MG-SOFT NETCONF Simulator

Product History


This page provides information about the major new features introduced in the latest as well as in the past releases of MG-SOFT NETCONF Simulator.

What's New in MG-SOFT NETCONF Simulator, Version 5.x

Full support for RESTCONF protocol.
In addition to NETCONF protocol, the software now incorporates also full support for RESTCONF protocol (RFC 8040) and allows simulating devices that simultaneously support both network configuration protocols (NETCONF/RESTCONF servers). A simulated server listens on different ports for NETCONF and RESTCONF requests and exposes the same YANG-based datastore content through both protocols. Support for RESTCONF protocol can be enabled on a per-server basis. When enabled, the simulated servers support all standard RESTCONF operations, like GET, PUT, POST, PATCH, DELETE, etc. Simulated servers support also standard RESTCONF capabilities (:depth, :filter, :fields, etc. query parameters, yang-library, ietf-restconf-monitoring module, basic notifications, with-defaults data handling (RFC 6243) etc.). Both, XML and JSON data encodings are supported in RESTCONF protocol. The software implements also ietf-restconf-monitoring module, by which the simulated RESTCONF servers expose supported capabilities and event streams to clients. Furthermore, simulated servers also support sending of event notifications to subscribed RESTCONF clients.
Boosted performance enables simulating 25,000+ NETCONF/RESTCONF devices.
Both parts of the application, NETCONF Simulator service and GUI, have been significantly redesigned and optimized for large scale simulations. The software now allows simulating tens of thousands of NETCONF/RESTCONF servers at the same time on one computer, while consuming considerably less memory and CPU resources than before.
Enhanced Take Snapshot functionality.
The built-in Take Snapshot feature has been greatly improved in terms of strategy of acquiring the configuration and state data from a remote device. This strategy is now based on the data model (YANG modules) that can be either retrieved from a device along with configuration or supplied manually by the user. The software then automatically issues a series of consecutive NETCONF requests containing modules' top-level data nodes as subtree filters. This allows retrieving configuration and/or state data also from devices that do not support NETCONF RPC requests without a filter. Furthermore, you can now also choose between the NETCONF get and get-config operation, depending on whether you wish to retrieve configuration and state data or configuration only, respectively. In other words, the take snapshot functionality is now much more versatile and effective.
Support for notification replay.
MG-SOFT NETCONF Simulator now supports the notification replay mechanism (RFC 5277). The software caches recently generated notifications for all simulated servers and can resend them to NETCONF and RESTCONF clients that request notification replay (i.e., send the create-subscription request with startTime parameter value set in the past). By default, NETCONF Simulator caches all notifications sent within the last 10 minutes, however, you can adjust the cache time to meet your needs in the program preferences.
New NETCONF and RESTCONF Transactions Trace feature.
NETCONF Simulator Transactions Trace is a dedicated window that lets you record and view all NETCONF and RESTCONF transactions between simulated servers and NETCONF/RESTCONF clients. A transaction in this context is a NETCONF operation (e.g., get, get-config, edit-config, etc.) or a RESTCONF operation (e.g., get, put, patch, etc.) that includes both a request and a response message. A transaction may contain also NETCONF and RESTCONF event notification message. The tool includes also powerful filtering and searching capabilities that let you easily find and display only transactions of interest. Being able to trace NETCONF and RESTCONF transactions is important for analyzing network configuration traffic and indispensable for debugging problems in communication between simulated servers and network management applications under development. It enables recording of NETCONF/RESTCONF messages in real-time and subsequent analyzing of their contents (incl. errors).
Repeated NETCONF Call Home connections.
NETCONF Simulator now implements additional options for establishing Call Home connections that allow fine tuning of Call Home behavior. The options include Call Home timeout and retries parameters, as well as the option to automatically re-initiate Call Home connection by servers in case of a closed/dropped connection. If this option is enabled, simulated servers will automatically try to re-establish a connection with the NETCONF client. All these Call Home parameters are configurable in access profiles and can be easily assigned to multiple simulated servers. This functionality enables simulating real-life situations where NETCONF sessions get broken by network disruptions or closed by either client or server.
Export and import of YANG profiles.
The software now supports exporting existing YANG profiles to disk for archival purposes or for importing into another instance of NETCONF Simulator. The exported zip archive contains the YANG modules, a snapshot, and live behavior settings belonging to a given YANG profile and enables effective backup and duplication of YANG profiles (through re-import), as well as simplified transfer of YANG profiles between two or more instances of the application.
New option to suppress data value validation.
Another feature has been added to the relaxed validation options, which allows suppressing the configuration and state data value validation. This enables simulating NETCONF and RESTCONF servers that accept and return data values, which do not (fully) conform to the YANG data model.
Automatic correction of some invalid regular expressions in data models.
If a regular expression statement in a proprietary YANG module starts with a "^" character and ends with a "$" character, NETCONF Simulator will automatically ignore these two characters to make the expression valid and allow loading and utilizing such YANG modules as if correct.
Correct Invalid Values feature in the Snapshot Editor.
The Snapshot Editor window now offers a new option to automatically fix some trivial, but common invalid values in the configuration and state data, such as identity values with invalid namespace or enum values written using wrong capitalization (upper/lower case).
Updated and enhanced documentation.
Updated and enhanced user manual and product documentation with numerous hints and usage examples will help you get the most from MG-SOFT NETCONF Simulator application.
Besides, a number of minor improvements have been implemented and all known problems occurring in older versions have been fixed for this release.


