Open source software will dramatically accelerate change in the networking industry over the next few years through software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), according to a new report released this week by GigaOM and funded by the OpenDaylight project. Not only do network operators prefer open systems to proprietary alternatives, they’re looking to open source software to provide freedom of choice, cost savings, interoperability and cutting edge features — including security and improved network service levels — on a fast-paced timeline, according to the report.
Both SDN and NFV are poised for aggressive growth. All 600 operators surveyed indicated they’ll deploy SDN and NFV solutions by the end of 2015. This adoption could be hindered if the technology doesn’t live up to its promises or costs too much to deploy. But survey respondents believe that open systems and open source software have the best chance to deliver such a rapid pace of innovation by creating a de facto standard through common code development. Watch for changes within the next 2 to 5 years, a timeline which GigaOM calls a “fast and furious” path to mainstream acceptance when compared with the 10 to 20 years typically needed to shift networking technology.
In this video, produced by the OpenDaylight project and released with the report, networking professionals explain why open source software and collaboration will transform networking – and do it fast.
“Open source is important to networking because we don’t have to wait for features to be added to products,” said Matt Oswalt, a data center engineer at General Datatech. “We basically push code immediately if we want to try an idea out.”