Examples of CNFs can include network routers, bridges, firewalls, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) gateway services. Cloud native Network Functions replace Physical Network Functions (PNFs). PNFs are purpose-built hardware devices (with embedded software or systems) which provide essential network services.
CNFs are conceptually similar to Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), a fundamental component of a Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI). Where they differ is implementation: “Virtual” functions imply the presence of resource-intensive virtual machine operations.