Although the group hasn't yet been approved, I think it's only a matter of time and possibly a few scope refinements.
As the WBMM effort makes headway, we should probably keep an eye on compatibility where there is functional overlap -- or an explanation of why we don't care.
From: The IESG [mailto:iesg-secretary at ietf.org]
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2003 8:56 AM
Cc: new-work at ietf.org; randy at psg.com; abierman at cisco.com
Subject: WG Review: Network Configuration (netconf)
A new IETF working group has been proposed in the Operations and Management Area.
The IESG has not made any determination yet.
The following Description was submitted, and is provided for
informational purposes only:
Network Configuration (netconf)
Current Status: Proposed Working Group
Description of Working Group:
Configuration of networks of devices has become a critical requirement for
operators in today's highly interoperable networks. Operators from large
to small have developed or used vendor specific mechanisms to transfer
configuration data to and from a device, and for examining device state
information which may impact the configuration. Each of these mechanisms
may be different in various aspects, such as session establishment,
user authentication, configuration data exchange, and error responses.
The Netconf Working Group is chartered to produce a protocol
suitable for network configuration, with the following
- Provides retrieval mechanisms which can differentiate between
configuration data and non-configuration data
- Is extensible enough that vendors will provide access
to all configuration data on the device using a single protocol
- Has a programmatic interface (avoids screen scraping
and formatting-related changes between releases)
- Uses a textual data representation, that can be easily
manipulated using non-specialized text manipulation tools.
- Supports integration with existing user authentication methods
- Supports integration with existing configuration database systems
- Supports network wide configuration transactions (with features
such as locking and rollback capability)
- Is as transport-independent as possible
- Provides support for asynchronous notifications
The Netconf protocol will use XML for data encoding purposes,
because XML is a widely deployed standard which is supported
by a large number of applications. XML also supports
hierarchical data structures and multiple character sets.
The Netconf protocol should be independent of the data definition
language and data models used to describe configuration and
state data. However, the authorization model used in the protocol
is dependent on the data model. Although these issues must be
fully addressed to develop standard data models, only a small part
of this work will be initially addressed. This group will specify
requirements for standard data models in order to fully support the
Netconf protocol, such as:
- identification of principals, such as user names or
- mechanism to distinguish configuration from
- XML namespace conventions
- XML usage guidelines
It should be possible to transport the Netconf protocol using
several different protocols. The group will select at least
one suitable transport mechanism, and define a mapping for
the selected protocol(s).
The initial work will be restricted to the following items:
- Netconf Protocol Specification, which defines the
operational model, protocol operations, transaction model,
data model requirements, security requirements, and transport
- Netconf over <TBD> Specification, which defines how the
Netconf protocol is used with the transport protocol
selected by the group. There will be a document of
this type for each selected transport protocol.
The working group will base its work on the XMLCONF Configuration