WBMM> FW: WG Review: Network Configuration (netconf)

WBMM> FW: WG Review: Network Configuration (netconf)

WBMM> FW: WG Review: Network Configuration (netconf)

Farrell, Lee Lee.Farrell at cda.canon.com
Mon Apr 21 12:55:01 EDT 2003


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.


-----Original Message-----
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
           distinguished names
       - mechanism to distinguish configuration from
           non-configuration data
       - 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
           layer requirements.

       - 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
 Protocol <draft-enns-xmlconf-spec-00.txt>.

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