The NETCONF configuration protocol provides mechanisms to install, manipulate, and delete the configuration of network devices. It uses an Extensible Markup Language (XML) based data encoding for the configuration data as well as the protocol messages.
The NETCONF protocol operations are realized on top of a simple Remote Procedure Call (RPC) layer.
The NETCONF protocol defines a simple mechanism through which a network device can be managed, configuration data information can be retrieved, and new configuration data can be uploaded and manipulated.
The protocol allows the device to expose a full, formal, application programming interface (API). Applications can use this straight-forward API to send and receive full and partial configuration data sets.
The protocol requires that the mapping over SSH is mandatory to implement while the mapping over BEEP and SOAP are optional.