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Q&A
© 2015 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserv ed. This document is Cisco Public. Page 1 of 5
TechWiseTV Workshop: Beyond Command Line
Interface: Catalyst Switching Programmability
August 9, 2017
Q. Do I need to know a programming language to be able to understand this new trend?
A. Programming languages are discussed during the presentation. You could use something like Ansible but basic
know ledge of a language like Python helps.
Q. Can you cover the migration path from today's Cisco command-line interface (CLI) approach to the
Software-Defined Networking (SDN) approach for brownfield environments?
A. There are 2 w ays to proceed. The first w ould be to use an SDN solution like Cisco Application Policy
Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module (APIC-EM) and program that via Representational State Transfer
(REST) protocols. The second option w ould be going box by box and using programmability that w ay. To begin, a
good option w ould be to start w ith box programmability. Then as you get more comfortable w ith programmability try
configuring via APIC-EM programmability to the cisco devices.
Q. Is Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module (APIC-EM) currently free to
download for use?
A. Yes. Cisco APIC-EM 1.x is free to dow nload. Future applications w ill have license requirements.
Q. What programming language does YANG use?
A. YANG is a language to describe the data in a model.
Q. Will Cisco partners start holding some of these programming classes?
A. DevNet Express is a sales and DevNet driven session for in-person hands-on training. There are online
courses w ithin Cisco Learning Netw ork. There is also training partner content as w ell.
Q. Will these features be available in Cisco Prime Infrastructure (PI) or will we need Cisco APIC-EM?
A. These features are available on the device. You w ill not need Cisco PI or APIC-EM to use the programmability
features.
Q. Is YANG similar to Extensible Markup Language (XML)?
A. YANG describes how the model (data structure) is built. XML describes the standardized w ay of formatting data
output such as standard key value pairs. XML is a format like JSON or HTML. YANG is like a template used to
generate XML. YANG is the pattern and XML fills in the pattern. How ever, YANG can generate JSON as w ell. For
example, YANG tells us w e need an interface name, IP address, etcetera. Then w e plug data into that template
and get XML as the output.
© 2017 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserv ed. This document is Cisco Public. Page 2 of 5
Q. For those of us that have been in this field for a long time, what are w e going to need to learn?
A. Experienced Netw ork Engineers can focus on communicating to programmers and have aw areness of
programmability capabilities. We w ill need Netw ork Engineers and Architects for a long time.
Q. Is YANG the class and Network Configuration Protocol (NETCONF) instantiates the object?
A. NETCONF is the protocol used to send the XML rendered according to the pattern specified in the YANG
model.
Q. Will this model eventually trickle down to the Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches?
A. Cisco Nexus 9000 Series currently supports NETCONF/YANG. Nexus also has model and machine interfaces
supported.
Q. Aside from JSON and XML, is the YAML format supported?
A. YAML is not directly supported as encoding for NETCONF or RESTCONF as per the Requests for Comments
(RFCs) but you can leverage YAML to describe your intent and call Python scripts to consume and deploy. You
can use YAML configuration files for YANG models and push them to sw itches.
Q. Why are we moving to a machine-friendly CLI model? What is the motivation for this from a human’s
perspective?
A. One example of w hy this move is beneficial w ould be the example of reading the output of a show command
using a script. You need regular expressions and string parsing. But w ith XML it is very easy to convert to a
dictionary.
Q. Does this solution use Remote Procedure Call (RPC) over HTTPS?
A. RESTCONF uses HTTPS as compared to NETCONF w hich uses Secure Shell (SSH) connection.
Q. With YANG explorer you can build a config and deploy it to the device?
A. Yes, you can also use it to view the YANG models and get familiar w ith them or see them displayed visually. In
addition YANG explorer allow s you to generate a Python script that you can run to apply the configuration to a
device or multiple devices.
Q. What is the longest time of delay on these commands? Is it authentication or processing time on the
device?
A. Delay or timeout is set on the script or library you are using. Otherw ise maximum https or ssh timeouts apply.
Q. Is the YANG model similar to the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) object ID (OID) tree
structure?
