Open source initiative validates the benefits of telcos running ONAP network functions on Kubernetes

BARCELONA, February 25, 2019 – Mobile World Congress – The Cloud Native Computing Foundation® (CNCF®), which sustains open source technologies like Kubernetes® and Prometheus™, today announced, in partnership with LF Networking (LFN), the open source Cloud native Network Function (CNF) Testbed. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, CNCF is demoing the same networking code running as Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) on OpenStack and as CNFs on Kubernetes to showcase the performance improvements from avoiding virtualization overhead.

“CNFs are emerging as the network architecture of the future, for many of the same reasons that containers and Kubernetes are becoming the standard platform for enterprise computing,” said Dan Kohn, Executive Director of Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “We’re excited to continue collaborating with LF Networking to provide telcos and their vendors a way to make replicable comparisons between VNFs and CNFs.”

The CNF Testbed enables organizations to reliably test network functions from ONAP or their own networking code as VNFs and CNFs and compare the performance and resiliency between running on Kubernetes and OpenStack, on the same underlying hardware. As telecom architecture evolves from VNFs into CNFs, the benefits include cost savings from improved bin packing, higher development velocity, and resiliency to failures of individual CNFs, machines, and even data centers.

ONAP, as part of LF Networking, provides a comprehensive platform for real-time, policy-driven orchestration and automation of physical and virtual network functions. It was announced last year that ONAP is now a part of the project, which CNCF runs to integrate, test and deploy CNCF and LF projects on K8s running on bare metal. The CNF Testbed uses several open source VNFs from ONAP’s virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE) use case, while also repackaging the code as containers to be CNFs.

“It’s great to see the collaborative work of ONAP and Kubernetes, two of the fastest-growing Linux Foundation projects, as networking and cloud platforms enabling next-generation architectures,” said Arpit Joshipura, General Manager, Networking, Edge, and IoT, The Linux Foundation. “We’re excited to assist the CNF Testbed in demonstrating a path for the industry to move from VNFs to CNFs.”

The CNF Testbed leverages the Community Infrastructure Lab which makes use of credits generously provided by bare-metal hosting company Packet. The Testbed continues the focus on continuous integration (CI) and replicability which have been hallmarks of the development of Kubernetes. The Kubernetes project runs over 10,000 CI jobs each weekday, which is made possible via the $9 million in Google Cloud Platform credits donated from Google to CNCF last year. Rather than needing to trust the initial results of the CNF Testbed, anyone can replicate the results for themselves with just a copy of the open source CNF Testbed repository and an API key for accessing Packet.

Organizations interested in learning more about CNFs can do so at the twice-a-month Birds of a Feather (BoF) meeting. Details are in the CNF Testbed repo.

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About Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Cloud native computing uses an open source software stack to deploy applications as microservices, packaging each part into its own container, and dynamically orchestrating those containers to optimize resource utilization. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) hosts critical components of cloud native software stacks, including Kubernetes and Prometheus. CNCF serves as the neutral home for collaboration and brings together the industry’s top developers, end users and vendors – including the world’s largest public cloud and enterprise software companies as well as dozens of innovative startups. CNCF is part of The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization. For more information about CNCF, please visit

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