The most important part of any network automation solution is a reliable inventory. In large and complex network environments, a central DCIM like Netbox or Nautobot with dynamically generated inventories seems to be the gold standard.
But many of us start their automation journey with simple text files, following the idea of infrastructure as code. However, even this approach is suitable as a comprehensive device asset management and can even replace existing tooling. Here is the why and how.
DevAsc has been a dream of mine since the beginning, but I never really found the time during this crazy year. When Cisco extended the deadline for the DevNetClassof2020 though, I took that as a sign and started my journey at short notice towards the end of 2020. Now you can learn what I think about the exam and the way I prepared.
So far this little InfraAsCode series was all about declarative Ansible playbooks and Git version control. In this last post we go full circle and discover how CI/CD pipelines helps with automation workflows, taking full advantage of good software development practices.
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.
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.
Tired of scrolling through massive directories on a file server, flooded with config files? Easy to implement ‘backup’ solution at day one (IOS archive?), but often based on debatable, unreliable protocols like TFTP, combined with great challenges in tracking changes on day two.