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NDMP Version 4

In early 2000 two versions of NDMP (v2 & v3) were commonly deployed by various commercial products. Some but not all products supported both v2 and v3. Implementation experience with each version of the protocol had uncovered specification deficiencies including ambiguity, imprecise language, and areas where functional definition was lacking. These deficiencies required vendors to interpret the specification, resulting in conformant but conflicting implementations being deployed.

At the April 2000 SNIA-BACKUP meeting, a NDMP workgroup activity was initiated to identify and address the v2/v3 specification deficiencies. The primary motivation for this effort was to ensure that new NDMP v2/v3 implementations would not cause interoperability problems when deployed into the existing installed base. Timely availability of information that identified and addressed the specification deficiencies was a primary goal. The NDMP workgroup determined that resolution of the v2/v3 deficiencies was a higher priority than developing new NDMP functionality and redefined the NDMP v4 goals to focus all efforts in this area.

The initial expectation was that the v2/v3 specification language could be updated to improve precision and remove ambiguity without altering the protocol itself (specifically not changing message formats, or interface behaviors). Expected protocol behavior was to be determined based on consensus of deployed implementations. However as the cleanup effort progressed, the workgroup reached the conclusion that resolving the known deficiencies would require alteration of expected behavior in addition to language changes.

During the cleanup effort it was also determined that NDMP should be submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for standardization. So the NDMP v4 specification was reformatted to conform to IETF standards and submitted as an Internet Draft. The mantra of the IETF is 'rough consensus and working implementations'. With the publication of the initial NDMP v4 Internet Draft, the workgroup has taken major steps towards rough consensus. As implementation experience is gained, revisions to the NDMP v4 Internet Draft will be released. This page is the repository for the documents produced by the NDMP v4 effort:

1) The NDMP v4 Internet Draft Specification:

Current version (April 2003): Previous version: 2) The NDMP Overview presentation from Connectathon 2001: 3) NDMP Version 4 Extension Specifications download page

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