ETSI Unveils First Cloud-Native VNF Management Specifications

Sophia Antipolis, 17 November 2020

The ETSI group on Network Functions Virtualization (ETSI Industry Specification Group NFV) is pleased to unveil its first specification enabling containerized VNFs to be managed in an NFV framework. The ETSI GS NFV-IFA 040 specifies requirements for service interfaces and an object model for OS (Operating System) container management and orchestration.

ETSI GS NFV-IFA 040 describes the new functions required for the management and orchestration of OS containers, the Container Infrastructure Service Management (CISM) and the Container Image Registry (CIR). The CISM is responsible for maintaining the containerized workloads and manages the OS container, computation storage, network resources and their configuration. The CIR is responsible for storing and maintaining information of OS container software images.

The GS is supplemented by the first NFV Release 4 specifications ETSI GS NFV-IFA 010 and ETSI GS NFV-IFA 011 which provide enhancements of the specification of management and orchestration functional requirements, and extensions of the VNF package and VNF descriptor specifications respectively.

The release of this first specification is a key milestone for network function virtualization and confirms that ETSI ISG NFV can quickly embrace new technologies for cloud-native VNFs to support communication service providers with standardized, interoperable solutions. These new specifications provide a baseline for the integration of OS container management and orchestration into the NFV framework,” says Jörg Aelken, Vice-Chair of the ETSI ISG NFV IFA working group.

These specifications were widely expected by the industry as they describe requirements regarding management functions and information models for containerized workloads. They specify which management service interfaces for containerized workloads are to be exposed to other NFV management and orchestration functions. The information model of the VNF descriptor is extended with templates to describe container infrastructure resources.

In the meantime, the ETSI ISG NFV continues its efforts to make further progress in the specifications for the NFV Release 4 feature on “Cloud-native VNFs and Container Infrastructure management”. They contain extensions of the interfaces’ specifications on the main NFV-MANO reference points, and requirement specifications regarding container cluster management and security.

About ETSI
ETSI provides members with an open and inclusive environment to support the development, ratification and testing of globally applicable standards for ICT systems and services across all sectors of industry and society.  We are a not-for-profit body with more than 900 member organizations worldwide, drawn from 65 countries and five continents. Members comprise a diversified pool of large and small private companies, research entities, academia, government and public organizations. ETSI is officially recognized by the EU as a European Standards Organization (ESO). For more information please visit us at

Claire Boyer
Mob: +33 (0)6 87 60 84 40