A. The idea is similar but it is much easier to navigate and understand.
Q. Is this available only on the Cisco Catalyst 9000 series of switches or is this also available on Cisco
Catalyst 3000 series of switches?
A. Cisco Catalyst 3000 sw itches w illalso support these capabilities except for application hosting. This is available
on Catalyst 3650, 3850, 9300, and 9500
Q. Where do we find the YANG Explorer?
A. For information on the YANG Explorer visit https://github.com/CiscoDevNet/yang-explorer
Q. If I have a switch that works with NETCONF/YANG do I need to do anything in particular to begin use?
A. You w illneed to enable NETCONF on the device. For information on enabling NETCONF visit:
https://developer.cisco.com/site/ios-xe/docs/index.gsp#enabling-netconf-on-ios-xe. You w ill also need to install
YANG Explorer w hich is available on GitHub here: https://github.com/CiscoDevNet/yang-explorer.
© 2017 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserv ed. This document is Cisco Public. Page 3 of 5
Q. Is the device Application Programmer Interface (API) enabled by default on the Cisco Catalyst 9000
series of switches or is configuration needed to allow access?
A. You have to configure NETCONF. It is not enabled by default. To learn more, visit:
https://developer.cisco.com/site/ios-xe/docs/index.gsp#enabling-netconf-on-ios-xe
Q. Can you provide a scenario of how these tools apply in the normal job of a Network Engineer? For
example, if I want to write a set of BGP policy rules, do I use YANG or NETCONF? Is YANG used for
creating the template and NETCONF automates the deployment process?
A. YANG is the template, NETCONF is the content to declare the intent. For example, w hen setting up an NTP
server the XML payload w ill represent the YANG model w ith a specific server in the IP-address field.
Q. Are any vendors like Hewlett-Packard or SolarWinds currently implementing monitoring solutions that
leverage these APIs?
A. You w illbegin to see products that take advantage of these APIs. We can’t speak to Hew lett-Packard or
SolarWinds specifically but these are all published APIs w here any client could develop applications to interface
w ith the sw itches
Q. Do all operational YANG models support subscription for streaming telemetry?
A. For streaming telemetry there are tw o different notifications. Periodic and On Change. All operational models in
Cisco IOS-XE 16.6.1 support periodic notification. We w ill be adding support for on change in future releases.
Q. What is the YANG model?
A. The YANG model describes the structure of the element (configuration or operational data). As a metaphor, it's
the cookie mold and the XML payload is the cookie. For more information visit:
https://communities.cisco.com/community/developer/dna/blog/2017/01/04/next-generation-netw ork-device-
programming-part1
Q. Are periodic and on-demand streaming supported on all operational YANG models?
A. Periodic w ill be supported at first commercial shipping. On-demand streaming is on the roadmap for 2018.
Q. Can you address Ansible?
A. This is supported w ith CLI and NETCONF today. For example, there is netconf_config module that w orks on
many platforms to include Cisco IOS-XE 16.3 and above. Ansible supports IOS-XE already and w e w orkclosely
w ith the Ansible team at Red Hat.
Q. Can you confirm all the operational models will support periodic and streaming telemetry in the first
commercial shipment?
A. This is the goal.
Q. What is the best method of learning Python?
A. One option w ould be to visit: https://learninglabs.cisco.com/labs/tags/Python. You can also visit:
https://developer.cisco.com/site/devnet/learn/coding-101-tutorial/index.gsp#coding-101
Q. What are the platform limitations?
A. In regards to Python, Cisco Catalyst 3000 sw itches w illuse version 2. Cisco Catalyst 9000 sw itches can support
both version 2 and version 3. x86 server platforms support Python 2 and can be upgraded to Python 3. It's
essentially w hat you get in a default CentOS 7 install. Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 cannot be upgraded to
support Python 3 at this time.
© 2017 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserv ed. This document is Cisco Public. Page 4 of 5
Q. Is YAML format supported in YANG?
A. NETCONF can use XML only. RESTCONF both XML and JSON. You can describe YANG in YAML, but
NETCONF or RESTCONF w illnot support natively. For example, you can w rite a very simple script to convert to
and from YAML to XML or JSON for transport.
