Have you tried out Cisco YANG Suite yet? YANG Suite provides network operators with a set of tools and plugins to interact with and test YANG programmable interfaces including NETCONF, RESTCONF, gNMI, and more.
In Episode 58 of DevNet Snack Minute, Jeremy Cohoe (Technical Marketing Engineer with Cisco Systems) provides us with an overview of the new updates included in the latest version of Cisco YANG Suite.
To find out even more about YANG Suite, check out the earlier Snack Minute, Episode 9, where Jeremy gives an introduction to the initial public release of YANG Suite.
YANG Suite Introduction
Jeremy begins by giving us an introduction to the YANG API Testing and Validation Environment, also known as YANG Suite. YANG Suite is a set of tooling which can be used to interact with Cisco operating systems and the YANG-based APIs (NETCONF, RESTCONF, gNMI, gRPC).
YANG Suite was initially released in January of 2021 (see Episode 9). Now, YANG Suite is getting ready for its second release, which includes plugins for RESTCONF and gNMI.
Tip: To get started with YANG Suite yourself, start at the main YANG Suite page, where you can find links to documentation and the Learning Lab. You can also clone the repo directly from GitHub, build the Docker container, and get started there. Additionally, the next release will support installation through pip.
YANG Suite RESTCONF plugin
Jeremy then gives us an overview of the first new plugin, YANG Suite RESTCONF. This plugin allows us to load that data model and interact with it using the Swagger UI, a point-and-click interface to REST. YANG Suite abstracts the YANG data models into a REST format that developers are familiar with, making it easier to work with the API.
Next, Jeremy gives us a brief demonstration of the RESTCONF plugin, walking through loading the Cisco-iOS-XE-native data model and working with the Loopback interface.
From the NETCONF plugin, YANG Suite can also generate Python scripts as well as Ansible YAML, which can be plugged into Ansible or to other CI/CD systems as needed. This functionality may also come soon to the RESTCONF plugin.
How YANG Suite is used
Jeremy explained to us that YANG Suite is primarily being used for management and testing—to understand the APIs, extract that data, and put it into other systems and toolings.
In the next release, gRPC Dial-Out with TLS Support will allow YANG Suite to serve as an active intermediary to receive telemetry data and push it out for integrations with other services such as Elasticsearch.
YANG Suite has been around for five years internally at Cisco, but it has been developing quickly since its public release.
YANG Suite gNMI plugin
The second feature from this latest release is the YANG Suite gNMI plugin. This is a full-featured gNMI client which supports Get, Set, and Subscribe operations. It works with both OpenConfig and native data models. Jeremy notes that this is similar to NETCONF, where we build the data model, make config changes (for example, get/set), and then send that JSON-encoded payload to the API. He then walks us through a demonstration.
We look forward to the new features coming out in the next release of YANG Suite, expected soon in 2022!
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