If you want to sharpen you programmability and automation skills when configuring network devices using a model driven approach, then this new Sandbox is for you - from today you can now reserve yourself a IOS XE 16.5 based virtualised router, with NETCONF/YANG Learning Labs and RESTCONF ready for you to consume, use and learn on!
Not only that, but we’ve upgraded our already existing Always-On Sandbox to match, so if you so excited that you don’t want to wait a few minutes for your own IOS XE environment, you can immediately access the same environment shared with others.
Here’s some of the fun things you can get up to in these sandboxes:
Test device programmability automation scripts to automate repetitive tasks
Test new applications and libraries for network automation
Learn about interfacing with a device with NETCONF
Explore working with YANG Data Models
Learn about interfacing with a device with RESTCONF
If you weren’t sure, NETCONF (Network Configuration Protocol) is an IETF standard for network management. It provides mechanisms to install, manipulate, and delete the configuration of network devices, using Remote Procedure Calls. For more base knowledge you can read more about it here.
YANG (Yet Another Next Generation) is a data modelling language that uses NETCONF to transmit well defined data. The data modeling language can be used to model both configuration data as well as state data and event notifications of network elements. More base info on YANG here (good old Wikipedia making my blog work easier).
Finally, RESTCONF action maps a YANG specification you might create to a RESTful interface, in case that’s your preferred method of interacting and configuring up your devices. Pretty sweet. We’re using a draft RFC in this release, but later, we’ll provide full standard support in IOS XE - watch out for that.
You can get yourself some hands on walk throughs of the basic in our Learning Labs, RESTCONF here, NETCONF / YANG here.
There’s also a bunch of examples in the Sandbox notes taking you through the basics of NETCONF and YANG as well as samples to get you started if you’re new to all this CONF’ing and YANG’ing - so that should be enough to get stuck in!
As always reach out in the forums with any questions or feedback!