Q. If I have a Linux server with various scripts on it could I use those to interface with all of my remote
Cisco Catalyst 3650 switches? Would that require 16.5.1?
A. You could have Linux host a container and configuration repository if using Cisco Collaboration Devices (CICD)
or an SDN controller like OpenDaylight Project to leverage NETCONF to all your 16.3 routers and sw itches. If the
scripts leverage NETCONF/YANG then 16.3.1 w ould w orkas w ell but w e recommend using the latest Cisco IOS-
XE because w e added more models to it.
Q. What happens if the Campus Fabric loses connection to the SDN Controller?
A. The controller does not participate in either the fabric control plane or data plane so it continues to operate. If
the controller goes aw ay then you cannot create new policies, nor provision new devices into the fabric. To clarify,
if the controller goes aw ay then the fabric continues to operate as normal.
Q. Do you have a link to a good document outlining all of these terms and how everything fits together?
A. A great place to go is DevNet Learning Labs by visiting:
https://developer.cisco.com/site/devnet/home/index.gsp. You can actually play w ith it, but they do a great job of
describing the terms. DevNet in general is the place to go. You can also look here for a focus on w hat is being
discussed today: https://developer.cisco.com/site/ios-xe/
Q. Is 16.5.1 available publicly for the Cisco Catalyst 3000 series of switches?
A. Yes. We recently released 16.6.1 for Cisco Catalyst 3000 sw itches as w ell. Technically, 16.6 is as w ell.
Q. Is 16.3.1 the minimum in order to take advantage of the Python APIs (YDK-Py) module?
A. YDK-Py has been generated for 16.5 and available in the Python Package Index (PyPI). You could also
generate YDK-Py for 16.3 using API generator (YDK-gen) if you choose.
Q. Can IOS run on other devices?
A. Yes, Cisco IOS-XE 16.x train specifically support routing platforms as w ell and eventually w ireless platforms.
Q. Can Cisco IOS-XE run on other devices?
A. It runs on enterprise routers and sw itches.
Q. Can we run Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) functions as hosted applications on the Cisco
Catalyst 9000 series of switches?
A. You can run services, but the resources are limited. While it may run fine in a lab, I w ouldn't recommend NFV .
Q. How does this compare to utilizing Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) for automation?
A. NSO is an orchestrator, w hich abstracts the HW layer for the user. It has the ability to talk to underlying devices
using CLI or NETCONF/YANG models. This is a similar functionality except that the user talks directly to the sw itch
using machine interfaces and not through an orchestrator.
Q. Is the Cisco 4300 Integrated Services Router (ISR) supported?
A. Yes.
© 2017 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserv ed. This document is Cisco Public. Page 5 of 5
Q. Is it true that Cisco is working on giving the Cisco Catalyst 9000 switches the ability to host a virtual
firewall?
A. This is on our roadmap.
Q. Can you control which interface to use for the iPerf testing?
A. The MGMT ports at first commercial shipment and front ports post first commercial shipment.
Q. Where would that iPerf test come from? The MGMT port or inband interfaces?
A. Initially from the MGMT port. The front panel support comes later.
Q. Are the Cisco Catalyst XR 2960s getting the Python shell?
A. This w ill not be supported.
Q. Can you control or hardcode to push in g0/1 for example?
A. Currently only MGMT port is available. Front ports w ill become available w hen this application is formally
supported
Q. Can we install libraries into Guest Shell including Python?
A. Yes.
Q. Are there specific training courses to convert CLI engineers to this new type of engineer?
A. There are the NPDEV and NPDESI courses. You can also look into the DevNet programmability courses
https://learninglabs.cisco.com/tracks/netprog-
eng?utm_source=DevNet_homepage&utm_campaign=learning%20card%20%3E%20net%20%3E% 20netw ork%2
0program
Q. How can I be notified about all upcoming TechWiseTV Workshops?
A. For all TechWiseTV related activities visit: https://w ww.cisco.com/c/m/en_us/training-events/events-
w ebinars/techw ise-tv.html
Q. Are there plans to expand certification paths to either include programmability into the current streams
or create a new training stream in the future?
