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Putting It All Together

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Putting It All Together

The final module focuses on real-life automation solutions deployed in production environments.

You'll also learn how to extend Ansible playbooks and integrate them with transactional databases and front-end orchestration systems.

1:09:09 The Bigger Picture

Building systems from small components usually works better than tackling a gigantic project, but in the end still need to combine those components into a bigger system and provide its users with the expected user experience, be it a simple CLI or GUI.

This section describes how you can combine Ansible playbooks with front-end orchestrations systems, external databases or IPAM, and how you can use Ansible Tower (or AWX) to provide a basic GUI or API to your Ansible environment.

The Bigger Picture 14:03 2017-11-23
Integrating Ansible with an External System 13:41 2017-11-26
Using JSON Callback 20:55 2017-11-23

20:30 Success Stories: Ansible Tower

Joe Hlasnik described how his company uses network automation to provision and decomission network services, the benefits of Ansible Tower, and the user interface they developed for their operators.

Using Ansible Tower and Web Front-End 20:30 2017-11-22

Slide Decks

The Bigger Picture 2.9M 2017-11-21
Integrating Ansible with an External System 1.6M 2017-11-26

1:51:16 Network Automation @ Facebook

Ryan Heffernan and Mat Wood described how Facebook uses network automation concepts in their enterprise network.

Managed Configs - A Phased Approach 2.2M 2017-02-14
Managed Configurations 60:43 2017-02-15
Innovation.txt 50:33 2017-02-15

1:23:02 Network Automation @ UBS

UBS AG started using network automation to speed up the data center deployment process. The project was a huge success and resulted in UBS embracing automation in campus, WAN and remote office network deployments.

In this section Thomas Wacker described the UBS automation journey and how far they got in 2017.

Networking Challenges at UBS 25:08 2017-11-22
Build Automation 25:31 2017-11-22
Automating Tests and Operations 26:37 2017-11-22
Conclusions 5:46 2017-11-22

1:46:01 Service Deployment in Cisco ACI with Ansible

In this presentation Dirk Feldhaus described an Ansible-based solution to Cisco ACI tenant provisioning he developed as a student of this course. The solution is used for production deployments within his company.

The structure of Dirk's presentation mirrors the approach you should take when developing any network automation solution:

  • Figure out the problem and create a pilot solution;
  • Define the service you plan to automate;
  • Describe the service with a data model;
  • Develop automation scripts that provision the target service;
  • Develop support scripts to monitor and operate the service.
What Problem Are We Solving 28:09 2018-09-21
Describing the Service with a Data Model 31:20 2018-09-21
Service Deployment with Ansible 34:42 2018-09-21
Beyond Service Creation 11:50 2018-09-21
Slide deck 1.5M 2018-09-21

2:37:25 Network Automation with IXP Manager

Ireland Internet Exchange (INEX) uses IXP Manager (an open-source tool developed by INEX and used by over 60 IXPs worldwide) as the orchestration layer on top of SaltStack to provision and operate multi-vendor INEX infrastructure.

In his presentation, Nick Hilliard described how to take a practical, hands-on approach to network automation for live networks, starting at business analysis, product abstraction and data modeling, and ending up with practical automation of live configurations.

IXP Manager Introduction 13:10 2018-11-14

56:09 Assessment, Requirements and Problem Analysis

Technical Assessment 5:37 2018-11-14
Orchestration Requirements 21:47 2018-11-14
Engineering Analysis 28:45 2018-11-14

44:02 Building and Deploying the Automation Solution

Orchestration Engineering 10:22 2018-11-14
Snags 10:03 2018-11-14
Workflow 7:32 2018-11-14
Operational Results and Business Impact 16:05 2018-11-14
IXP Manager with SaltStack Demo 44:04 2018-11-14
Slide deck 25M 2018-11-13

47:47 Discussion Questions

During the Q&A part of the live sessions we addressed these questions:

  • Managing test and production environments;
  • Integrating Ansible with external systems like IPAMs, NMS, or CMDBs;
  • Executing Ansible plays on dynamically-created hosts
  • Inputting data;
  • Writing your own Ansible module
Managing Test and Production Environments 8:58 2018-10-18
Integrating Ansible with External Systems 15:52 2018-10-18
Dynamic Hosts 8:06 2018-10-18
Inputting Data 7:12 2018-10-18
Writing Your Own Ansible Module 7:39 2018-10-18

Additional Self-Study Materials

After completing the self-study materials in this section, listen to these Software Gone Wild episodes.

FlipIT Cloud

This podcast describes a production-grade large-scale automation solution orchestrating everything from firewall rules to Windows AD and VoIP call plans;

Transactional Thoughts on a Stormy Night
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