A Virtual Network Function Descriptor (VNFD) file describes the instantiation parameters and operational behaviors of the VNFs. You can design SOL001-compliant VNFDs using the Network Function Designer tool in VMware Telco Cloud Automation.


Add a cloud to your virtual infrastructure.


  1. Log in to the VMware Telco Cloud Automation web interface.
  2. Select Network Functions > Catalog and click Onboard.
    The Onboard Network Function page is displayed.
  3. Select Design Network Function Descriptor.
  4. Name - Enter a unique name for your VNF descriptor.
  5. Tags (Optional)- Enter the tags to associate your VNF descriptor with.
  6. Type - Select the network function type as Virtual Network Function.
  7. Click Design.
    The Network Function Designer is displayed.
  8. In the Network Function Catalog Properties pane, enter the following information:
    • Descriptor ID - The descriptor ID is system generated.
    • Descriptor Version - Enter the descriptor version.
    • Provider - Enter the company name of the provider.
    • Vendor - Enter the company name of the vendor.
    • Product Name - Enter the product name of the descriptor.
    • Version - Enter the product version.
    • Software Version - Enter the software version.
  9. In the Available Operations pane, select the life-cycle management operations to be made available for your VNF. Your users can run only those operations that are enabled here.
  10. (Optional) Add one or more workflows to your network function.
    You can add custom workflows using vRealize Orchestrator. For information about adding custom workflows, see Running Workflows with vRealize Orchestrator.
    1. Click Add Workflow and select the desired workflow from the drop-down menu:
      • Instantiate Start
      • Instantiate End
      • Heal Start
      • Heal End
      • Scale Start
      • Scale End
      • Scale To Level Start
      • Scale To Level End
      • Terminate Start
      • Terminate End
      • Custom
    2. Click Browse and upload an instantiation script in the JSON format.
    3. Select Manual Execution if you want your users to run the workflows manually.
    4. Provide an optional description for your workflow.
    5. Enter any input and output variables specified in your script and select whether they are required.
  11. Click Update.
    You can modify these settings later by clicking Edit Network Function Catalog Properties in the Network Function Designer.
  12. Add internal networks (Virtual Link) to your VNF by dragging the icon from the toolbar into the design area. During Instantiation, Telco Cloud Automation creates networks for these virtual links. You can override them and select the existing networks if necessary.
  13. To configure additional settings for your network, click the pencil icon against the network.
    You can configure the following settings:
    • Description
    • Network Name
    • CIDR
    • DHCP
    • (Optional) Gateway IP
    • (Optional) IP Allocation Pools
      • Start IP Address
      • End IP Address
    When you finish configuring the settings, click Update.
  14. Add virtual machines (VDU) by dragging the icon from the Toolbar into the design area.
  15. In the Configure VDU pane, specify the following settings for each VDU:
    • Name - Name of the VDU.
    • Description - Description about the VDU.
    • Minimum Instances - The minimum number of VDU instances.
    • Maximum Instances - The maximum number of VDU instances.
    • Image Name - The name of the VM template that is on the backing vCenter Server of your cloud.
      • The image name you enter must match the virtual machine template name on the vCenter Server.
      • The image must be saved as a VM template.
    • Virtual CPU - Number of virtual CPUs.
    • Virtual Memory - Virtual memory size.
    • Virtual Storage - Virtual storage size.
    • OVF Properties (Optional) - OVF properties are the OVF inputs to provide to the VM template. Enter the property, description, type such as string, boolean, or number, and default value. To make this information mandatory, select the Required option.
    • Connection Points - Select an internal or external connection point from the Add Connection Point drop-down menu:
      • Internal Connection Point - Links the VDU to an existing virtual link that is added to the VNF. At least one virtual link is required for internal connection points.
      • External Connection Point - Is a placeholder for an external virtual link that is required during instantiation. You must provide a Connection Name that matches with the external virtual link name.
    • Depends On (Optional) - Specify the VDUs to be deployed before deploying this VDU. In a scenario where you deploy many VDUs, there can be dependencies between VDUs regarding the order in which they are deployed. This option enables you to specify their deployment order.
    Note: To enable the Depends On option, you must configure more than one VDU.
    Note: You must add at least one virtual link before configuring the internal connection points for your VDUs.
    You can modify VDU settings at a later stage by clicking the pencil icon on the desired VDU.
  16. To save your descriptor as a draft and work on it later, click Save As Draft. For information about working with different draft versions, see Edit Network Function Descriptor Drafts.
  17. After designing your network function descriptor, click Upload.


The specified network function is added to the catalog. You can now instantiate the function or use it to create a network service.

What to do next

  • To assign affinity rules, see Working with Affinity Rules.
  • To add scaling policies, see Scaling Policies.
  • To instantiate the network function, see Instantiate a Virtual Network Function.
  • To create a network service that includes the network function, see Design a Network Service Descriptor.
  • To obtain the CSAR file corresponding to a network function, select the function in the catalog and click Download.
  • To add or remove tags, go to Network Functions > Catalog and click the desired network function. Then click Edit.
  • To remove a network function from the catalog, stop and delete all instances using the network function. Then select the function in the catalog and click Delete.