A. Currently there are no plans but it is something that w e can consider in the future.

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TechWiseTV Workshop: Q&A Catalyst Switching Programmability

  • 1. Q&A © 2015 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserv ed. This document is Cisco Public. Page 1 of 5 TechWiseTV Workshop: Beyond Command Line Interface: Catalyst Switching Programmability August 9, 2017 Q. Do I need to know a programming language to be able to understand this new trend? A. Programming languages are discussed during the presentation. You could use something like Ansible but basic know ledge of a language like Python helps. Q. Can you cover the migration path from today's Cisco command-line interface (CLI) approach to the Software-Defined Networking (SDN) approach for brownfield environments? A. There are 2 w ays to proceed. The first w ould be to use an SDN solution like Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module (APIC-EM) and program that via Representational State Transfer (REST) protocols. The second option w ould be going box by box and using programmability that w ay. To begin, a good option w ould be to start w ith box programmability. Then as you get more comfortable w ith programmability try configuring via APIC-EM programmability to the cisco devices. Q. Is Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module (APIC-EM) currently free to download for use? A. Yes. Cisco APIC-EM 1.x is free to dow nload. Future applications w ill have license requirements. Q. What programming language does YANG use? A. YANG is a language to describe the data in a model. Q. Will Cisco partners start holding some of these programming classes? A. DevNet Express is a sales and DevNet driven session for in-person hands-on training. There are online courses w ithin Cisco Learning Netw ork. There is also training partner content as w ell. Q. Will these features be available in Cisco Prime Infrastructure (PI) or will we need Cisco APIC-EM? A. These features are available on the device. You w ill not need Cisco PI or APIC-EM to use the programmability features. Q. Is YANG similar to Extensible Markup Language (XML)? A. YANG describes how the model (data structure) is built. XML describes the standardized w ay of formatting data output such as standard key value pairs. XML is a format like JSON or HTML. YANG is like a template used to generate XML. YANG is the pattern and XML fills in the pattern. How ever, YANG can generate JSON as w ell. For example, YANG tells us w e need an interface name, IP address, etcetera. Then w e plug data into that template and get XML as the output.
  • 2. © 2017 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserv ed. This document is Cisco Public. Page 2 of 5 Q. For those of us that have been in this field for a long time, what are w e going to need to learn? A. Experienced Netw ork Engineers can focus on communicating to programmers and have aw areness of programmability capabilities. We w ill need Netw ork Engineers and Architects for a long time. Q. Is YANG the class and Network Configuration Protocol (NETCONF) instantiates the object? A. NETCONF is the protocol used to send the XML rendered according to the pattern specified in the YANG model. Q. Will this model eventually trickle down to the Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches? A. Cisco Nexus 9000 Series currently supports NETCONF/YANG. Nexus also has model and machine interfaces supported. Q. Aside from JSON and XML, is the YAML format supported? A. YAML is not directly supported as encoding for NETCONF or RESTCONF as per the Requests for Comments (RFCs) but you can leverage YAML to describe your intent and call Python scripts to consume and deploy. You can use YAML configuration files for YANG models and push them to sw itches. Q. Why are we moving to a machine-friendly CLI model? What is the motivation for this from a human’s perspective? A. One example of w hy this move is beneficial w ould be the example of reading the output of a show command using a script. You need regular expressions and string parsing. But w ith XML it is very easy to convert to a dictionary. Q. Does this solution use Remote Procedure Call (RPC) over HTTPS? A. RESTCONF uses HTTPS as compared to NETCONF w hich uses Secure Shell (SSH) connection. Q. With YANG explorer you can build a config and deploy it to the device? A. Yes, you can also use it to view the YANG models and get familiar w ith them or see them displayed visually. In addition YANG explorer allow s you to generate a Python script that you can run to apply the configuration to a device or multiple devices. Q. What is the longest time of delay on these commands? Is it authentication or processing time on the device? A. Delay or timeout is set on the script or library you are using. Otherw ise maximum https or ssh timeouts apply. Q. Is the YANG model similar to the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) object ID (OID) tree structure? A. The idea is similar but it is much easier to navigate and understand. Q. Is this available only on the Cisco Catalyst 9000 series of switches or is this also available on Cisco Catalyst 3000 series of switches? A. Cisco Catalyst 3000 sw itches w illalso support these capabilities except for application hosting. This is available on Catalyst 3650, 3850, 9300, and 9500 Q. Where do we find the YANG Explorer? A. For information on the YANG Explorer visit https://github.com/CiscoDevNet/yang-explorer Q. If I have a switch that works with NETCONF/YANG do I need to do anything in particular to begin use? A. You w illneed to enable NETCONF on the device. For information on enabling NETCONF visit: https://developer.cisco.com/site/ios-xe/docs/index.gsp#enabling-netconf-on-ios-xe. You w ill also need to install YANG Explorer w hich is available on GitHub here: https://github.com/CiscoDevNet/yang-explorer.
