RFC 6244 – Network Management Using NETCONF and YANG

I’ve been watching NETCONF and YANG for about four years and it seems that it might be breaking through the noise to set a new standard for Network Management data exchange. In short, SNMP isn’t working and the next generation of “blah blah Cloud” will require more sophisticated communication than SNMP can handle. In the last four years, NETCONF has matured and slowly percolated its way through the industry. Now that is has teamed up with YANG we have something that looks like it’s about to burst into the mainstream.

This RFC expounds on the YANG and NETCONF in some detail, but don’t miss the previous riveting episodes

YANG – A Data Modeling Language for the Network Configuration Protocol (NETCONF)”, RFC 6020

“Guidelines for Authors and Reviewers of YANG Data Model Documents”, RFC 6087

and more in the references section.

Note that much of Juniper AND Cisco management tools _already_ uses NETCONF and YANG for XML data exchange – as does OpenFlow etc. XML is firmly established in programming so it’s arrival in Networking is long overdue in my view. Importantly, all of the RFCs related to YANG are Standards Track – this indicates that there is some level of support for pushing them into mainstream acceptance.

The EtherealMind View

This probably means that some knowledge of XML is good thing™ and you might want to spend some time reading about it. I’m not suggesting that you need to be a programmer, just understand that XML is a data structure that can be read from and written to. Functionally it’s the same as SNMP but with a format better suited to the superstructure that our current programming languages use.

Comprehending how it can deliver better network management and, especially, orchestration is worth having in this era of “blah blah cloud” where a lot of money will be spent. After all, you want to be where the money is.

Ah, good times in the network business.

RFC 6244 – An Architecture for Network Management Using NETCONF and YANG: “An Architecture for Network Management Using NETCONF and YANG”

About Greg Ferro

Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count.

He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at EtherealMind.com and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus

You can contact Greg via the site contact page.

  • Anonymous

    For people wanting to know more about NETCONF and YANG as well as a brief overveiw fo available implementations and tools I maintain a set of slides here: http://slidesha.re/fll7Xy

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