Re: [netmod] AD review of draft-ietf-netmod-nmda-diff-07

"Rob Wilton (rwilton)" <rwilton@cisco.com> Fri, 05 March 2021 13:58 UTC

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From: "Rob Wilton (rwilton)" <rwilton@cisco.com>
To: Andy Bierman <andy@yumaworks.com>, joel jaeggli <joelja@gmail.com>
CC: "draft-ietf-netmod-nmda-diff.all@ietf.org" <draft-ietf-netmod-nmda-diff.all@ietf.org>, "netmod@ietf.org" <netmod@ietf.org>
Thread-Topic: AD review of draft-ietf-netmod-nmda-diff-07
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Subject: Re: [netmod] AD review of draft-ietf-netmod-nmda-diff-07
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Hi Andy, authors,

Sorry for the long delay in replying.

Please see [RW] inline below …


From: Andy Bierman <andy@yumaworks.com<mailto:andy@yumaworks.com>>
Sent: 30 October 2020 01:43
To: joel jaeggli <joelja@gmail.com<mailto:joelja@gmail.com>>
Cc: Rob Wilton (rwilton) <rwilton@cisco.com<mailto:rwilton@cisco.com>>; draft-ietf-netmod-nmda-diff.all@ietf.org<mailto:draft-ietf-netmod-nmda-diff.all@ietf.org>; netmod@ietf.org<mailto:netmod@ietf.org>
Subject: Re: AD review of draft-ietf-netmod-nmda-diff-07



On Thu, Oct 29, 2020 at 6:09 PM joel jaeggli <joelja@gmail.com<mailto:joelja@gmail.com>> wrote:
Rob,

These seem like reasonable suggestions.

Lets see what the authors say.

Thanks for this
joel

On Thu, Oct 29, 2020 at 6:47 AM Rob Wilton (rwilton) <rwilton@cisco.com<mailto:rwilton@cisco.com>> wrote:
Hi,

Here is my AD review for draft-ietf-netmod-nmda-diff-07.  Apologies for the delay.

Thank you for writing this document, I think that it is useful, and looks like it is in good shape.


Main comments:

1. Should there be any text about how to find out what datastores are supported by a device?  E.g., pointing them to either YANG library, or protocol specific mechanisms in the case of RESTCONF.

Do you have a section in mind and suggested text?
[RW]
Perhaps somewhere in section 4, either as part of the description of source, or perhaps before the parameters are described.

Proposed text:
“A client can discover which datastores a server supports by reading YANG library [RFC 8525] from the operational state datastore.”



2. It might be helpful to add a comment about potential issues that could arise by comparing <running> to <operational>, i.e., additional differences could be reported due to inactive configuration and template processing between <running> and <operational>.

Do you have a section in mind and suggested text?
You mean if there are differences between <running> and <intended>
then a diff between <running> and <operational> will not be the same
as a diff between <intended> and <operational>.?

[RW]
My main concern is that if you have template expansion then comparing <running> and <operational> may not really give a meaningful comparison, since <running> is pre-template expansion, and <operational> (and <intended>) are both post template expansion.

I would suggest putting some text in section 4 or perhaps the YANG module.

Perhaps some text, something like:

  “Clients should to be aware that comparing <running> to <operational> will report differences due to any configuration transformation (e.g., inactive configuration, or the expansion of templates) between the <running> and <intended> datastores.  In these scenarios, clients may get a more useful result by comparing the <intended> and <operational> datastores instead.”




3. I would prefer if 'exclude=origin' was in the reverse sense and perhaps called 'report-origin' instead.  With the reverse sense it seems to be safer if new datastores are defined, where otherwise the behaviour could end being under specified.


IMO the WG already designed the features so if the functional requirements have changed
then the draft should go back to the WG for changes and new WG consensus calls.
[RW]

I don’t see this as really changing the functional requirements, but just changing the default sense and name of an API parameter.  Although, given my comments below “with-origin” might be better than “report-origin”.

In RFC 8526, the “with-origin” parameter is off by default, and origin metadata is only included when the parameter is included.  This keyword is also under a feature.