  • 3. © 2017 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserv ed. This document is Cisco Public. Page 3 of 5 Q. Is the device Application Programmer Interface (API) enabled by default on the Cisco Catalyst 9000 series of switches or is configuration needed to allow access? A. You have to configure NETCONF. It is not enabled by default. To learn more, visit: https://developer.cisco.com/site/ios-xe/docs/index.gsp#enabling-netconf-on-ios-xe Q. Can you provide a scenario of how these tools apply in the normal job of a Network Engineer? For example, if I want to write a set of BGP policy rules, do I use YANG or NETCONF? Is YANG used for creating the template and NETCONF automates the deployment process? A. YANG is the template, NETCONF is the content to declare the intent. For example, w hen setting up an NTP server the XML payload w ill represent the YANG model w ith a specific server in the IP-address field. Q. Are any vendors like Hewlett-Packard or SolarWinds currently implementing monitoring solutions that leverage these APIs? A. You w illbegin to see products that take advantage of these APIs. We can’t speak to Hew lett-Packard or SolarWinds specifically but these are all published APIs w here any client could develop applications to interface w ith the sw itches Q. Do all operational YANG models support subscription for streaming telemetry? A. For streaming telemetry there are tw o different notifications. Periodic and On Change. All operational models in Cisco IOS-XE 16.6.1 support periodic notification. We w ill be adding support for on change in future releases. Q. What is the YANG model? A. The YANG model describes the structure of the element (configuration or operational data). As a metaphor, it's the cookie mold and the XML payload is the cookie. For more information visit: https://communities.cisco.com/community/developer/dna/blog/2017/01/04/next-generation-netw ork-device- programming-part1 Q. Are periodic and on-demand streaming supported on all operational YANG models? A. Periodic w ill be supported at first commercial shipping. On-demand streaming is on the roadmap for 2018. Q. Can you address Ansible? A. This is supported w ith CLI and NETCONF today. For example, there is netconf_config module that w orks on many platforms to include Cisco IOS-XE 16.3 and above. Ansible supports IOS-XE already and w e w orkclosely w ith the Ansible team at Red Hat. Q. Can you confirm all the operational models will support periodic and streaming telemetry in the first commercial shipment? A. This is the goal. Q. What is the best method of learning Python? A. One option w ould be to visit: https://learninglabs.cisco.com/labs/tags/Python. You can also visit: https://developer.cisco.com/site/devnet/learn/coding-101-tutorial/index.gsp#coding-101 Q. What are the platform limitations? A. In regards to Python, Cisco Catalyst 3000 sw itches w illuse version 2. Cisco Catalyst 9000 sw itches can support both version 2 and version 3. x86 server platforms support Python 2 and can be upgraded to Python 3. It's essentially w hat you get in a default CentOS 7 install. Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 cannot be upgraded to support Python 3 at this time.
