[NGO] NETCONF Data Modeling BoF (NDM) proposal

Andy Bierman <ietf@andybierman.com> Thu, 06 September 2007 17:43 UTC

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Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 10:41:37 -0700
From: Andy Bierman <ietf@andybierman.com>
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Subject: [NGO] NETCONF Data Modeling BoF (NDM) proposal
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I am proposing a BoF (will find BoF co-chair TBD)
to do work on NETCONF Data Modeling (NDM WG).




Send comments on this BoF proposal to the NETCONF GOES ON (NGO) list:



The NETCONF protocol needs a standard content layer.
A data modeling framework is needed which supports
ongoing development of WG and vendor defined modules,
within an integrated and seamless conceptual configuration database.

It is important to determine if and how standard NETCONF data model
modules with writable configuration data, compatible with the
<edit-config> operation, can be developed in the IETF in a manner
similar to MIB module development.

There are many different viewpoints on NETCONF and its non-existent
data model.  Hopefully, consensus could be reached anyway,
based on real use cases and running code.  In the area of
network device configuration, the IETF has rarely been able to achieve
any deployment success.  So far, NETCONF is no exception.

SMIv2 (for SNMP) provides many features that the IETF relies
on to maintain an integrated and ever-changing mix of vendor
and standard MIB modules.  There are many features
unrelated to the SYNTAX or DESCRIPTION clauses, such as
object and instance naming, module headers, definition importing,
INDEX and MAX-ACCESS clauses, version control, and flexible agent
conformance, which NETCONF does not currently address.  A NETCONF
compatible data modeling framework is needed, which provides these
important features.

It is important to distinguish between XML usage conventions
for better interoperability and NM usability, and data modeling languages.
By focusing on the XML instance documents themselves (i.e., NETCONF PDUs),
an SMI can be developed which can be supported by many languages.
However, for better interoperability, a canonical mapping for all
NDM constructs to the XML Schema Definition (XSD) data modeling language
is needed.


The output of the NDM WG would be 1 or more documents
defining the structure of NETCONF data models, focusing on
the common mechanisms needed to develop standard and vendor defined
data model modules.

This work can (and should) be done concurrently with actual
configuration data model development, such as the data model
to configure partial locking.

It would be useful for a separate WG to focus on the larger issues
for an entire management system, and develop the conventions and
mechanisms needed for standard data models to follow.


The NDM WG will not produce any new data modeling language.
Instead, existing mechanisms such as Xpath will be used instead.

The NDM WG will not integrate multiple data modeling architectures
into some sort of unified XML melting pot.  Future work on specific
protocol integration support, such as SNMP/SMIv2, would be possible,
once the output of the NDM WG was published.

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