NFV strategy, they said there are unanswered questions on security, VNF interoperability, management and OSS/BSS integration. These known unknowns were nominated by the survey group – which comprised 200 telco and service provider professionals across North America, Europe and Asia – as the key issues that will decide the success of OPNFV.

“It’s important we get a pulse on what the industry needs so we can refine our approach,” said Heather Kirksey, director, OPNFV.

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