Analysis of OpenStack Austin 2016 NFV/Telco Track

I went through all the presentations in the Telco/NFV track at the summit to find out what companies were presenting, and how many presenters each had.

Please note this is not a scientific look at the numbers by any stretch of the imagination:

Information about Telco/NFV track presentations and presenters

Some basic numbers on the presentations.

Item #
Presentations 26
Companies presenting 22
Total Presenters 75
Presenters with no affiliations 2
Presenters with unknown affiliations 2
Presenters from companies with > 1000 employees 62
Presenters from companies with > 100,000 employees 40
Presenters from non-profit foundations 5
Presenters from startups 4

# of presenters


The topics are fairly varied. I was hoping to be able to categorize them, but it does seem diverse, at least within the NFV realm.

Below are some keywords I pulled out of the blurb for each talk.

VNF Distributed NFV Service Chaining Open Source vCPE
Panel VM Placement Uptime Orchestration OPNFV
Deployment Service Chaining IPv6 OpenStack Congress Multi-site Distributed
OpenStack Tacker Performance SR-IOV Monitoring/Telemetry Latency
Platform Aware Scheduling OPNFV Doctor CPU Pinning Huge Pages NUMA

Some of them were mentioned more than once, such as OPNFV, service chaining, and technologies like SR-IOV/CPU Pinning/NUMA/Huge Pages. Multi-site or distributed was mentioned a couple of times. Both OpenStack and OPNFV have ongoing Telecom/NFV related projects such as Congress and Tacker as well as Doctor that should be well represented.

Number of employees

Below is a table of the larger companies and how many people each employs. It’s a considerable sum of over two million employees! That’s a lot of people.

  Company # of Employees
1 Juniper 9500
2 AT&T 240000
3 HP(e?) 240000
4 BT 99000
5 Intel 107000
6 Redhat 8000
7 Ericsson 118000
8 Cisco 72000
9 Canonical 700
10 PlumGrid 250*
11 451 Research 250*
12 Midokura 100*
13 Nuage/Nokia 62000
14 Verizon 178000
15 Big Switch 100*
16 China Mobile 246000
17 NTT 242000
18 Orange 157000
19 Brocade 4000
20 Huawei 170000
21 NEC 102000
22 99Cloud Unknown

Again, more than two million employees represented from all over the world. Amazing stuff.

Please note for the “*“-ed companies I’m pretty much just guessing.


The vast majority of presenters in the Telco/NFV track are from extremely large companies. In fact most have more than 100,000 employees. 40 of the 75 presenters are from companies with more than 100,000 employees.

I’m amazed at how large these companies are. As someone who is employed at a small company that works on NFV projects, I’m not sure what to make of this. Either small companies don’t submit presentations, or they are not accepted. Is NFV only important to large Telecoms? Are the only telecoms interested in OpenStack very large companies? Do small telecom companies even exist? Will they in the future? Who are the people working on NFV in these companies…are they large teams or small, R&D type groups? Do smaller companies help telecoms to deploy OpenStack-based NFV solutions?

On one hand, the results are somewhat obvious: the majority of the companies doing presentations at the OpenStack summit on NFV related topics are very large because telecoms are very large. But on the other I’m surprised there aren’t more startups and the like in this mix. There is so much work to be done–so much software to be created–that there is, I believe, considerable opportunity. Perhaps this says something about the ability of a small company to able to participate in the OpenStack ecosystem.