WG Action: RECHARTER: Network Configuration (netconf)

The IESG <iesg-secretary@ietf.org> Wed, 21 December 2005 20:19 UTC

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Cc: Simon Leinen <simon@switch.ch>, netconf@ops.ietf.org
Subject: WG Action: RECHARTER: Network Configuration (netconf)
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The charter of the Network Configuration (netconf) working group in the 
Operations and Management Area of the IETF has been updated. For additional 
information, please contact the Area Directors or the working group Chairs.


Network Configuration (netconf)

Current Status: Active Working Group

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

Operations and Management Area Director(s):
Bert Wijnen <bwijnen@lucent.com>
David Kessens <david.kessens@nokia.com>

Operations and Management Area Advisor:
Bert Wijnen <bwijnen@lucent.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 mechanims or used vendor 
specific mechanisms to transfer configuration data to and from a 
device, and for examining device state information which may impact 
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 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 

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 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 

  - Netconf over <Transport-TBD> Specification, which defines how
    the Netconf protocol is used with the transport protocol
    selected by the group, and how it meets the security and
    transport layer requirements of the Netconf Protocol
    Specification.. There will be a document of this type for
    each selected transport protocol.

The working group will take the XMLCONF Configuration Protocol
<draft-enns-xmlconf-spec-00.txt> as a starting point.

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  
Dec 2005    Update charter  
Jan 2006    Submit first version of NETCONF Notifications document  
Sep 2006    Begin WGLC of NETCONF Notifications document  
Dec 2006    Submit final version of NETCONF Notifications document to IESG for
consideration as Proposed Standard  

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