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Cisco Ultra 5G Cloud Core - Session Management Function (SMF) Data Sheet

Data Sheet

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Updated:February 1, 2021

Bias-Free Language

The documentation set for this product strives to use bias-free language. For the purposes of this documentation set, bias-free is defined as language that does not imply discrimination based on age, disability, gender, racial identity, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and intersectionality. Exceptions may be present in the documentation due to language that is hardcoded in the user interfaces of the product software, language used based on RFP documentation, or language that is used by a referenced third-party product. Learn more about how Cisco is using Inclusive Language.

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Updated:February 1, 2021


Cisco® Session Management Function (SMF) provides a central function in the 5G SA mobile core and enables QoS control, 4G-5G mobility handover, and charging controls for data and voice sessions.

Product overview

Cisco Session Management Function (SMF) is a control plane network function (NF) of the 5G core (5GC). SMF is responsible for session management with supported individual functions on a per-session basis. Cisco SMF performs its session control per 3GPP specification, augmented with specific value-add functions from Cisco.

The Cisco SMF also enables:

      Cloud-native architecture to simplify automated operation

      Bare-metal deployment model maximizing hardware efficiency

      Built-in automation for operational flexibility and affinity

SMF functionalities:

      Session management, such as session establishment, modification, and release, including establishing a tunnel between the UPF and the AN node.

      UE IP address allocation and management, including an optional authorization.

      Perform DHCPv4 and DHCPv6 functions, both as server and client.

      Perform ARP Proxying and IPv6 Neighbor Solicitation Proxying functionality for the Ethernet PDUs. The SMF communicates with the ARP and the IPv6 Neighbor Solicitation Request by providing the MAC address. This address is corresponding to the IP address that exists in the request.

      Select and control the UP function for Ethernet PDU sessions. UP functions include controlling the UPF to proxy ARP or IPv6 Neighbor Discovery and forwarding all ARP or IPv6 Neighbor Solicitation traffic to the SMF.

      Configure Traffic Steering at UPF to route traffic to the corresponding Data Network (DN).

      Terminate interfaces toward Policy Control Functions.

      Handle the Lawful Intercept for SM events and interface to the LI system.

      Control and synchronize the charging data collection at UPF.

      Terminate the SM parts of NAS messages.

      Route packets and ensure the delivery information through Downlink Data Notification.

      Initiate the AN-specific SM information that is sent through AMF to AN over the N2 interface.

      Determine the SSC mode of a session.

      Provide the following roaming functionalities:

    Manage the local enforcement to apply QoS SLAs (VPLMN).

    Collect charging data and support the charging interfaces.

    Support communication with external DN. The communication is for the transport of signaling for the PDU Session authorization or authentication by an external DN.

Features and benefits



SMF+S5-c support to enable 4G-5G interworking for dual-mode devices

Common, converged GW that could anchor 5G, 4G, 3G, and 2G devices with flexible configuration options to support different use cases

IP address management

The SMF supports “centralized” management of IP address allocation across the distributed UPFs


Better and easier policy management and UPF management

High-availability and migration/upgrades without disruption

No downtime, and upgraded service continuity without any outages

SMF – NRF interactions

Standards-based NRF support, including Heart-beat and Failure-Handling

UPF node selection

Rich and configurable, including local configurations and prioritizations

LI support on SMF

Standards and regulatory from Day 1 deployment

Prominent feature

Completely cloud-native implementation from the ground up

      Three-layered, microservices-based architecture

      Common services abstracted (SMI, CDL) for efficiency and consistency across different cloud-native network functions

      Converged core evolution for deployment flexibility

No vendor lock-in; truly open interfaces

      All SBI interfaces are fully 3GPP compliant

      S5-c, S2b-c (GTP) – fully 3GPP compliant

      Standard-complaint N4 (with optional proprietary extensions)

Leverage deep expertise in 2G/3G/4G x-GW to enable feature parity over multiple releases

Field-proven in different Tier-1 deployments

Smooth migration to 5G with zero-to-minimal service disruption

Platform support

Product Family

Platforms Supported

Cisco Ultra 5G Cloud Core SMF

VMware 6.5


Bare metal

Google Cloud


Application base

Per 5G application, per cluster - SMF

Sessions (increments of 1000)

Per 5G application, network-wide - SMF

Product specifications

Cisco Ultra 5G Cloud Core SMF specifications

Cisco Ultra Cloud Core Platform Software

Cisco Ultra Cloud Core 5G SMF Software

System requirements




2 x 6148 CPU (20 cores @ 2.4GHz)


2 x Intel® XL710 Dual-Port 40G QSFP+ NIC or Intel XXV710 Dual-Port 25G QSFP+ NIC


384 GB

Local disk storage

2 x 800 GB SSD

Ordering information

Part #

Product description


UCC - Session Management Function (SMF), Base Minimum


UCC - Session Management Function (SMF), 1K sessions


UCC - Session Management Function (SMF), Base Minimum SIA


UCC - Session Management Function (SMF), 1K sessions SIA

Warranty information

Cisco Ultra Cloud Core 5G SMF has the standard Cisco software warranty.

Cisco environmental sustainability

Information about Cisco’s environmental sustainability policies and initiatives for our products, solutions, operations, and extended operations or supply chain is provided in the “Environment Sustainability” section of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report.

Reference links to information about key environmental sustainability topics (mentioned in the “Environment Sustainability” section of the CSR Report) are provided in the following table:

Sustainability topic


Information on product material content laws and regulations


Information on electronic waste laws and regulations, including products, batteries, and packaging

WEEE compliance

Cisco makes the packaging data available for informational purposes only. It may not reflect the most current legal developments, and Cisco does not represent, warrant, or guarantee that it is complete, accurate, or up to date. This information is subject to change without notice.

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