Understanding the NETCONF XML management protocol

The NETCONF XML management protocol (application programming interface) is an Extensible Markup Language (XML) application that client applications use to request and change configuration information devices that run operating systems that are compatible with NETCONF XML management protocol. Applications use the API to display, edit, and commit configuration statements (among other operations), just as administrators use CLI configuration mode commands such as show, set, and commit to perform those operations.

The NETCONF XML management protocol is described in RFC 4741, NETCONF Configuration Protocol, available at http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc4741.txt.

Client applications request or change information on a routing platform by encoding the request with tag elements from the NETCONF XML management protocol and sending it to the NETCONF server on the routing platform. (The NETCONF server is integrated into the Junos OS and does not appear as a separate entry in process listings.) The NETCONF server directs the request to the appropriate software modules within the routing platform, encodes the response in NETCONF XML management protocol XML tag elements, and returns the result to the client application. For example, to request information about the status of a routing platform’s interfaces, a client application sends the <get-interface-information> tag element from the Junos XML API. The NETCONF server gathers the information from the interface process and returns it in the <interface-information> tag element.

For more information about NETCONF XML management protocol, see the Junos OS NETCONF XML Management Protocol Guide.

Prerequisites for Establishing a NETCONF Server Session

The NETCONF server communicates with client applications within the context of a NETCONF session. The server and client explicitly establish a connection and session before exchanging data, and close the session and connection when they are finished. Client applications access the NETCONF server using the SSH protocol and use the standard SSH authentication mechanism.

Before you establish a NETCONF server session, ensure that:

You must enable NETCONF over SSH protocol on port 830 of the device running NETCONF server. To do this, enter the set system services netconf ssh command at the command line interface of the NETCONF server device.

[edit]user@host# set system services netconf ssh