In telco cloud operations, both Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) and Cloud Native Functions (CNFs) replace dedicated, physical devices. As operators transition to cloud-native 5G core network, they must adopt strategies for deploying both to manage and scale operations.
VNFs and CNFs are part of a Software Defined Network (SDN). An SDN enables operators to control network functions as software applications communicating via common Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).
VNFs and CNFs in the 5G Core
VNFs are part of a Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI) — software running on data center hardware which manages and orchestrates virtualized functions across the network. VNFs operate as Virtual Machines (VMs) within that framework — software which replicates the operation of a physical device.