Simple Cisco Device Reports with Ansible

A great way to start using Ansible for network automation is for generating reports. This can help familiarize yourself with creating playbooks, their structure, and getting your network environment setup to begin automation. Reports are also good because you are just gathering information – there is no configuration changes so there is no worry about bringing the network down. In this post, I’ll share an HTML report I found and modified from a Red Hat Network Automation Git Hub page.

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Basic Network Automation with Ansible Galaxy IOS Collection


One great resource you can use when learning and using Ansible for network automation, or any automation with Ansible for that matter, is Ansible Galaxy. Ansible Galaxy is a place for the Ansible community to share roles and collections for others to use. For this post I will highlight some of the roles found within the Cisco IOS collection.

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Using Visual Studio Code for creating Network Code

When I started on my network automation journey, I didn’t pay too much attention to what I was using when creating my code. I knew that programmers used Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), but since I was mostly editing smaller text files I kept to simple text editors like Nano or Vi. I attended Red Hat’s AnsibleFest in Austin, TX and saw that many people in the network world (both vendor reps and other network engineers) would use much more advanced text editors. One of the most popular ones being used was Atom. I ended up having a conversation with some other co-workers and a few Red Hat reps, and some suggested trying out Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code (commonly referred to VS Code). After having some time to try out both, I have chosen to stick with VS Code. While this blog post isn’t going to do a side by side comparison of text editors, it will show some of the highlights that led me to choose VS Code when creating network code.

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Policy Based Routing Using Source Address

In a typical network, routing is done on a hop by hop basis with each router making a forwarding decision based on the destination address of a packet. However, certain scenarios can occur that require routing based on something other than the destination. Policy based routing (PBR) can be used to modify how packets are handled by a router. This blog post will demonstrate how to perform policy based routing on Cisco IOS devices using the source address as the policy to route by.

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