Support  NETCONF as an additional Spectrum communication protocol

Idea created by OlafS on Sep 27, 2013
    Under review

    NETCONF is an IETF network management protocol, which was developed to configure network equipment in a better way than it would be possible with SNMP.
    As SNMP is used mainly to monitor and to set values of MIB objects, the focus of NETCONF is, to get and to modify such information via Netconf commands, transfered in XML files.

    Meanwhile some vendors reduced the SNMP support and have set NETCONF as the main configuration and management protocol.
    In our case it is especially the Cisco Nexus family of Data Center switches, which doesn't provide required information via SNMP.
    Only a small subset of Cisco SNMP MIBs are implemented and NETCONF is the main configuration and management protocol
    leveraging all features of the devices from the command line to a well-defined level of generalized management functionality.

    One can easily see that all Cisco Environment Monitor functionalities are hidden from SPECTRUM's information view as the corresponding MIB is not implemented, meaning one cannot see the device's fan and power supply status. The CiscoMemApp is also not supported, meaning the normalized Memory Utilization thresholds are not working. One cannot see VLAN-specific CAM tables as the Transparent Bridge Table is not supported.

    We have the need to monitor Nexus 7000 fiber ports. All indicators as RX and TX Power, Current, Voltage etc. are available via CLI, Cisco's proprietary Management tool (Data Center Network Manager) and NETCONF but not via SNMP.

    CA should be aware of the growing impact Netconf might have on the infrastructure vendor's coming management implementations. One might imagine that Netconf data is represented in SPECTRUM just as SNMP MIB data transparent to the user, who does not need to know what source the data is drawn from.

    As described above, from a user's point of view all data coming from a Netconf source should be presented in Information Views just like SNMP sourced data, i.e. when one navigates to the "Cisco Environment Monitor Informaiton" subview of a device's Information View, there should be all data regarding fan and power supply health etc. regardless of the source (SNMP, Netconf).

    In addition there should be a Netconf integration in the Spectrum Network Configuration Manager.
    It should be possible to get and to modify the whole device configutations via NETCONF.