Category: Automation

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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Network Configuration Templates with Ansible and Jinja2

In a previous blog post I showed how to utilize Python to create a script that will generate network configurations from templates utilizing Jinja2. While the solution did work, creating scripts from scratch using a programming language can be a daunting task for network engineers. Luckily for us, there are already tools in place that we can leverage to do the heavy lifting for us. Today we will look at Ansible to generate network device configurations from templates.

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