Light Reading

Netconf & Yang Go Mainstream

Carol Wilson
6/16/2014
50%
50%

It has taken time, but Netconf and Yang are now becoming accepted as critical lynchpins of service provider IT strategies as service providers consider their virtualization strategies.

If you're not yet familiar with Netconf and Yang, you soon will be.

Or at least you should be, because they're the standards about to take the telecom sector by storm, and will be among the major topics of conversation at this week's Big Telecom Event (BTE).

There are several reasons for that.

Firstly, network operators have been looking for ways to make sense of SDN and NFV for the past few years, particular in relation to how networks with virtualized elements and separate data and control planes might be managed. In many cases, that has brought Netconf, the Network Configuration Protocol developed by the IETF for reading and writing network configurations, and Yang, the data modeling language associated with it, into full frontal view. (See NFV Group Finds Its Feet.)

Secondly, Netconf and Yang -- the Starsky and Hutch of networking, perhaps -- have already been adopted by some of the more adventurous Tier 1 telcos grappling with the migration to software-oriented networks. Undoubtedly, Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has led the way, adopting Netconf and Yang as part of the next-gen OSS it is adopting for its Terastream infrastructure. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) followed earlier this year. That's some heavyweight support. (See Deutsche Telekom: A Software-Defined Operator, Deutsche Telekom Selects Tail-F, and AT&T's Cloud Future Takes Shape.)

In both cases, it's worth noting, the technology developer/vendor engaged by DT and AT&T has been Tail-f Systems , which has been promoting Netconf and Yang as the panacea to many networking ills for many years.

Thirdly, network operators have begun to realize that Netconf and Yang are applicable right now and can help with the configuration and management of multivendor networks: These are not standards that have to wait for SDN and NFV.

And fourthly, there has been a major rush from many of the major vendors to support Netconf and Yang as part of the rush to, at least publicly, embrace "open networks." Among the supporters are Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), Ericsson-LG , and Nokia Networks , among others, but notably not Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU). (See Brocade Unveils Open Carrier Platform for SDN, NFV.)

That might be because a growing number of service providers are insisting their equipment vendors support these two components of a programmable network. Very soon, vendors who lack such support may find themselves excluded from major purchase deals, warns Caroline Chappell, Heavy Reading senior analyst and author of a whitepaper on Netconf and Yang, "Creating the Programmable Network: The Business Case for Netconf and Yang."

More importantly, the data protocol and data modeling language stand to replace both the costly, cumbersome manual processes that today make provisioning new services a slow and mistake-prone process, and the need to pay for proprietary approaches to automating network configuration that tie network operators to a single vendor and limit other choices.

"They must get humans out of the loop," says Geoffrey Mattson, VP of engineering and product management at Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), speaking in a Light Reading radio show, Creating the Programmable Network: The Business Case for Netconf and YANG, hosted by Chappell and sponsored by Tail-f Systems . "Our research shows 60% of outages are caused by humans mistyping things or translating things wrong from print to their console."

Together, Netconf and Yang support the automation of configuration sequences across different pieces of equipment from different vendors at multiple layers of the network.

What they would replace is the variety of vendor-specific Command Line Interfaces (CLIs) which require manual configuration or expensive integration by service providers themselves or systems integrators with their own proprietary tools and equipment-specific adapters.

Netconf's development began in the IETF way back in 2003, as network operators realized that SNMP or simple network management protocol, while widely deployed, was inadequate for network configuration and that individual vendor CLIs can't easily be programmed for automation and require human interpretation, says Chappell.

Netconf and Yang also can serve to pave the way for NFV, she points out, because they support the standardization and automation required in a cloud environment and they provide the formal abstracted model of a network function that can be re-used when the function is virtualized.

(Ray Le Maistre, Light Reading Editor-in-chief, also contributed to this story).

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large,

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
6/26/2014 | 3:12:22 PM
Netconf and Yang
Sounds like a classic opportunity for standardizing on open source: Straightforward but essential utilities where proprietary solutions don't provide competitive advantage to anyone.

And didn't Netconf & Yang have several Top 40 singles in the 80s? Or am I thinking of Loggins & Messina?

 Starsky and hutch 1975.JPG

"Starsky and hutch 1975" by ABC Television - eBay item photo front photo back. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (4) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Thailand's AIS: Transforming to an FMC Operator

7|17|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


Saran Phaloprakarn, Senior VP of Fixed Broadband Business Management of Thailand's AIS, was a keynote speaker at the first Asia-Pacific Ultra Broadband Summit in Bangkok. In this video, he talks to Heavy Reading about transforming into an FMC (FBB+MBB+Content) operator.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cambodia's TRC Discusses Its Plans for National Broadband

7|17|15   |   10:33   |   (0) comments


In this video, Chakyra Moa, Chairman of Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), talks in in-depth with Heavy Reading about the Cambodia's current telecom market and TRC's goals and expectations for the future.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Phone

7|16|15   |   2:09   |   (4) comments


A man has an opportunity to purchase the world's first working 5G phone. Imagine the possibilities...
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network operators start seeing savings from NFV in the first year, according to a study by Affirmed Networks and ACG.
Hot Topics
AT&T U-verse TV Hits the Skids
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/24/2015
Robbins Succeeds Chambers as Cisco Changes CEOs
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/27/2015
Easing the Tech Pains for the Homeless
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/28/2015
RJio to Launch Its Own 4G Devices Brand
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 7/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
Cats with Phones
Distract-a-Cat Click Here
The vibrate function makes for a useful cat distraction.