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YANG Catalog: A glance back as it moves ahead

  • Benoît Claise
  • Joe Clarke
  • Carl Moberg
  • Éric Vyncke
  • 8 Mar 2019

The YANG Catalog, a platform for publishing and accessing information about and tooling for developing and using YANG models, is entering a new phase as it transitions to a platform supported by the IETF Administration LLC.

The YANG Catalog provides a place where vendors and operators can share and find the data models that make configuring and operating networks easier and more efficient. YANG is defined by RFC 6020 and RFC 7950, and provides a data modeling language for the Network Configuration Protocol, NETCONF, defined in RFC 6241, and RESTCONF, defined in RFC 8040.

So, if you are a network equipment vendor, join the companies that are already making their YANG models available via the YANG Catalog. If you are a network operator, and aren’t already using the YANG Catalog, try out the various tools available. If you a member of the Internet community, we encourage you to continue to contribute to make the YANG Catalog more useful to you. An upcoming opportunity is our project at the next IETF Hackathon, on 23-24 March 2019 in Prague, just before the IETF 104 meeting where we will continue the unbroken streak of work to make it easier and simpler to manage networks. And always feel free to email us at YANG Catalog.

As its name suggests, the YANG Catalog provides an easy-to-use way to find relevant YANG models from across nearly a dozen contributing organizations, but doesn’t itself store the models. It began from idea at the very first IETF Hackathon in 2015, and has been further developed at every IETF Hackathon since.

Previous IETF Blog posts have provided updates on features and tools that have been incorporated into and inspired by the YANG Catalog. Tools available at the YANG Catalog website allow you search for YANG modules, display their metadata, and analyze their impact via a graph visualization. 

As just one example of the practical benefits these tools provide, in 2016, the Broadband Forum published its first YANG models for Fiber-To-The-distribution point (FTTdp) management software specification, which allowed operators to configure and control fiber-fed nodes (DPUs) in the periphery of the access network, enabling interoperability for FTTdp management. In 2017, Broadband Forum Chairman Kevin Foster stated, “By providing open access to a wide variety of models that can be combined to meet specific network management needs, including active validation and testing of the new models, the YANG Catalog provides an alternative to large and sometimes cumbersome standards processes. It is a key enabler in the evolution towards more agile and programmable networks.”

The YANG Catalog’s ongoing development has been possible thanks to the contributions of many individuals, and the funding support of Cisco. Befitting the broad participation and use the YANG Catalog now enjoys, the IETF Administration LLC has taken over its ongoing support. This move doesn’t change our commitment to the project; as individuals we look forward to continuing to be personally involved in the further development of the YANG Catalog. We also expect participation and use across the industry to continue to grow.