Virtual Network Function (VNF) onboarding is simply more than VNFD configurations

Digital Service Providers (DSPs) are adopting Virtual Network Function (VNF) to reap key benefits like accelerated service realization, reduced time to market, easier scalability and cost effective centralized network monitoring. There is a popular misconception that VNF onboarding involves just the following three steps.

  • Getting the VNF image from the vendor
  • Loading it on to management and orchestration (MANO) platform
  • Making the necessary changes in the configuration files and service package templates

However, VNF onboarding is much more challenging than that and many DSPs face major roadblocks during the onboarding process. Huge customization and integration efforts are involved in the service providers’ existing setup as well as in VNF image to make virtual function operate within a broader ecosystem (across legacy O/BSS & product catalogue systems) and manage services over its lifecycle. Other challenges include VNF Service chaining and effective program governance.

It is recommended to look beyond the configuration files and implement a robust onboarding process in a holistic way right from VNF image validation to VNF ready for service and continuous innovation.

This insight focuses on recommended VNF onboarding process and key considerations to realize faster ‘ready for service’.


Rajan RN
Amit Kumar Gupta
Vishwa Nigam

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