Cloud-Native Network Function

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Cloud-Native Network Function (CNF) is a software-implementation of a function, or application, traditionally performed on a physical device, but which runs inside Linux containers (typically orchestrated by Kubernetes).[1][2][3] The features that differ CNFs from VNFs (Virtualized Network Functions), one of the components of Network Function Virtualization, is the approach in their orchestration.

In ETSI NFV standards, the Cloud-Native Network Functions are a particular type of Virtualized Network Functions [4] and are orchestrated as VNFs, i.e. using the ETSI NFV MANO architecture and technology-agnostic descriptors (e.g. TOSCA, YANG). In that case, the upper layers of the ETSI NFV MANO architecture (i.e. the NFVO and VNFM) cooperate with a Container Infrastructure Service Management (CISM) function [5] that is typically implemented using cloud-native orchestration solutions (e.g. Kubernetes).

The characteristics of Cloud-Native Functions are:[6][7]

Relation to Network Function Virtualization[edit]

These characteristics address many of the common issues found with the first generation of VNFs, by incorporating many of the innovations deployed commonly in the internet infrastructure. These include auto-scaling,[2] supporting a continuous delivery/DevOps deployment model, and efficiency gains by sharing common services across platforms. Through service discovery and orchestration, a system based on CNFs will be more resilient to node failure.[2][6] A specification of criteria to classify and characterize Cloud Native VNF implementations can be found in ETSI GS NFV-EVE 011.[8]

Cloud Native Computing Foundation[edit]

The Linux Foundation backed Cloud Native Computing Foundation project is actively supporting companies in contributing to open-source projects like Kubernetes or Prometheus, upon which Cloud Native Network Functions can be based on.[9] The CNCF project also created a CNF Testbed, in order to facilitate a common test-ground for various cloud-native network functions.[10]


  1. ^ "Cloud Native Network Functions (CNF)".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b c "What is a CNF?".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ cloud-native-principles/cloud-native-principles, cloud-native-principles, 2020-07-21, retrieved 2020-07-22
  4. ^ "NFV FAQ". Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  5. ^ "ETSI GS NFV-IFA 040" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-07-20.
  6. ^ a b "Cloud-Native Network Functions". Cisco.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ cncf/cnf-testbed, Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), 2020-07-20, retrieved 2020-07-22
  8. ^ "ETSI GS NFV-EVE 011" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  9. ^ "FAQ". Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Retrieved 2020-07-22.
  10. ^ cncf (2019-02-25). "CNCF Launches Cloud Native Network Functions (CNF) Testbed". Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Retrieved 2020-07-22.

11. Cloud Native Computing Foundation, (http//