One of the main questions about OSS for operators was: do network operators actually use OSS?
What the survey responses suggest is that network operators are more than willing to use OSS, if it is available and solves a specific problem for them.
Additionally, respondents rated freshness of the project (recentness of contributions) and availability of documentation as important considerations in choosing to use specific OSS tools. In terms of general attractions to using OSS, the top responses (for both Decision Makers and Individual Contributors) were focused on being able to extend the codebase (to suit the organization’s needs), and being able to inspect the codebase. Getting “cheap” software wasn’t even close to the top reason.
Breaking down OSS usage
The Decision Maker questionnaire included a breakdown of network operational purposes for which OSS might be used, asking respondents to select their likelihood to use OSS for the purpose.
What stands out in the data is that the two most common uses of OSS were for Server OSes or for Network Management. And, there is a split of opinion about using OSS for Network OSes — 43% of respondents said they use OSS if it is available for the purpose, while 29% said they would never use OSS for a Network OS.
Impediments to use of OSS
Unsurprisingly, the impediments to using OSS largely mirror the attractors, with the additional key challenge of finding a single OSS tool to solve a given problem.
However, when respondents who were not able to find OSS tools are filtered out, the picture is different for the two groups. Individual Contributors said they didn’t have in-house resources to do necessary work on the tools,and Decision Makers’ concerns about licensing became predominant. Both still expressed concerns about finding a single OSS package to meet needs and integrate with their vendor platform.
Looking for feedback!
What can we make clearer in this part of the report? What other questions does this bring to mind that we should answer?
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