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AR100, AR120, AR160, AR1200, AR2200, AR3200, and AR3600 V300R003

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Huawei uses machine translation combined with human proofreading to translate this document to different languages in order to help you better understand the content of this document. Note: Even the most advanced machine translation cannot match the quality of professional translators. Huawei shall not bear any responsibility for translation accuracy and it is recommended that you refer to the English document (a link for which has been provided).
Introduction to NETCONF

Introduction to NETCONF


Network Configuration Protocol (NETCONF) is an XML-based network management protocol that provides a programmable method to configure and manage network devices. NETCONF was defined in RFC 4741 by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and revised in RFC 6241.

NETCONF provides a standard framework and a set of standard Remote Procedure Call (RPC) methods, through which network administrators and application developers can manage configurations of network devices and obtain network device status promptly.

The NETCONF packets are in XML format and the NETCONF protocol has a powerful filtering capability. Each data field has a fixed element name and position. Therefore, the devices of the same vendor can use the same access mode and result display mode. The devices of different vendors can achieve the same effect by XML mapping. This feature facilitates third-party software development and NMS software customization in the multi-vendor, multi-device environment. With the help of such NMS software, NETCONF simplifies device configuration and improves device configuration efficiency.

Protocol Layers

NETCONF can be logically partitioned into four layers, as described in Table 2-1.

Table 2-1 NETCONF protocol layers




Content layer

Configuration data and status data

Describes configuration data involved in network management. Most configurations do not have standard NETCONF data models, so the devices from different vendors may use different configuration data.

Operation layer

<get>, <get-config>, <edit-config>

The operation layer defines a series of operations used in RPC. These operations compose the basic capabilities of NETCONF.

RPC layer

<rpc>, <rpc-reply>

The RPC layer provides a simple RPC request and reply mechanism independent of transport protocols. The client uses the <rpc> element to encapsulate RPC request information and sends the RPC request information to the server using a secure, connection-oriented session. The server uses the <rpc-reply> element to encapsulate RPC response information (content at the operation and content layers) and sends the RPC response information to the client. Huawei switch functions as the NETCONF server to receive NETCONF requests from the NETCONF client.

Normally, the <rpc-reply> element encapsulates data required by the client or a configuration success message. If the client sends an incorrect request or the server fails to process a request from the client, the server encapsulates the <rpc-error> element containing detailed error information in the <rpc-reply> element and sends the <rpc-reply> element to the client.

Transport layer


Provides a communication path between the NETCONF client and server.

NETCONF can be layered over any transport protocol that meets the following basic requirements:

  1. The transport protocol is connection-oriented. The NETCONF manager and NETCONF agent must establish a persistent connection. This connection must provide reliable, sequenced data transmission.
  2. The transport layer provides user authentication, data integrity, and confidentiality for NETCONF.
  3. The transport protocol provides a mechanism to distinguish the session type (client or server) for NETCONF.

Currently, the switch supports only SSH as the transport layer protocol of NETCONF.

Updated: 2019-03-06

Document ID: EDOC1100022096

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