The Service-Based Architecture (SBA) in 5G uses Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS). CUPS is essential in 5G to allow low latency for modern applications. 5G network architecture has centralized control plane network functions such as AMF and SMF, and distributed user plane network functions such as UPF. In a cloud-native approach, these network functions are realized using container-based microservices and are called Cloud-native Network Functions (CNFs). All the user plane CNFs in the 5G network are referred to as data plane intensive CNFs in this guide.

VMware Telco Cloud Platform 5G Edition reference architecture lays out the foundation for a high performant and efficient cloud platform for all types of CNFs. This performance tuning guide focuses on the performance best practices for data plane CNFs such as UPF in the 5G core network.