So, changing the parameter name to “with-origin” and putting it under ”if-feature ietf-netconf-nmda:origin”, and making the default off, would make the definition more consistent with RFC 8526.



4. Should there be an option to filter on origin metadata?  E.g., only include values that come from intended.  Otherwise, things like IP addresses learned from DHCP may always turn up as differences.

IMO the WG already designed the features so if the functional requirements have changedthen the draft should go back to the WG for changes and new WG consensus calls.

[RW]

Okay.

Regards,
Rob



5. I'm not that keen on the "Possible Future Extensions" section of an RFC.  Personally, I would prefer that this section is deleted, but if you wish to retain it, then please can you move it to an appendix.

OK with me to remove it



Andy



I've also included some minor comments inline below, and some nits at the end:

    Abstract

       This document defines an RPC operation to compare management
       datastores that comply with the NMDA architecture.

The abstract is perhaps somewhat terse.  Perhaps:

    This document defines a YANG RPC operation to compare the
    contents of network management datastores that comply with
    the NMDA architecture and return the differences in the
    YANG-Patch format.


    1.  Introduction

       The revised Network Management Datastore Architecture (NMDA)
       [RFC8342] introduces a set of new datastores that each hold YANG-
       defined data [RFC7950] and represent a different "viewpoint" on the
       data that is maintained by a server.  New YANG datastores that are
       introduced include <intended>, which contains validated configuration
       data that a client application intends to be in effect, and
       <operational>, which contains at least conceptually operational state
       data (such as statistics) as well as configuration data that is
       actually in effect.

I would suggest deleting "at least conceptually", since the <operational>
datastore does contain all operational state, but it may be implemented as a virtual construct that spans multiple nodes (e.g., linecards) and processes.


       NMDA introduces in effect a concept of "lifecycle" for management
       data, allowing to clearly distinguish between data that is part of a
       configuration that was supplied by a user, configuration data that
       has actually been successfully applied and that is part of the
       operational state, and overall operational state that includes both
       applied configuration data as well as status and statistics.

"allowing to clearly distinguish" => distinguishing"
"status and statistics" => "status information and statistics"


       As a result, data from the same management model can be reflected in
       multiple datastores.  Clients need to specify the target datastore to
       be specific about which viewpoint of the data they want to access.
       This way, an application can differentiate whether they are (for
       example) interested in the configuration that has been applied and is
       actually in effect, or in the configuration that was supplied by a
       client and that is supposed to be in effect.

Perhaps reword the last sentence to match the logical data flow in the server:

   For example, a client application can differentiate whether they are
   interested in the configuration supplied to a server and that is
   supposed to be in effect, or the configuration that has been applied and is
   actually in effect on the server.


       When configuration that is in effect is different from configuration
       that was applied, many issues can result.  It becomes more difficult
       to operate the network properly due to limited visibility of actual
       status which makes it more difficult to analyze and understand what
       is going on in the network.  Services may be negatively affected (for
       example, breaking a service instance resulting in service is not
       properly delivered to a customer) and network resources be
       misallocated.

Perhaps change "actual status" to "actual operational status".

I also suggest changing the last sentence to:

    Services may be negatively affected (e.g., degrading or breaking a customer service) or network resources may be misallocated.


        3. Definitions:

It should probably define that <intended>, <operational>, (and perhaps <running>) are used to indicate names of datastores.

It should also explain that <compare> is used as the name of a YANG RPC.


    4.  Data Model Overview

       At the core of the solution is a new management operation, <compare>,
       that allows to compare two datastores for the same data.

Suggest rewording this first sentence to:

  The core of the solution is a new management operation, <compare>,
  that compares the data tree contents of two datastores.

       o  target: The target identifies the datastore to compare against the
          source.

Suggest adding an example ", e.g., <operational>."

       o  filter-spec: This is a choice between different filter constructs
          to identify the portions of the datastore to be retrieved.  It
          acts as a node selector that specifies which data nodes are within
          the scope of the comparison and which nodes are outside the scope