Multi-Vendor Networks are the most common Networks that our customers rely on to provide a diversity of services to their customers. A long-lasting pain that our customers have is the lack of standard APIs to manage these Networks. Aligning all these network devices to seamlessly deploy those many services is job number one, without the standard many equipment providers are dead in the water.
The result, standards-based NETCONF and YANG were developed and are widely used today in many different products to provide equipment providers with the benefits of a common standard API. You may be saying to yourself SNMP is standard; XML is standard: so why invent new standards?
SNMP is a monitoring protocol that is only good for monitoring certain data in the Network. It is not capable of several configuration operations that customers are interested in. For example – transactions, retrieval of a device’s configuration only, limited PDU size. As a result, customers prefer to use proprietary CLI.
XML is a good modeling language, yet it lacks features pertaining to the nature of Configuration data such as Syntactic and Semantic validation, the ability to easily expand data definition (In YANG, data definitions can be added without editing the original data definition), Relationship expression between data modules, etc.
With NETCONF and YANG support built into the networking device, there can be a heavy burden of implementation and support of the latest RFCs developed in this area. Luckily, Tail-f’s ConfD has the best implementation, in the market, of NETCONF and YANG that has proven mature by several users. ConfD, a Data Model Driven framework, is being used in several network devices including Cisco and non-Cisco products to deliver the capabilities our customer need in order to manage all devices.
Before you stop reading because you already have a management solution, you don’t need to scratch out what you have in order to benefit from ConfD. ConfD is a plug, integrate and play solution that can coexist with other management solutions.
For example –A Networking device that supports CLI, REST and SNMP can add ConfD on top to support NETCONF and RESTCONF. All that is needed in this case is modeling of the Data that needs to be exposed via these new protocols and the southbound integration of ConfD with the embedded applications.
Data Model Driven development is a hot trend in North Bound Interface development. Time and resources are reduced considerably when the focus shifts from the details of the North Bound Protocol to the Data Modelling exercise.
ConfD renders all of its North Bound Interfaces based on the Data Model; expressed in YANG, thus eliminating the need for a management protocol development expertise and the risk of feature lag between management interfaces. By taking a Data Model Driven approach, you allow for:
- Modeling the Data once,
- Integrating ConfD with the embedded device applications once
- Use many – North Bound Interfaces share the same LAYER North of ConfD. Operations sent via an NBI follow the same execution path as if they were sent from a different NBI. This allows for increased robustness of the software, and a newly developed feature is usable through any NBI, at the same time.
All of this is achieved by the layered architecture of ConfD that separates management interfaces logic from the integration code enabling faster development and easier maintenance. Learn more about ConfD and what it can do for you.