Benchmark Study Reveals Open Infrastructure at the Core of Data Center Transformations

70% of companies are turning to open networking as they take advantage of innovative technologies such as AI and 5G

Mountain View, Calif., October 31, 2019 — Cumulus Networks, the leaders in building open, modern, and scalable networks, today released research conducted by Researchscape International that shows IT leaders have reached the breaking point with proprietary infrastructure and open networking is their new norm. While more than half of technology leaders are interested in adopting more open technology, 70% of companies are beginning to use open networking solutions to modernize their data centers to increase agility and scalability.

Proprietary Infrastructure Stifling Innovation

Technology limitations within the data center are often cited as a key roadblock adopting latest technology such as AI and 5G. Networking infrastructure, in particular proprietary solutions, is not immune to this as 60% of companies are not getting what they need from their current network. As enterprises upgrade their networks to take advantage of innovative technologies, they’re not going back to legacy vendors. The challenges IT currently faces with proprietary networking solutions include:

  • 46% claim that it’s too hard to switch, so they haven’t.
  • 39% are frustrated with forced upgrades.
  • 38% claim it’s too expensive.
  • 37% highlighted lack of interoperability with other solutions.

Strong Appetite For Open Infrastructure

Decision makers want to take advantage of multi-cloud (50%), 5G (38%), AI (35%), and high-bandwidth streaming (32%). And these trends are compelling the world’s largest data centers to change their entire philosophy about the architecture, dynamics, and purpose of networks. It’s not just the young, born-in-the-cloud companies either. Of companies founded between 2000-2014, 75% have all, or most, of their tech as open.

54% have recently switched over parts of their proprietary infrastructure to open technology. Once companies see the benefits of open infrastructure and the critical role it plays in data center modernization, they tend to adopt more of it. In fact, 61% of organizations like the open technology they have deployed and are planning on adopting more.

“While there is strong adoption of open infrastructure, in particular, open networking, there is still an appetite for more. Enterprises are seeing the benefits, including increased flexibility, cost savings, and increased collaboration,” said Josh Leslie, CEO of Cumulus Networks. “As we’ve seen firsthand with our 1,800 customers, which includes 35 percent of the Fortune 50, when they modernize their data centers, open networking is the obvious choice. It allows them to move faster and take advantage of today’s most innovative technologies.”

Additional data revealed:

  • Software, telco and finance are the most popular industries deploying open networking, and are looking to deploy more.
  • 98% expressed trust in open infrastructure technology.
  • Flexibility (40%) and efficiency (39%) are major considerations driving the adoption of open infrastructure.
  • 94% are using at least some open technology in their data center.
  • 33% say that most of their data center relies on open technology.
  • 31% say that ALL of their data center uses or relies on open source technology.

To view the full survey results, our infographic and other resources can be found here. To learn more about how open networking can help you take advantage of next generation technology such as AI, 5G and more, please visit


Researchscape International surveyed 509 respondents online from August 8 to September 16, 2019 to uncover the issues most critical to IT decision makers related to networking and the data center.

About Cumulus Networks

Cumulus Networks provides networking software to design, run, and operate modern data centers and campuses that are simple, open, agile, resilient, and scalable. Cumulus Linux is the only open networking software that allows you to affordably build and efficiently operate your network like the world’s largest data center and campus operators, unlocking vertical network stacks. Combined with Cumulus NetQ, a highly scalable, network operations tool set, organizations can accelerate the deployment of open networks and reduce the mean-time to resolution. Cumulus Networks has more than 1,800 customers globally and has received venture funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Telstra Ventures, Peter Wagner, four of the original VMware founders, among others. For more information, please visit

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