2.4.8 Network Configuration (netconf)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of the 69th IETF Meeting in Chicago, IL USA. It may now be out-of-date.
In addition to this official charter maintained by the IETF Secretariat, there is additional information about this working group on the Web at:

       Addiotional NETCONF Web Page

Last Modified: 2007-03-08


Simon Leinen <simon@switch.ch>
Andy Bierman <ietf@andybierman.com>

Operations and Management Area Director(s):

Dan Romascanu <dromasca@avaya.com>
Ronald Bonica <rbonica@juniper.net>

Operations and Management Area Advisor:

Dan Romascanu <dromasca@avaya.com>

Technical Advisor(s):

Wesley Hardaker <hardaker@tislabs.com>

Mailing Lists:

General Discussion: netconf@ops.ietf.org
To Subscribe: netconf-request@ops.ietf.org
In Body: in msg body: subscribe
Archive: https://ops.ietf.org/lists/netconf

Description of Working Group:

Wes Hardaker is Technical Advisor for Security Matters

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 their own mechanisms 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 characteristics:

- 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 the following support for asynchronous notifications:
- Specify the <hello> message (capability exchange) details to
support notifications.
- Specify the application mapping details to support notifications.
- Specify the protocol syntax and semantics of a notification message.
- Specify or select a notification content information model.
- Specify a mechanism for controlling the delivery (turn on/off)
of notifications during a session.
- Specify a mechanism for selectively receiving a configurable
subset of all possible notification types.

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

The Netconf protocol should be independent of the data definition
language and data models used to describe configuration and state

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
- 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 (has completed) and was restricted to the following

- Netconf Protocol Specification, which defines the operational
model, protocol operations, transaction model, data model
requirements, security requirements, and transport layer

- Netconf over SSH Specification: Implementation Mandatory;
Netconf over BEEP Specification: Implementation Optional;
Netconf over SOAP Specification: Implementation Optional;
These documents define how the Netconf protocol is used
with each transport protocol selected by the working group, and
how it meets the security and transport layer requirements
of the Netconf Protocol Specification.

Additional Notification work (as described above) will now be
addressed since the initial work has been completed.

An individual submission Internet Draft has been proposed to the WG
as the starting point for the Notification work. The WG shall adopt
the document identified as 'draft-chisholm-netconf-event-01.txt' as
the starting point for this work.

Goals and Milestones:

Done  Working Group formed
Done  Submit initial Netconf Protocol draft
Done  Submit initial Netconf over (transport-TBD) draft
Done  Begin Working Group Last Call for the Netconf Protocol draft
Done  Begin Working Group Last Call for the Netconf over (transport-TBD) draft
Done  Submit final version of the Netconf Protocol draft to the IESG
Done  Submit final version of the Netconf over SOAP draft to the IESG
Done  Submit final version of the Netconf over BEEP draft to the IESG
Done  Submit final version of the Netconf over SSH draft to the IESG
Done  Update charter
Done  Submit first version of NETCONF Notifications document
Done  Begin WGLC of NETCONF Notifications document
Dec 2006  Submit final version of NETCONF Notifications document to IESG for consideration as Proposed Standard


  • draft-ietf-netconf-notification-08.txt

    Request For Comments:

    RFC4741 PS NETCONF Configuration Protocol
    RFC4742 PS Using the NETCONF Configuration Protocol over Secure Shell (SSH)
    RFC4743 PS Using the Network Configuration Protocol (NETCONF) Over the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)
    RFC4744 PS Using the NETCONF Protocol over Blocks Extensible Exchange Protocol (BEEP)

    Meeting Minutes


    Agenda & notification issues