  • 4. © 2017 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserv ed. This document is Cisco Public. Page 4 of 5 Q. Is YAML format supported in YANG? A. NETCONF can use XML only. RESTCONF both XML and JSON. You can describe YANG in YAML, but NETCONF or RESTCONF w illnot support natively. For example, you can w rite a very simple script to convert to and from YAML to XML or JSON for transport. Q. If I have a Linux server with various scripts on it could I use those to interface with all of my remote Cisco Catalyst 3650 switches? Would that require 16.5.1? A. You could have Linux host a container and configuration repository if using Cisco Collaboration Devices (CICD) or an SDN controller like OpenDaylight Project to leverage NETCONF to all your 16.3 routers and sw itches. If the scripts leverage NETCONF/YANG then 16.3.1 w ould w orkas w ell but w e recommend using the latest Cisco IOS- XE because w e added more models to it. Q. What happens if the Campus Fabric loses connection to the SDN Controller? A. The controller does not participate in either the fabric control plane or data plane so it continues to operate. If the controller goes aw ay then you cannot create new policies, nor provision new devices into the fabric. To clarify, if the controller goes aw ay then the fabric continues to operate as normal. Q. Do you have a link to a good document outlining all of these terms and how everything fits together? A. A great place to go is DevNet Learning Labs by visiting: https://developer.cisco.com/site/devnet/home/index.gsp. You can actually play w ith it, but they do a great job of describing the terms. DevNet in general is the place to go. You can also look here for a focus on w hat is being discussed today: https://developer.cisco.com/site/ios-xe/ Q. Is 16.5.1 available publicly for the Cisco Catalyst 3000 series of switches? A. Yes. We recently released 16.6.1 for Cisco Catalyst 3000 sw itches as w ell. Technically, 16.6 is as w ell. Q. Is 16.3.1 the minimum in order to take advantage of the Python APIs (YDK-Py) module? A. YDK-Py has been generated for 16.5 and available in the Python Package Index (PyPI). You could also generate YDK-Py for 16.3 using API generator (YDK-gen) if you choose. Q. Can IOS run on other devices? A. Yes, Cisco IOS-XE 16.x train specifically support routing platforms as w ell and eventually w ireless platforms. Q. Can Cisco IOS-XE run on other devices? A. It runs on enterprise routers and sw itches. Q. Can we run Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) functions as hosted applications on the Cisco Catalyst 9000 series of switches? A. You can run services, but the resources are limited. While it may run fine in a lab, I w ouldn't recommend NFV . Q. How does this compare to utilizing Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) for automation? A. NSO is an orchestrator, w hich abstracts the HW layer for the user. It has the ability to talk to underlying devices using CLI or NETCONF/YANG models. This is a similar functionality except that the user talks directly to the sw itch using machine interfaces and not through an orchestrator. Q. Is the Cisco 4300 Integrated Services Router (ISR) supported? A. Yes.
  • 5. © 2017 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserv ed. This document is Cisco Public. Page 5 of 5 Q. Is it true that Cisco is working on giving the Cisco Catalyst 9000 switches the ability to host a virtual firewall? A. This is on our roadmap. Q. Can you control which interface to use for the iPerf testing? A. The MGMT ports at first commercial shipment and front ports post first commercial shipment. Q. Where would that iPerf test come from? The MGMT port or inband interfaces? A. Initially from the MGMT port. The front panel support comes later. Q. Are the Cisco Catalyst XR 2960s getting the Python shell? A. This w ill not be supported. Q. Can you control or hardcode to push in g0/1 for example? A. Currently only MGMT port is available. Front ports w ill become available w hen this application is formally supported Q. Can we install libraries into Guest Shell including Python? A. Yes. Q. Are there specific training courses to convert CLI engineers to this new type of engineer? A. There are the NPDEV and NPDESI courses. You can also look into the DevNet programmability courses https://learninglabs.cisco.com/tracks/netprog- eng?utm_source=DevNet_homepage&utm_campaign=learning%20card%20%3E%20net%20%3E% 20netw ork%2 0program Q. How can I be notified about all upcoming TechWiseTV Workshops? A. For all TechWiseTV related activities visit: https://w ww.cisco.com/c/m/en_us/training-events/events- w ebinars/techw ise-tv.html Q. Are there plans to expand certification paths to either include programmability into the current streams or create a new training stream in the future? A. Currently there are no plans but it is something that w e can consider in the future.