Network Configuration

Document Charter Network Configuration WG (netconf)
Title Network Configuration
Last updated 2017-06-09
State Approved
WG State Active
IESG Responsible AD Benoit Claise
Charter Edit AD Benoit Claise
Send notices to (None)


The NETCONF Working Group, previously named after the NETCONF protocol,
now renamed as the NETwork CONFiguration Working Group, is responsible for the
development and maintenance of protocols for YANG data model driven management,
for the necessary framework where these protocols run, and for the YANG modules
that formalize protocol behavior and are required from a protocol perspective.

The NETCONF protocol (RFC 6241) provides mechanisms to install, manipulate, and
delete the configuration of network devices. NETCONF is based on secure
transport (SSH is mandatory to implement while TLS is an optional transport).
The NETCONF protocol is data modeling language independent, but YANG (RFC 7950)
is the recommended NETCONF data modeling language, which introduces advanced
language features for configuration management.

The NETCONF WG published the RESTCONF protocol (RFC 8040) which provides an
interface over HTTPS for accessing data defined in YANG. RESTCONF is based on
the capabilities of, and uses the datastore concept defined in, the NETCONF
protocol specification. In support of RESTCONF the YANG Patch (RFC 8072)
mechanism has been provided for applying patches to configuration datastores.
The YANG Module Library (RFC 7895) provides information about all YANG modules
used by a network management server.

Last but not least NETCONF and RESTCONF Call Home (RFC 8071) have been
developed, which enable a server to initiate a secure connection to a NETCONF
or RESTCONF client respectively.

In the current phase of NETCONF's incremental development the Working Group
will focus on following items:

1. Finalize the YANG data module for a system-level keystore mechanism,
which can be used to hold asymmetric private keys and certificates that are
trusted by the system advertising support for this module. Based on the known
dependencies (multiple NETCONF documents), this draft has the highest priority
for the WG. 

2. Finalize Server and Client Configuration YANG modules for both NETCONF
and RESTCONF as well as the Client and Server Models for SSH and TLS. 

3. Finalize the Zero-touch provisioning for NETCONF or RESTCONF-based
Management as a technique to establish a secure network management relationship
between a newly delivered network device configured with just its factory
default settings, and the Network Management System. 

4. Provide a revised version of NETCONF Access Control Model (RFC 6536)
by adding support for RESTCONF and for YANG 1.1 constructs like "action" and
the (locally-scoped) "notification" statements. 

5. Provide a set of documents enabling advanced notification/subscription
capabilities, which gracefully co-exist with deployments of NETCONF Event
Notification (RFC 5277). The new capabilities include transport independence
and multiple dynamic and configured subscriptions in a single transport
session. RFC 5277 will be obsoleted in parallel with the publication of the new
document set. The following specifications will be published: - A
protocol-independent notification framework, explaining the concepts of
subscriptions, filters, subscription state notifications, replay, etc. and
defining the associated YANG data model, RPCs, etc. - Definition of
notifications sent over NETCONF and HTTP. Examples for the encoding of YANG
notifications in XML and JSON will be given and considerations for parallel
support and implementation compatibility with RFC 5277 will be included. -
Definition of notifications sent over RESTCONF and HTTP2 and of how YANG
notifications are encoded in XML and JSON, including specifics of call-home and
heartbeat for subscriptions. - The subscription and push mechanism for YANG
datastores allowing subscriber applications to request updates from a YANG
datastore. - Definition of transport agnostic notification headers and of a
mechanism for bundling multiple YANG notifications into a single message.

6. Based on the revised datastore concept work in NETMOD, provide a
revision for the NETCONF and RESTCONF protocols and the used datastore

7. Coordinate with I2RS to support the I2RS profile use of RESTCONF and,
optionally, NETCONF, and the I2RS dynamic datastore(s).

Based on the implementation, deployment experience and interoperability
testing, the WG aims to produce a NETCONF status report in a later stage. The
result may be clarifications for NETCONF Protocol (RFC6241) and NETCONF over
SSH (RFC6242) and addressing any reported errata.