YANG and NETCONF - model-based configuration management for networks
2020-02-03, 14:50–15:40, D Aud

In the networking world, configuration management is as much a hot topic as it is in the systems world. In contrast to the systems world, the networking world is full of proprietary devices, each with their own configuration "language". The IETF has standardized (and many vendors have implemented) a protocol to configure network equipment (NETCONF) and a data modeling language (YANG) to represent configuration and state data of the devices.

This talk will give an introduction to YANG and NETCONF, discuss how they relate to concepts in systems configuration management and how it could be used to configure traditional systems.

The NETCONF protocol (RFC 6241) is an XML-based RPC protocol to view, install, manipulate, and delete the configuration and state of network devices.

YANG (RFC 6020) is "a data modeling language used to model configuration and state data manipulated by the Network Configuration Protocol (NETCONF), NETCONF remote procedure calls, and NETCONF notifications. YANG is used to model the operations and content layers of NETCONF."

It can be both be used to configure devices, read their state (temperature, interface counters etc.) and allow the devices to send notifications to the NETCONF client of events happening in the system.

This combination of technologies can be seen as "SNMP on steroids without the MIBs". Many network equipment vendors implement this standard and it is used in some large-scale ISP networks.

Educated as a Systems and Network Engineer and having dabbled with DevOps-y things for years, Pieter's official title now is "Senior PowerDNS Engineer". In the Open-Source parts of his dayjob he works on the PowerDNS source code, the build/CI/packaging pipeline, and maintains the systems run these. On the commercial spectrum, he works Professional Service teams and customers on deployments and configuration of PowerDNS at scale.

He is also involved in the broader DNS operations and standards communities to make the Internet a better place.