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Survey Finds ISVs Stoked on NFV


It's well known that network functions virtualization (NFV) is revolutionizing the way communications service providers (CSPs) design, deploy and manage networking services. Yet equally impressive is just how quickly and enthusiastically independent software vendors (ISVs) are embracing NFV, confident that leveraging IT/cloud innovation will transform the telecommunications industry.


A recent global survey of executives from 55 ISVs, conducted in January/February 2015 by Coleman Parkes Research on behalf of HP Research, confirms that ISVs recognize the importance of NFV and are currently developing and delivering NFV applications at a brisk pace—with more virtual applications reaching the market later this year and in 2016.


VNF Plans
In the context of NFV, all of the executives surveyed expressed some level of interest in virtual network function (VNF) development, with 31 percent declaring that they are already actively promoting VNFs to the market and another 16 percent reporting that that they have developed specific plans and will be promoting VNFs to the market within the next 12 months. Another 31 percent stated that they are interested in developing new VNFs, but have yet to set any specific plans. Additionally, an impressive 95 percent of respondents stated that they plan to make their current software available in VNF form.


isv 1.png

Timelines for the development and delivery of VNFs vary, but 67 percent of the executives surveyed revealed that they will have an offering available for licensing or use by the CSP community by the end of 2016. Another 20 percent stated that they expected to have a VNF offering available for CSPs at some point beyond 2016. Just 13 percent of the executives claimed that they're not sure if they will have an offering at all.


isv 2.png

NFV Adoption and Benefits

With widespread CSP adoption essential for a rapid NFV rollout, 45 percent of the ISV executives reported that they expect initial NFV deployment to start this year; another 26 percent expect initial deployment will begin in 2016.


ISV executives are confident that NFV will generate an array of benefits for network operators, including:

  • Increased agility and efficiency in the creation of new services: 85 percent
  • Improvements in operations costs: 80 percent
  • Increased agility to meet internal demands: 78 percent
  • Capital equipment savings: 69 percent
  • Other: 16 percent

Platforms and Licensing
The ISV executives also offered insights into which open source platforms will be the focus of VNF development as well as how VNFs will be licensed.


Regarding platforms, 38 percent of the respondents reported that they are developing for Linux, open source or commercial platforms, while 35 percent noted that they are developing for multiplatform open source. 22 percent of respondents indicated that they are developing commercially for a platform other than Linux.


On the licensing front, many of the executives indicated that they are investigating multiple licensing models, including:

  • Commercial license plus maintenance: 69 percent
  • Working through third parties: 62 percent
  • Direct license to operators: 45 percent
  • Pay-per use: 40 percent
  • Open source: 36 percent

Additional Insights
The fact that ISVs are extremely positive about NFV's future is great news for the telecom industry, since ISVs are critical to fulfilling the promise of NFV technology delivering IT-like innovation and speed.


The survey offers many additional encouraging insights into ISVs' NFV attitudes in areas ranging from combining network and cloud services to prioritizing application development to leveraging NFV partnerships.


View the complete survey here.


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