CNF Certification (Beta)

The Cloud Native Network Function (CNF) Certification Program gives confidence to Communication Service Providers (CSPs) that applications provided by their vendors demonstrate cloud native best practices.

It’s challenging for telco providers to navigate the cloud native world. From zero downtime to increased security concerns, there’s a complex ecosystem to manage all while guaranteeing users an outstanding experience. Knowing which products to rely on is the key to success.

The CNF Certification Program is designed to connect CSPs with Network Equipment Providers and CNF creators that have clearly demonstrated adoption of cloud native best practices in their networking products.

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With goals for service reliability, risk reduction, and lowering capital and operating expenses (CAPEX and OPEX costs), the CNF Certification supports any product that runs in a certified Kubernetes environment, which encourages cross-cloud compatibility.

Table of contents

Program benefits

  1. Interoperability: Standardization for communication between applications and the cloud platforms
  2. Shared experience: Build upon the work of the community through the adoption of cloud native best practices
  3. Predictability: Certified applications act in a predictable manner when running on cloud native infrastructure like Kubernetes. Unexpected behavior should be rare because application specific issues are weeded out during the best practice testing.
  4. Timely updates: To remain certified, vendors need to certify with new releases of their product and pass new certification tests yearly, or more frequently, so you can be sure that the products are following the best practices adopted by the cloud native community.
  5. Confirmability: Any end user can confirm that an application remains compliant to cloud native practices by running the identical open source certification application (CNF Test Suite) that was used to certify.
Certified CNF badge

Look for products that proudly display the Certified CNF logo. The following products have earned Certified CNF status:

How to get certified

1. Prepare

Learn about the certification requirements and technical prerequisites to prepare your product for certification.

2. Run the tests

Follow the instructions to run your tests using the CNF Test Suite. 

3. Submit

Prepare a PR to submit your results to the CNF Conformance repo on GitHub. Complete the participation form.

4. Review

A reviewer will approve your PR at which point you are certified.


“Building, deploying, and operating Telco workloads across distributed cloud environments is complex. 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.”

Tom Kivlin, principal cloud architect at Vodafone

“Promoting openness while reducing complexity for customers is one of our main areas of focus and an important component of the CNCF’s CNF certification program. We’re very happy F5 BIG-IP Next Edge Firewall is F5’s first certified CNF, and we look forward to continued collaboration with the CNCF. The certification program plays a valuable role to ensure cloud-native best practices, to improve vendor interoperability, and ultimately to reduce complexity in order to accelerate CNF deployments for our customers and our community.”

Ahmed Guetari, VP of Products for Service Providers at F5

“We are very pleased to have our product recognized as one of the very first CNCF Certified CNFs. We believe the Cloud Native Network Function Certification Program will play a key role in enabling broad telecom adoption of cloud native best practices and technologies. By choosing from CNCF Certified CNFs, service providers can more confidently speed their transitions to cloud native 5G networks and more quickly gain the benefits of speed, agility, and resilience.”

Marc Price, CTO, MATRIXX Software

“I am thrilled to announce that, a lightweight OpenDaylight distribution, has passed the CNF Certification program. As one of the largest contributors to the OpenDaylight LFN’s project, supports cross-project collaboration. With great help from the CNCF community, we can now officially declare OpenDaylight as cloud-native ready.”

Miroslav Mikluš, CPO of

“At Juniper Networks, we have long believed that industry standards are the way to go for open competition that improves product quality and benefits both vendors and customers. CNCF’s CNF certification ensures cloud native products are equally and fairly tested in standard and independent environments, and Juniper believes this initiative will greatly contribute to the overall quality, performance and adoption of cloud native solutions across the industry.”

Ben Baker, Senior Director, Data Center and Cloud Marketing at Juniper Networks

“The main issue in the CNF landscape today is that there are a lot of interpretations of what CNF actually is. With the CNF Certification Program this ambiguity is eliminated and we finally have a common denominator for all: platform teams, vendors, CNF teams. It brings the telco world to the next level from standardization that does not fit well in OSS and Cloud Native realm to testing and certification.”

Vuk Gojnic, squad leader for the Kubernetes Engine at Deutsche Telekom

“Cloud native best practices and open source values are at the heart of the DISH Wireless network. The CNCF CNF Certification is an exciting community-led initiative to accelerate the evolution of cloud native network functions and the CNF Test Suite is a valuable tool to cultivate a growing ecosystem of new CNFs. As a primary user of CNFs, we look forward to advancing the use of the CNF Test Suite in our continuous testing environments, contributing our lessons learned to the project, and applying it across our extensive list of CSP partners.”

Brian Mengwasser, VP of Marketplace and Apps Design, DISH Wireless

“Industries running mission critical services are known to adapt newer technologies at a slower pace. The Telco industry is not different. In order to make a leap two things need be: the need for the new technology and the ability to adopt them. Cloud Native Network Function Certification Program is an invaluable initiative that paves the way for the Telco industry players to adopt Cloud Native technologies. Especially in building durable and secure deployments of services.  One of the biggest challenges in this industry is the need for building complete Kubernetes infrastructure over bare metal which is not in the focus of most companies in the cloud. The CNF Certification Program with its documentation and examples is guiding the engineering team of these companies to knowledge and best practices.”

Ben Hirschberg, CTO and Cofounder at Armo Ltd