What Is YANG Data Model? - ITU Online

What is YANG Data Model?

Definition: YANG Data Model

The YANG Data Model is a data modeling language used to model configuration and state data manipulated by the Network Configuration Protocol (NETCONF), RESTCONF, and other network management protocols. YANG (Yet Another Next Generation) is designed to be readable and writable by both humans and machines, facilitating the creation and management of network configurations.

Introduction to YANG Data Model

The YANG Data Model plays a critical role in modern network management by providing a standardized way to model configuration and operational data. This language, developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), is essential for defining the structure and organization of network management data, enabling automation and simplification of network operations.

Key Concepts in YANG Data Model

  1. Data Modeling Language: YANG is primarily a language for modeling configuration and state data.
  2. NETCONF and RESTCONF Integration: YANG works seamlessly with NETCONF and RESTCONF protocols.
  3. Human and Machine Readability: YANG is designed to be easy for humans to write and read while being machine-friendly.
  4. Modularity: YANG models are modular, allowing for the definition of reusable components.
  5. Hierarchical Structure: YANG organizes data hierarchically, reflecting the nested structure of network configurations.

Structure of YANG Data Model

The YANG Data Model is structured to represent network configurations in a hierarchical and modular manner. This structure includes several key components:

Modules and Submodules

  • Modules: The primary building blocks in YANG, containing definitions of data nodes, types, and configuration elements.
  • Submodules: Used to split a large module into smaller, more manageable parts.

Data Nodes

  • Containers: Group related nodes and can include other containers, lists, leaf nodes, and leaf-lists.
  • Lists: Ordered or unordered collections of entries, similar to tables in a database.
  • Leaf Nodes: Single data elements.
  • Leaf-lists: Lists of simple data types.

Types and Groupings

  • Built-in Types: Standard data types like string, integer, boolean, etc.
  • Derived Types: Custom data types defined using built-in types.
  • Groupings: Reusable collections of nodes, allowing for modular and maintainable models.

Augmentations and Extensions

  • Augmentation: Extends existing data models by adding new nodes.
  • Extensions: Custom extensions to the YANG language for specific use cases.

Benefits of YANG Data Model

Implementing the YANG Data Model in network management offers numerous benefits, such as:

  1. Standardization: Provides a common language for defining network configurations, promoting interoperability.
  2. Automation: Facilitates automation in network management, reducing manual effort and errors.
  3. Scalability: Supports large-scale network configurations through its hierarchical and modular structure.
  4. Flexibility: Easily extendable to accommodate new requirements without disrupting existing models.
  5. Interoperability: Ensures compatibility with multiple management protocols like NETCONF and RESTCONF.

Use Cases of YANG Data Model

YANG Data Model is utilized across various scenarios in network management:

Network Configuration

YANG models are used to define network configurations, enabling administrators to automate and manage large-scale networks efficiently.

Network Monitoring

By defining state data, YANG helps in monitoring network performance, identifying issues, and ensuring optimal network operations.

Service Provisioning

YANG facilitates the provisioning of network services, ensuring that configurations are consistent and compliant with service requirements.

Device Management

Network devices, such as routers and switches, utilize YANG models to manage their configurations and state data, enhancing consistency and manageability.

Features of YANG Data Model

The YANG Data Model comes with several key features that make it a powerful tool for network management:

Hierarchical Data Organization

YANG’s hierarchical structure mirrors the nested nature of network configurations, making it intuitive for representing complex data.

Modular Design

YANG’s modularity allows for the creation of reusable components, simplifying the maintenance and extension of data models.

Extensibility

With features like augmentation and extensions, YANG models can evolve to meet new requirements without impacting existing implementations.

Data Consistency

By using YANG models, network configurations can be validated against predefined schemas, ensuring data consistency and correctness.

Interoperability

YANG’s integration with standard management protocols like NETCONF and RESTCONF ensures that models can be used across different systems and platforms.

How to Use YANG Data Model

Using YANG Data Model involves several steps, from defining the data model to implementing it in a network management system:

Defining the Data Model

  1. Identify Requirements: Determine the configuration and state data needed for your network.
  2. Create Modules: Define modules and submodules to organize the data hierarchically.
  3. Define Data Nodes: Specify containers, lists, leaf nodes, and leaf-lists to represent the data.
  4. Use Built-in Types: Utilize built-in and derived types to define the data elements.
  5. Group and Augment: Create groupings for reusable components and augment existing models as needed.

Validating the Data Model

  1. Schema Validation: Ensure the data model conforms to YANG’s syntax and rules.
  2. Instance Validation: Validate instance data against the defined schema to check for consistency.

Implementing the Data Model

  1. Integrate with Protocols: Use NETCONF or RESTCONF to interact with the YANG data model.
  2. Automate Configurations: Implement scripts and tools to automate network configurations based on the YANG model.
  3. Monitor and Manage: Use the data model to monitor network performance and manage device configurations.

Frequently Asked Questions Related to YANG Data Model

What is a YANG Data Model?

The YANG Data Model is a data modeling language used to model configuration and state data for network management protocols like NETCONF and RESTCONF. It is designed to be both human-readable and machine-readable, making it easier to create and manage network configurations.

How does YANG Data Model facilitate network management?

The YANG Data Model facilitates network management by providing a standardized way to model configuration and operational data. This enables automation, reduces manual effort, and ensures consistency and interoperability across different network devices and protocols.

What are the key components of the YANG Data Model?

Key components of the YANG Data Model include modules and submodules for organizing data, containers and lists for grouping related nodes, leaf nodes and leaf-lists for defining single data elements, and built-in and derived types for specifying data types. It also supports groupings for reusable collections of nodes and augmentations for extending existing models.

What are the benefits of using the YANG Data Model?

Benefits of using the YANG Data Model include standardization of network configurations, automation of network management tasks, scalability for large networks, flexibility to extend models without disruption, and interoperability with various management protocols like NETCONF and RESTCONF.

How can YANG Data Model be implemented in a network management system?

Implementing YANG Data Model involves defining the data model by creating modules, specifying data nodes, and using built-in types. The model is then validated for schema and instance data consistency. Finally, it is integrated with management protocols like NETCONF or RESTCONF to automate configurations and manage network performance.

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