Networking Pros Deploying OpenDaylight for NFV and Cloud, Survey Finds

By Melissa Logan, Head of Marketing, OpenDaylight and Chris Buerger, Marketing Chair, OpenDaylight

We have seen user adoption of OpenDaylight grow significantly this year and like any organization with a desire to improve and grow, we reached out to our primary user base with a survey to better understand how many people are actually deploying ODL, how it is being used and what we can do better as a community to accelerate the deployment of SDN. We are sharing the results of this survey with you as part our community, as well as specific groups such as our user Advisory Group with the intent to incorporate the survey results into existing decision processes.

We would like to share a summary of our key findings as all of us work toward bringing open source to networking. The highest percentage of respondents were telcos/service providers (31 percent), followed by research/academic institutions (24 percent), enterprises (20 percent), and the remaining respondents being split between services/consulting organizations, vendors and ‘other’.

Key findings from our user survey include:

SDN deployments are growing with OpenDaylight. The survey showed that 73 percent of users have already deployed or plan to deploy OpenDaylight in the next 12 months, with 24 percent in the investigation stage. This is consistent with the growth in user stories we saw earlier this year such as Caltech, City of Bristol England, AT&T, Comcast, Orange and many others. Today we shared that Internet company Tencent is re-envisioning their DCI network with SDN and OpenDaylight. We have also just redesigned to put greater focus on the needs and interests of OpenDaylight end users.

NFV and Cloud are the top deployment use cases for OpenDaylight. We asked users to identify their primary deployment use cases for OpenDaylight and they selected NFV (72 percent), Cloud Orchestration, e.g. OpenStack (54 percent), Fulfillment, e.g. Traffic Engineering, QoS (47 percent) and Network Monitoring and Analytics (41 percent). The ODL community has been working on features and functionality to support key use cases which map well to the key areas of interest uncovered by this survey. Our third release, Lithium, added important functionality across all four of these use cases.

We also see an important evolution with regard to NFV, which is increasingly expanding beyond just telco application areas. Many of the respondents who indicated NFV as their primary use case were in the enterprise or academia/research space underscoring the fact that NFV has a range of implementations that are appealing outside the telco space. We’re interested in further exploring this point with our respondents in subsequent market activities and will be sure to share what we learn.

Interoperability is the primary business driver for OpenDaylight. We wanted to understand the top reasons why organizations were selecting ODL and they listed them as follows:

  1. Increased interoperability and portability of software systems;

  2. Increased operational efficiency;

  3. Greater ability to innovate and compete.

What is OpenDaylight doing well? Our users were keen to point out that OpenDaylight is widely considered the de facto SDN controller stack, that we remain truly open, and that we have inspired an active community of developers, users and suppliers to participate in our ever-growing open SDN ecosystem.

What could we do better? The resounding response was documentation. This is relatively common for a nascent open source project and an area that the community is attuned to and putting renewed focus on. As a project we’re helping where we can, creating training and providing a website with new and curated materials. We hope over the next couple releases you’ll see great progress from us in this area.

Having just celebrated our second birthday, we are heartened by the results we saw in our first ODL community survey and look forward to sharing progress across all these areas as the community, code and project continue to mature. We’d like to thank everyone who participated as it helps us continue to iterate and make ODL relevant to users--thanks!

OpenDaylight User Survey 2015


A note on methodology: The survey was created and compiled by OpenDaylight to our database to obtain insight into how our power users are deploying and using ODL. It is not an assessment of the overall reach of OpenDaylight in the market. We thought it provided valuable insight and hope you do, too. If you have questions, please let us know at