Fix Your Interface Description with Ansible and CDP/LLDP

This topic came up via Twitter recently and I heard this use case before but wasn’t aware how easy it could be solved with Ansible, until I started thinking about it. The little playbook in this blogpost fetches all discovered neighbors per device and sets the interface description according to the remote host and port. It supports the two platforms Cisco IOS XE and NX-OS to demonstrate the path to a multivendor solution for the common brownfield networks out there.

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The Human Factor in Network Automation

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Most Network Automation publications tend to focus on the technology, how to code, build useful pipelines, and this week’s tool of fashion. But isn’t that a very one-sided view of the topic? I mean after all, people are what make automation happen and drive those projects forward. Thankfully Skynet is too far away to autonomously build automation frameworks and the ‘Self-driving Network’ never made it from marketing to the real world.

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Monitor Cisco NX-OS/ACI via SNMP and the TIG-Stack

I know, even Cisco NX-OS has a REST-API and Streaming Telemetry these days.
But you, or established processes in your organisation, might find it helpful to handle all switch ‘Telemetry’ in the same way using good old per device SNMP polling. A quick poll* on the Twitters seems to validate that ~80% of production network metrics are still SNMP anyway.

*See what I did there?

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Monitor Cisco ACI via REST-API

Modern controller based networks are quite different from a monitoring perspective, all the fancy network abstraction information is hiding behind this thing called API. SNMP might still be there, but is missing most of the interesting bits like health scores, faults and Tenant/App/Policy based metrics. And sometimes your legacy ehm, established NMS has no clue how to query or interpret those programmable interfaces…

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Automate your NOC World Map at scale

Managing hundreds of devices with your monitoring system might be a tedious task, especially when using GUI based device onboarding. But why not let your config management tool of choice take care of it? This blog post is about a declarative Ansible playbook to generate Telegraf configuration files leveraging the inputs.ping plugin and populate a Grafana World Map.

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Telegraf / InfluxDB / Grafana as syslog receiver

So you are using the TIG-Stack to visualize network device metrics like interface counters, CPU and memory already? Great, I think Grafana really excels in the dashboarding domain. But did you ever wonder, how to leverage the same solution to store and display syslog messages? Well, then this post is for you.

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First simple Ansible playbooks

So, your lab is set up and waiting for something meaningful to do?
This post introduces the two probably most commonly used networking modules in the Cisco IOS world – it’s no rocket science to use other vendors’ modules in the same way, by the way. IOS_command executes, well, commands at the privileged level, while IOS_config is used in config mode – no surprise there, right?

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