What's New in MG-SOFT NETCONF Simulator, Version 4.0

NETCONF Simulator Scripting API.
MG-SOFT NETCONF Simulator incorporates the Scripting API, which is a JavaScript library for programming the live behavior of simulated NETCONF servers. The API offers programming interface to the running datastore, configuration and state data nodes, NETCONF session elements and notifications of simulated servers. Scripts that utilize the API can be executed when a configuration data node is created, deleted or modified via the NETCONF protocol, or whenever the running configuration is changed. Scripts can also be executed when simulated servers are started and periodically afterwards. The Scripting API comes with comprehensive documentation describing all API classes and methods, as well as step-by-step tutorials for writing different types of scripts.
Built-in Script Editor/Debugger.
NETCONF Simulator includes the Script Editor window that features JavaScript syntax coloring and validation, code-completion and prepared templates that let you write or edit live behavior scripts in no time In addition, the built-in set of code debugging tools, like the ability to set breakpoints, execute code line-by-line using 'Step Over' and 'Step In' functions (screen shot) and the integrated scratchpad testing datastore allow you to debug the scripts and observe the execution results in a graphical manner (data nodes are created, deleted, modified, etc. in the testing datastore). The integrated API documentation and step-by-step tutorials in HTML form allow you to get acquainted with the API usage quickly and effectively. All this lets you create and run scripts in a highly productive manner.
Scripting scenarios for realistic simulation of NETCONF devices.
The use of scripting allows for advanced modeling of sever behavior, sending of notifications, advanced creation of error scenarios and inter-relationships between YANG node instances. The built-in Scripting Scenario Editor lets you create different simulation scenarios and assign scripts to them and then activate or de-activate one or more scenarios during runtime, without stopping the simulation. Scripting scenarios enable fully realistic simulations of server behavior in different situations and error conditions.
Improved application performance and stability.
All known issues in previous versions have been fixed and the overall performance and stability of the software has been improved.
Updated and enhanced documentation.
Updated and enhanced user manual and product documentation with numerous hints and usage examples will help you get the most from MG-SOFT NETCONF Simulator application.
Besides, a number of minor improvements have been implemented and all known problems occurring in older versions have been fixed for this release.


