OpenConfig is a working group and network communication model that seeks to standardize network management interfaces and APIs across vendors.
Network administrators have moved away from command line interfaces (CLI) to program-based configuration and software-defined networking (SDN). In part, the move is intended to ease some of the difficulties inherent in supporting the variety of vendors. However, that move has not corrected all the issues impeding smooth automation. Different vendors’ program-based configuration is just as varied as their CLI syntax, and scripts for automation are still necessary when using software defined networking. OpenConfig addresses this issue through SDN principles like declarative configuration, along with vendor-neutral data model-based administration and operations.
Two hurdles facing OpenConfig are whether network vendors will support it and whether the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) will become a roadblock if OpenConfig circumvents the task force’s own proposed solutions. While OpenConfig isn’t waiting for the IETF's approval, it is working closely with them and sharing information with the ultimate goal of making programmable heterogeneous networks easier to manage.