Show 81 -Tail-F and Network Configuration Management – Sponsored

Network Configuration is still done by hand. Each engineer types in each command after thirty years of “progress”. Does this seem right to you ? Tail-F systems sponsored today’s show to talk about their Network Configuration System and the advantage of using decent software with good quality tools like NETCONF and YANG to make configuring your network easier than before.

Topics Covered

  • Why did Tail-f move towards addressing the central configuration management solution?
  • What is wrong with existing solutions for managing configuration?
  • What is the NCS product and what is it’s moving parts?
  • What is NETCONF and how does it apply to configuration management and Tail-f solutions
  • Describe the architecture of NCS and how that works with the network
  • What can NCS do that current solutions can’t?
  • What about legacy (non-NETCONF) interfaces?
  • What kind of solutions can NCS be applied to?
  • What kind of solutions shouldn’t NCS be applied to?

About Tail-F

Tail-f has two products. The first, ConfD, is what we’ve been working on since we were founded in 2006. It’s an on-device configuration management soution that provides common management interfaces (CLI, SNMP, Web UI, NETCONF server and REST API) and supporting infrastructure (AAA, transaction management, data store) for all kinds of networking equipment. A large number of equipment providers are using it (including 7 out of the 10 largest) in their products.

The second product, NCS, is what we’re currently bringing to market. It’s a network configuration management software solution that takes a software oriented approach to configuration (as in reading and writing to the routers and switches) management. NCS allows developers to write applications that manipulate the network configuration using a model-driven environment. Early customers use it for things like provisioning of (MPLS) VPNs, managing clusters of load balancers, and managing large BGP policies.

Show Notes and References

Some links to data sheets and whitepapers:

For the ConfD product, used by vendors, information available here: ConfD – for network vendors

Then some more thought-oriented whitepapers around the issues that we see with configuration management:

Tail-F Whitepaper on Enterprise and Network Management Systems doing more than than just Alarms and Maps

Tail-F Systems Whitepaper: EMS and NMS – Beyond Alarms and Maps.pdf

A paper that we are presenting at LISA 2011: Automating Network and Service Configuration

For information about the product we’re bringing to market, NCS: [Tail-F NCS Product Data Sheet] (


YANG RFC – A Data Modeling Language for the Network Configuration Protocol (NETCONF) –

Overview of the 2002 IAB Network Management Workshop:

The goal of the workshop was to continue the important dialog started between network operators and protocol developers, and to guide the IETFs focus on future work regarding network management. This report summarizes the discussions and lists the conclusions and recommendations to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) community.

The NETCONF and YANG Users Group at LinkedIn

A 30 Minute Introduction to NETCONF and YANG

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