What's New in MG-SOFT NETCONF Simulator, Version 3.0

Support for NETCONF access control model (NACM).
MG-SOFT NETCONF Simulator implements the Network Access Control Model (NACM), as defined in the 'ietf-netconf-acm' module (RFC 8341). If a YANG profile includes the 'ietf-netconf-acm' module, then the simulated server that uses this YANG profile will support the NACM. By default, all users will have full access (read, write, execute) to all datastore contents (no restriction is enforced). However, one can configure a simulated server to restrict access to datastore contents for one or more users. This can be configured either by means of the NETCONF protocol or by using the GUI (e.g., Snapshot Editor).
User provisioning via NETCONF (ietf-system & o-ran-usermgmt).
MG-SOFT NETCONF Simulator supports the user provisioning, as specified in 'ietf-system' (system/authentication/user) and 'o-ran-usermgmt' YANG modules. This means that if either of these two YANG modules is included in the assigned YANG profile, you can manage users and their permissions to access the given server either by using NETCONF protocol or the NETCONF Simulator management console (e.g., Snapshot Editor).
Support for Confirmed Commit operation.
The software now supports the optional :confirmed-commit:1.1 (and 1.0) capability with all options, including <confirm-timeout>, <persist>, and <persist-id> parameters that allow the NETCONF client to set the confirmation timeout and to succeed in committing even if a connection with simulated server is lost and re-established, respectively. The simulated servers also support the <cancel-commit> operation that enable reverting the configuration to the previous state before the confirm commit timeout expires. Support for the Confirmed Commit operation lets you effectively simulate scenarios that involve modifying the configuration on multiple devices (e.g., setting up network services), and easily cancelling the group commit operation if any device fails to apply the changes.
Integrated DHCP client with vendor options 60, 124, 43 and 143.
The newly incorporated DHCP client enables NETCONF Simulator to dynamically acquire IP addresses from a HDCP server in your network and assign these addresses to simulated NETCONF servers. NETCONF Simulator can either discover DHCP server automatically (by using the standard broadcast DHCP requests), or query a user-specified DHCP server (using unicast DHCP requests). Furthermore, NETCONF Simulator supports DHCP vendor options 60 and 124, which allow it to identify itself to the DHCP server by using the vendor class string. DHCP server may use this information when allocating IP addresses or when provisioning other network configuration data to NETCONF Simulator (e.g., Call Home target address) by using Vendor encapsulated option (43) or Zerotouch redirect option (143). Among others, these options can be used for simulating O-RAN NETCONF devices.
Dark theme.
The application graphical user interface now by default features dark theme that provides a modern look and may reduce eyestrain. One can switch between the dark and classic (light) mode at any time in the program preferences
Relaxed validation options.
By default, NETCONF Simulator performs complete validation of the configuration and state data in its datastores and will not allow performing a configuration change if the data does not pass the validation. However, the software now lets you optionally turn off some parts of the validation and thus ignore some inconsistencies in the configuration of simulated servers. This can be used to simulate NETCONF servers that do not (fully) comply with specification (data model). Validation parts that can be disabled include constraints represented by Min/Max-elements, Mandatory, and Must YANG statements.
NETCONF over SSH with public key authentication.
In addition to the plain password authentication mechanism, NETCONF Simulator now supports also public key authentication with SSH, with password authentication as a fallback option. To enable public key authentication with SSH, simply import the SSH user's public key into the built-in truststore.
Improved application performance and stability.
All known issues in previous versions have been fixed and the overall performance and stability of the software has been improved.
Updated and enhanced documentation.
Updated and enhanced user manual and product documentation with numerous hints and usage examples will help you get the most from MG-SOFT NETCONF Simulator application.
Besides, a number of minor improvements have been implemented and all known problems occurring in older versions have been fixed for this release.


