This article is the first in a series of articles on the emerging NETCONF and YANG standards published by the IETF.

Over the past several years, participants within the IETF Operations and Management area have published two complementary series of RFCs that specify a proposed standard for the advanced configuration of networks and services.

The first series of RFCs specify the protocol operations (NETCONF) for manipulating configuration data and examining state information contained within network devices and services.

The second series of RFCs specify the schema language (YANG) for defining the XML-based configuration data transported by NETCONF.

Together, NETCONF and YANG provide operators and vendors a standards based alternative to relying upon the varied semantics encountered when using some combination of CLI, SNMP and HTML based configuration applications.

Our technical overview is comprised of a number of topics exploring some interesting aspects of the design and features found within NETCONF and YANG.  Topics are each presented in a separate article and include:

  • Motivation and Inception: What were the reasons for this standards work?  When and how did work start on these standards?
  • Architecture:  What is the organization of the design features and fundamental components found in NETCONF and YANG?
  • Potential Markets:  What portions of the IT industry are most likely to incorporate NETCONF and YANG technology into their management approach?
  • Basic Terms and Concepts: What are the basic terms and concepts within NETCONF and YANG?  What are the relationships among concepts?
  • Operations:  Which operations are part of the base set of capabilities?  How is the set of basic operations extended?
  • Capabilities:  What are NETCONF and YANG capabilities.  Why are capabilities important?
  • Configuration Schema:  Why was a new language defined for creating schema for the data modelling of configuration data?
  • Data Modelling: How do I use YANG to create a schema for my configuration data?
  • Data Modelling: How do I use YANG to extend and augment another data model?

This article is part of a series of articles. To view other articles in this series please follow the NETCONF and YANG tag.