Network Infrastructure As Code With Ansible & Git – Part 2

In part one we learned how to use Ansible and a data model to represent infrastructure as code. Now it’s time to introduce Git as the central network automation tool to use the advantages that result from working with text files.

I cannot emphasize enough how important this step is to long-term success with an automation initiative. Unversioned files with funny names in a random directory are not the solution.

Continue reading “Network Infrastructure As Code With Ansible & Git – Part 2”

Network Infrastructure As Code With Ansible – Part 1

Infrastructure as code is all the rage, but sounds hypercomplex. How should it be possible to represent a router or even a whole network as code? We definitely need deep software development skills and an extensive version control plus CI/CD pipeline, right? Well, no! Actually, it’s pretty darn simple and by the end of this blog post you might wonder what took you so long to get started.

Continue reading “Network Infrastructure As Code With Ansible – Part 1”

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.

Continue reading “Fix Your Interface Description with Ansible and CDP/LLDP”

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?

Continue reading “Monitor Cisco NX-OS/ACI via SNMP and the TIG-Stack”

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.

Continue reading “Automate your NOC World Map at scale”

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?

Continue reading “First simple Ansible playbooks”

How should I start a network automation journey ?

Depending on your personal background there are many different ways to approach networks or (more general) infrastructure devices in a programmatic way. If you are blessed with sufficient coding skills, please go straight to Python and frameworks like Nornir to get things started. This post though is for long time network engineers with little or no software experience.

Continue reading “How should I start a network automation journey ?”