WG Action: RECHARTER: Network Configuration (netconf)

IESG Secretary <iesg-secretary@ietf.org> Tue, 31 August 2010 18:05 UTC

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Subject: WG Action: RECHARTER: Network Configuration (netconf)
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The Network Configuration (netconf) working group in the Operations and
Management Area of the IETF has been rechartered.  For additional
information, please contact the Area Directors or the working group

Network Configuration (netconf)
Current Status: Active Working Group

    Bert Wijnen (bertietf@bwijnen.net)
    Mehmet Ersue (mehmet.ersue@nsn.com)

Operations and Management Area Directors:
    Dan Romascanu (dromasca@avaya.com)
    Ronald Bonica (rbonica@juniper.net)

Operations and Management Area Advisor:
    Dan Romascanu (dromasca@avaya.com)

Mailing Lists:
    General Discussion: netconf@ietf.org
    To Subscribe:       netconf-request@ietf.org
       or:              https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/netconf
    Archive:            http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/netconf/

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 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 has produced 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 so that vendors can 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 an XML-based data representation, that can be easily 
   manipulated using non-specialized XML manipulation tools.
 - Supports integration with existing user authentication methods
 - Supports integration with existing configuration database systems
 - Supports multiple (e.g. candidate and running) data-stores to
   optimize configuration preparation and activation 
 - Supports network wide configuration transactions (with features such
   as locking and rollback capability)
 - Runs over a secure transport; SSH is mandatory to implement
   while TLS, BEEP, and SOAP are optional transports.
 - Provides support for asynchronous notifications.

 The NETCONF protocol has been designed independent of the data 
 modeling language. The IETF recommends to use YANG as the NETCONF
 modeling language, which introduces advanced language features for 
 configuration management.

 In the current phase of the incremental development of NETCONF the
 workgroup will focus on following items:

 1. NETCONF implementations have shown that the specification in 
    RFC4741 is not 100% clear and has lead to different interpretations

    and implementations. Also some errors have been uncovered. So the 
    WG will do an rfc4741bis with following constraints:

      - bug fixes are to be done
      - clarifications can be done
      - extensions can be done only when needed to fix bugs
        or inconsistencies (i.e. we are not doing a NETCONF V2)
      - The work was started based on the discussion in IETF #73 (see

 2. A technical errata has been posted on rfc4742. The work on 
    rfc4741bis also uncovered some additional fixes/clarifications that
    need to be made to rfc4742, the WG has been working on rfc4742bis
    and is nearly done with this work item.

 3. Netconf Access Control Model (NACM) Requirements and Solution.

    There is a need for standard mechanisms to restrict 
    NETCONF protocol access for authenticated users to a pre-  
    configured (by operator) subset of all available NETCONF
    operations and content. 

    The WG will produce a document which identifies the access 
    control requirements specific to the NETCONF protocol, as 
    defined in [4741bis].  This document will also provide a 
    standard YANG data model which addresses these 

    It is possible that the WG will not reach solution consensus
    on every possible requirement identified in the document.
    In this case, it is expected that the solution will evolve
    over time to meet the the remaining unmet requirements.

 4. The NETCONF server may want to notify interested clients about
    particular NETCONF protocol/server events.  The WG will work on
    a NETCONF specific YANG module(s) to define suitable

 5. As implementation and deployment experience gained with the
    NETCONF monitoring data model, the WG may revise the NETCONF
    monitoring data model to add additional objects that can be used
    to check the status of the server and to discover additional
    information about the server implementation. The WG may choose
    to revise the NETCONF monitoring data model.

Goals and Milestones:

Aug 2010  WG Last Call on rfc4741bis
Aug 2010  Send with-defaults to IESG for consideration as Proposed 
Sep 2010  first WG draft (rev 00) on NACM posted
Sep 2010  rfc4741bis to IESG for consideration as Proposed Standard
Sep 2010  Send rfc4742bis to IESG for consideration as proposed Standard
Sep 2010  first WG draft (rev 00) on NETCONF specific YANG modules 
Jan 2011  WGLC for NACM document
Jan 2011  WGLC for NETCONF specific notifications document
Mar 2011  (if needed last) WGLC for NACM document
Mar 2011  (if needed last) WGLC for NETCONF specific notifications 
Apr 2011  submit NACM document to IESG for consideration as Proposed 
Apr 2011  submit NETCONF specific notifications document to IESG for 
          consideration as Proposed Standard