Building Network Automation Solutions - September 2019 session

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18:01 Course Introduction

This section introduces the speakers in the Autumn 2019 course and the topics of their presentations. I also described a sample approach to planning your studies (as proposed by Daniel Teycheney).

Autumn 2019 Introduction 18:01 2019-09-03

1:47:08 Supply Chain Security in Open-Source Software

While using using network automation tools (and thus standardizing services deployments) can drastically increase the security level of an environment, we must also ensure that we only use trusted software to implement automation solutions.

Matthias Luft focused on secure software sourcing aspects of open-source tools used in the course. He covered the security goals in software sourcing, differences in open versus closed/commercial software, known security incidents, and concluded with a proposed modeal that could deal with all those challenges.

Introduction 8:53 2019-09-04
Modern Software Supply Chains 10:50 2019-09-04
Basics of Trust 15:52 2019-09-04
Software Supply Chain Security Incidents 12:37 2019-09-04
Fundamental Challenges 16:36 2019-09-04
Potential Mitigations 28:21 2019-09-04
Evaluating Software Providers 13:59 2019-09-04
Slide Deck 76M 2019-09-04

1:39:51 Build a Network Automation Stack from Ground Up

Damien Garros explained how to build a network automation framework from the ground up:

  • How and why they organized the project around a source of truth (NetBox & GitHub);
  • How to integrate an automation framework (Ansible) to use the source of truth to manage the network devices;
  • How to leverage Docker to package Ansible and create a consistent environment;
  • How to properly import data into the source of truth and how to manage many roles and variations of the network design;
  • How to migrate from a traditional SNMP based monitoring to a modern architecture using Influxdb & Grafana.
Introduction 5:43 2019-09-27
Start with Source of Truth 14:54 2019-09-27
Generate Configurations with Ansible 18:31 2019-09-27
Monitoring and Alerting 23:03 2019-09-27
Populate the Source of Truth 37:40 2019-09-27
Slide Deck 2.8M 2019-09-26

2:08:48 Network Automation in Service Provider Networks

Anton Karneliuk focused on network automation in very large service provider networks (with examples from mobile operators). His presentation covered:

  • The typical vendor promises;
  • Service Provider-specific scenarios and challenges;
  • Using Ansible to automate Service Provider networks;
  • How to start your automation journey
Promises of Service Provider Network Automation 30:50 2019-10-25
Service Provider Automation Scenarios 11:01 2019-10-25
Service Provider Automation Challenges 14:45 2019-10-25
Using Ansible to Automate Service Provider Networks 50:26 2019-10-25
Starting the Automation Journey 21:46 2019-10-25
Slide Deck 29M 2019-10-15

1:18:10 Manipulating Network Information with Python

Hans Verkerk guided us you through some easy-to-understand scripts written in Python. These scripts abstract Cisco IOS configurations into Python data structures, enabling you to query the data gathered from network devices using standard Python utilities in a simple but effective way.

Storing Information into Python Data Structures 32:18 2020-02-23
Parsing Device Configuration Files 10:17 2020-02-23
Validating Campus Network Configurations 12:59 2020-02-23
Improved Device Configuration Parsing 5:10 2020-02-23
Migration Example 17:26 2020-02-23
Slide Deck 1.7M 2019-10-25

Additional Informations

Data Manipulation with Python Built-In Superheroes
Source code for live demos

2:10:25 ChatOps with Slack

Jeremy Schulman described real-world use cases using Slack to create commands that drive network automation workflows. He discussed the features of Slack he'd used and covered what he'd learned so far in terms of pros-and-cons, including integration with Ansible Tower.

He concluded his presentation with an in-depth description of a test application he created to help you get started.

Introduction and Quick Demos 38:57 2019-12-06
System Architecture 10:43 2019-12-06
Slack Request Handling 21:18 2019-12-06
Starting Ansible Tower Jobs 12:47 2019-12-06
Ansible Playbooks Communicating with Slack 14:25 2019-12-06
Using Script Server 6:42 2019-12-06
QuickStart App 25:33 2019-12-06
Slide Deck 3.6M 2019-12-02

46:49 Discussion Questions

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

  • Dealing with large Ansible inventories;
  • Validating input data and post-change router configurations;
  • Automating SDN/NFV environments;
Dealing with Large Inventories 9:12 2019-09-03
Validating Input Data and Device Configurations 7:11 2019-09-03
Automating SDN and NFV Environments 3:20 2019-09-04
Robotic Process Automation 6:52 2019-10-25
Building Ansible Inventory from External Data 7:59 2019-10-25
Saving Device Configurations Into a Database 7:10 2019-10-25
Multi-Vendor Ansible Playbooks 5:05 2019-10-25
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