New CNF Test Suite-based program will allow CSPs and telecom organizations to adopt Kubernetes and cloud native tools with confidence

VALENCIA, Spain – KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe – May 18, 2022 – The Cloud Native Computing Foundation® (CNCF®), which builds sustainable ecosystems for cloud native software, today announced the Cloud Native Network Function (CNF) Certification Program. The CNF Certification Program will help Communication Service Providers (CSPs) and other telecommunications organizations identify which Network Equipment Providers (NEPs) follow cloud native best practices.

CNFs are applications that implement or facilitate network functionality in a cloud native way. CSPs and other telecom organizations are migrating away from traditional Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) toward CNFs and Kubernetes-based infrastructures that provide service reliability while lowering capital and operating expenses and encouraging cross-cloud compatibility. The program will enable NEPs and CNF creators to demonstrate the adoption of cloud native best practices in their networking products. 

“Moving to cloud native infrastructures has long been difficult for telecom providers who have transitioned to VNFs and found themselves with siloed resources and specialized solutions not built for the cloud,” said Priyanka Sharma, executive director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “The CNF Certification program is designed to fill this gap by creating solutions optimized for cloud native environments. Some of the world’s largest telecom organizations, including Huawei, Nokia, T-Mobile, and Vodafone, already use Kubernetes and other cloud native technologies, and this program will make it easier for others to do the same.”   

The CNF Certification Program runs on CNCF’s CNF Test Suite and supports any product that runs in a certified Kubernetes environment. The CNF Test Suite is an open source test suite for telcos to validate how well they are following cloud native principles and best practices, like immutable infrastructure and declarative APIs. It leverages 10 CNCF-hosted projects and several open source tools, including Fluentd, Helm, Jaeger, and Prometheus. Currently, the CNF Test Suite can run approximately 70 workload tests, which are segmented into seven different categories, including: 

To get started, NEPs and CNF creators can self verify an application using the CNF Test Suite and submit results via pull request. Organizations that may not be ready to submit their results can still get started with the CNF Test Suite and use it to improve the “cloud-nativeness” in their products. CNFs that pass the CNF Certification will be considered ‘Certified,’ with more advanced levels to come as the program expands. 

To learn more about the CNF Certification Program or get involved in CNCF’s Telco initiatives:

Supporting Quotes:

“Building, deploying, and operating Telco workloads across distributed cloud environments is complex,” said Tom Kivlin, principal cloud architect at Vodafone. “It is important to adopt cloud native best practices as we evolve to achieve our goals for agility, automation, and optimization. The CNF Certification is a great tool with which we can measure and drive cloud native practices across our platforms and network functions. We look forward to working with our partners and the CNCF community to further develop and drive adoption of the CNF Certification Program.”

“F5 enthusiastically supports the CNCF Certification Program in promoting consistent performance, quality, and rigor as CSPs modernize their application, networking, and security infrastructures to deliver superior digital experiences,” said Ahmed Guetari, VP of Products for Service Providers at F5. “CNCF certification efforts provide valuable validation, yielding best practices to improve critical vendor interoperability and encouraging additional momentum around CNF deployments.”

“MATRIXX is excited to participate in the CNCF CNF Certification Program. We believe it will be instrumental in helping the telecom industry adopt cloud native technologies and best practices by harnessing the power of open source innovation and community collaboration,” said Marc Price, CTO, MATRIXX Software. “To realize the full potential of 5G, service providers are transitioning to CNFs, though telecom networking presents new and unique challenges that require a continued evolution in cloud native best practices. This program will help our advancements in cloud native solutions while ensuring customers can implement these tools with confidence.”

“ is delighted to be part of CNCF’s initiative to show what cloud native computing should strive to be for telecom organizations,” said Miroslav Mikluš, CPO of “We’re excited to demonstrate our expertise in cloud native network functions by being one of the pioneering solutions to try the CNF Certification. Open source values and cloud native best practices are at the heart of what we do, and we are glad to be part of CNCF‘s effort to drive these forward.”

Additional Resources

About Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Cloud native computing empowers organizations to build and run scalable applications with an open source software stack in public, private, and hybrid clouds. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) hosts critical components of the global technology infrastructure, including Kubernetes, Prometheus, and Envoy. CNCF brings together the industry’s top developers, end users, and vendors and runs the largest open source developer conferences in the world. Supported by more than 500 members, including the world’s largest cloud computing and software companies, as well as over 200 innovative startups, CNCF is part of the nonprofit Linux Foundation. For more information, please visit


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