What's New in MG-SOFT NETCONF Simulator, Version 2.0

Support for basic NETCONF notifications (RFC 5277), (RFC 6470).
NETCONF Simulator now supports the create-subscription method by which NETCONF clients can subscribe to receiving basic asynchronous event notifications from simulated NETCONF servers. Simulated server(s) will then send the basic notifications from the NETCONF event stream to subscribed clients, as described in (RFC 5277). Currently supported notifications are the netconf-config-change, netconf-session-start, and netconf-session-end (defined in ietf-netconf-notifications YANG module (RFC 6470)). These notifications are sent when a configuration change occurs in the given server and when a NETCONF session is established and terminated, respectively.
Support for NETCONF Call Home (RFC 8071).
The software now lets you simulate NETCONF servers that support the Call Home functionality (RFC 8071), where server is the peer that initiates a connection with the client. Both secure transports, SSH and TLS, are supported for Call Home connections. This lets you effectively simulate NETCONF devices as if located in customer premises or in a different network (e.g., behind a NAT/firewall), where devices "call home" to configured client(s) to manage them. Enabling the Call Home feature in NETCONF Simulator is simple and profile-based, meaning that it provides the convenience of easily applying the same Call Home settings to many servers, as well as flexibility of configuring different profiles for different servers or use cases.
Generic support for custom RPCs and actions.
The software now supports simulating the invocation of non-standard RPCs and actions defined in YANG modules and returning a valid response to NETCONF clients (without performing the actual operation on the server). If the RPC or action is invoked with correct input parameters as defined in YANG module(s) configured on the simulated server, the response will contain the automatically generated values of output parameters (if defined in YANG). Otherwise, a corresponding error will be returned in a rpc-reply message.
Configurable NETCONF server behavior (live value changes).
One can now configure various methods by which the state data and configuration data nodes in simulated NETCONF servers automatically change their values (e.g., generate random value, increase or decrease numeric value by fixed or variable amount, compute desired value by using XPath expressions, etc.). This enables exhibiting a certain behavior of a server during simulation (e.g., high network traffic, or flapping status of interfaces, or certain configuration changes, ...). The configured methods are stored as live value templates that can be quickly re-used for any data node of compatible type. In other words, the software lets you configure a specific live behavior and easily apply it to multiple simulated NETCONF servers that use the same YANG profile, while offering the possibility to customize/override the behavior for individual servers or even individual instances of a data node (e.g., one interface behaves differently than others). The latter is achieved by implementing the three-level approach to configuring live behavior: top-level is done on the schema tree of the YANG profile, mid-level is configured on the instantiated data tree (snapshot) of the YANG profile, and the low-level on the instantiated data tree of a single server. You can configure the live behavior on any of the three levels (or combinations thereof), based on the required node instance diversity and the number of NETCONF servers that should exhibit the same behavior.
Server Snapshot Editor and Startup Datastore Editor.
NETCONF Simulator incorporates a visual editor that lets you build and edit the state and configuration data tree based on the associated YANG data model, set the values of data node instances (fixed or live values), and validate the correctness of the specified data. The visual editor allows you to build the data tree by selecting the desired node instances from the context menu and edit the values of sibling node instances in a convenient tabular view, which provides quick access also to live value templates. This visual data tree editor is incorporated in the Snapshot Editor window and in the Startup Datastore Editor window. The former lets you edit the NETCONF server snapshot of a selected YANG profile. A server snapshot contains configuration and state data which is copied to the running datastore of those simulated servers that use the given YANG profile and do not have a distinct startup configuration. A snapshot can be either retrieved from a real NETCONF device or created from scratch in the Snapshot Editor window. The Startup Datastore Editor window is similar to the Snapshot Editor window, however, it is used for editing the contents of the startup datastore of a particular (selected) server.
Support for HiDPI displays (with Java 9+).
All application icons, buttons and other GUI components have been revised to properly support high pixel density (HiDPI) displays. This means that when running NETCONF Simulator in Java 9 and later that supports HiDPI, the program windows, graphics, and text are scaled automatically according to the system settings, which makes NETCONF Simulator perfectly usable also with modern HiDPI displays (e.g., 4K/UHD)
Improved application performance and stability.
All known issues in previous versions have been fixed and the overall performance and stability of the software has been improved.
Updated and enhanced documentation.
Updated and enhanced user manual and product documentation with numerous hints and usage examples will help you get the most from MG-SOFT NETCONF Simulator application.
Besides, a number of minor improvements have been implemented and all known problems occurring in older versions have been fixed for this release.