The Telco Cloud can be deployed as a greenfield deployment or as an extension to an existing brownfield deployment.

Greenfield Deployment

Depending on the requirements, greenfield deployments can include components of the Telco Cloud Infrastructure Tier and the Telco Cloud Platform Tier. The combination of these two tiers allows for the deployment of 4G, 5G Core, or RAN environments and legacy telco applications.

  • VNFs only: For greenfield deployments where the required outcome is to deploy VNFs (VM-based workloads), the Infrastructure tier is recommended. In the infrastructure tier, you can use VMware Cloud Director or VMware Integrated OpenStack as a Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM). NSX functions as the Software-Defined Networking stack for the infrastructure platform. NSX Advanced Load Balancer (formerly Avi Networks) can be used to provide L4 load balancing and can also be integrated with the VIM for tenant control

  • CNFs only: For greenfield deployments that focus only on Cloud-Native Network Functions (CNFs) deployed on Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, the Platform tier is recommended. The Compute and Storage tiers are provided through vSphere and vSAN in the Infrastructure tier. In addition, NSX is used for 5G Core deployments. Depending on the CNF requirements, NSX Advanced Load Balancer (formerly Avi Networks) can be used to provide L4 load balancing and L7 ingress functionalities.

  • VNFs and CNFs: For mixed-mode deployments, a combination of Infrastructure and Platform tiers is recommended. Telco Cloud Automation in the Platform tier can be used to onboard, instantiate, and life cycle management (LCM) not only CNFs but VNFs deployed to one of the Infrastructure endpoints. Depending on the design goals, NSX and or NSX Advanced Load Balancer can be used for additional networking functionality. For CNFs, the traditional VIM component is not used. Considerations for resource isolation and multi-tenancy differences must also be considered for VNFs and CNFs.

  • RAN-specific CNFs only: For RAN-only deployments that are focused on the DU and CU network functions, the Platform tier is recommended. Some components notably vSAN and NSX are not included in this deployment model. Due to the architecture of RAN-only environments, these components are not commonly used. The Telco Cloud Platform RAN bundle uses fewer components from both the Infrastructure and Platform tiers although a common set of management and operational components exist in all deployment models.


For more information about the design specifics for 5G Core, RAN, and legacy environments, see Telco Cloud Architectures.

Brownfield Deployments

After deploying a Telco Cloud as part of vCloud NFV, Telco Cloud Infrastructure, or cloud-native Telco Cloud Platform, additional components from the portfolio can be leveraged to extend or enhance the existing Telco cloud environment.

  • Existing vCloud NFV Base: To upgrade an existing vCloud NFV environment to the Telco Cloud Infrastructure layer, the Infrastructure Components (such as vSphere, vSAN, NSX, VMware Cloud Director, VMware Integrated OpenStack) must be upgraded. Depending on the design requirements, additional components such as NSX Advanced Load Balancer can be leveraged.

    The existing vCloud NFV deployment can also be upgraded and evolved to incorporate the Telco Cloud Platform tier, enabling new cloud-native network functions and services through Telco Cloud Automation and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid.

  • Adding Capabilities to an Existing Telco Cloud Infrastructure Deployment: According to the design requirements, an existing Telco Cloud Infrastructure deployment can be enhanced to support cloud-native network functions. This might require upgrades to one or more of the Infrastructure components to ensure compatibility between the components of the Telco Cloud Platform tier and the Telco Cloud Infrastructure tier.

When expanding the scope of an existing environment, mixed mode environments are supported. This allows upgraded vCenter Servers to be used for both deployments on the new ESXi cluster while co-existing with the existing environment on the original ESXi versions.