Cisco's XML Management Interfaces allow Network Management Application vendors and Cisco customers to manage IOS routing and switching platforms programmatically using industry standard management protocols.XML Management Interface can provide access to management functions on the network element independent of the technology or the domain that is being managed. For example, it can be used to manage voice, video, or IP routing technology, or even system management. The typical management functions enabled by XMAN are: * Provisioning/configuration management * Image management * Performance management * Monitoring * Diagnostics * Debugging and troubleshooting As part of XML Management Interfaces suite, the following protocols are supported.
- Web Services Management Agent (WSMA)
The XML Management Interface significantly changes the way the management information is encoded and conveyed between routers/switches and the Management Application. All the requests and responses to and from the network device can be encoded in XML. This interface also enables access to large amounts of operational data which is not available via SNMP in structured format (XML). The following are some of the benefits with XML Management Interface compared to traditional methods of accessing the device for management operations,
- Avoid error prone telnet/ssh gateway expect script access
- Avoid screen scraping of output data as both the request and response are encoded in XML
- Use of schemas for requests, responses and payloads
- Flexibility to use off-the-shelf XML parsers
- Access to high speed communication between the device and the Management Application
- Access to any operational data on the device even when they are not available via SNMP
- Flexibility to use off-the-shelf tools for Web Services framework
- Enable zero touch deployment of devices
Cisco Web Services Management Agent (WSMA) offers device management capabilities via Web Service APIs. The XML schemas for message formats are published on the WSMA User guide page on cisco.com for customers and application developers to use.
WSMA is supported only on IOS and IOS XE based platforms.
WSMA exposes the following web services to enable management by applications
- Config service - The WSMA Config service provides services to change the configuration on Cisco IOS devices by validating and then applying a set of configuration commands to Cisco IOS software
- Exec service - The WSMA Execservice provides services to retrieve operational data from the Cisco IOS device and handles executive mode command line operations on Cisco IOS devices, such as all show and other diagnostic commands
- Files system service - The WSMA Filesystem service provides services to manage files on the Cisco IOS device. It is responsible for copying and validating files between local and remote file systems. This agent can be used to do directory listings, upgrade the IOS image running on the device and delete files
- Notify service - The WSMA Notification service collects configuration-change events and forwards the details to the management application which has subscribed to get the notifications
WSMA supports the following transport protocols and choice of transport protocol is configurable,
Additional information on WSMA along with detailed configuration and troubleshooting guides can be found at the following link
Management Applications can download the protocol message definitions (for both WSMA and NETCONF) and create application side of the software to communicate with the WSMA.
Alternatively a toolkit is available for WSMA to help with the application development. WSMA Toolkit is created with the objective of jumpstarting WSMA application development and with the overarching goal of accelerating WSMA adoption in the market place.
WSMA Toolkit consists of WSMA Java SDK, a reference WSMA application built using the WSMA SDK and the Rule Editor.
WSMA SDK is a Java library that allows network management applications to interact with Cisco devices over WSMA interface. The SDK contains public APIs to manage the connectivity to the devices and expose the functionality of Config, Notify and Exec WSMA webservices. WSMA SDK supports various transport protocols like SSHv2, HTTP/S and TLS. It hides SOAP encapsulation and other XML message formatting details. A sample application is included in the SDK to showcase the API usage for application developers.
Rule Editor helps application developers or IOS developers build rule files used by Exec webservice to transform raw operational data (show command output) into XML. It also helps in validating and deploying rule files.
Both WSMA SDK and Rule Editor are Java based, hence they run on Windows, Linux, UNIX and Mac OS platforms. WSMA SDK supports communication with WSMA on all IOS and IOS XE based platforms.
WSMA Toolkit software and the user guides can be downloaded from Resources page
NETCONF is supported by IOS, IOS XE, IOS XR and NXOS based platforms as defined in RFC 4741 (IOS and IOS XE support a draft version of the RFC)
NETCONF supports SSHv2 and TLS as transport protocols. To learn more about NETCONF, visit the following links.