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Building network automation solutions

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How Do I Start Automating Network Device Configurations in an Existing Network?

I get a “how do I get started with network automation” question every other week, and when I wrote a lengthy reply to one about configuration templating of existing snowflake network on networktocode Slack channel I decided it’s time to turn my replies into a blog post.

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Sample Network Automation Ansible Playbooks

I developed over a dozen different Ansible-based network automation solutions in the last two years for my network automation workshops and online course, and always published them on GitHub… but never built an index, or explained what they do, and why I decided to do things that way.

With the new my.ipSpace.net functionality I added for online courses I got the hooks I needed to make the first part happen:

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Asymmetrical Traffic Flows and Complexity

One of my readers sent me a list of questions on asymmetrical traffic flows in IP networks, particularly in heavily meshed environments (where it’s really hard to ensure both directions use the same path) and in combination with stateful devices (firewalls in particular) in the forwarding path.

Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet (and the more I think about this problem, the more I feel it’s not worth solving).

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Moving to Summer Schedule

The inevitable summer decline of visitors has started, so I'm switching (like every summer) to a lower publishing frequency. Given my current focus (here and here) expect one network automation post and one other in-depth post every week… and maybe an occasional this-is-worth-reading link.


Working in the summer office ;)

Take some time off, enjoy the vacations, and I hope to meet you in the September online course ;)

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Monitoring SDN Networks: Featured Webinar in June 2016

Monitoring SDN Networks is the featured webinar of June 2017, and in the featured video Terry Slattery (CCIE#1026) talks about network analysis of SDN.

If you’re a trial subscriber, log into my.ipspace.net, select the webinar from the first page, and watch the video marked with star… and if you’d like to try the ipSpace.net subscription register here.

Trial subscribers can also use this month's featured webinar discount to get a 25% discount (and get closer to the full subscription).

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First Speakers in Autumn Network Automation Course

Today I can tell you who the first speakers in the autumn 2017 network automation online course will be.

Sounds promising? Why don’t you register before we run out of early-bird tickets?

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Want to Learn Something New? Learn Git!

If you'd come to me as a networking engineer and say “there's one new thing I want to learn that's outside of my $dayjob” I'd probably say “invest some serious time into learning Git (beyond memorizing the quick recipes) if you haven’t done that already”

Full disclosure: not so long ago I tried to avoid Git as much as possible… and then it suddenly clicked ;)

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Packet Fabric on Software Gone Wild

Imagine a service provider that allows you to provision 100GE point-to-point circuit between any two of their POPs through a web site and delivers in seconds (assuming you’ve already solved the physical connectivity problem). That’s the whole idea of SDN, right? Only not so many providers got there yet.

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New: Ansible for Networking Engineers Online Course

Long story short: I’m launching Ansible for Networking Engineers self-paced course today. It’s already online and you can start whenever you wish.

Now for the details…

Isn’t there already an Ansible for Networking Engineers webinar? Yes.

So what’s the difference? Glad you asked ;)

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Leaf-and-Spine Fabrics: Implicit or Explicit Complexity?

During Shawn Zandi’s presentation describing large-scale leaf-and-spine fabrics I got into an interesting conversation with an attendee that claimed it might be simpler to replace parts of a large fabric with large chassis switches (largest boxes offered by multiple vendors support up to 576 40GE or even 100GE ports).

As always, you have to decide between implicit and explicit complexity.

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Self-Study Exercises Added to Ansible for Networking Engineers Webinar

Last week I published self-study exercises for the YAML and Jinja2 modules in the Ansible for Networking Engineers webinars, and a long list of review questions for the Using Ansible and Ansible Deeper Dive sections.

I also reformatted the webinar materials page. Hope you’ll find the new format easier to read than the old one (it’s hard to squeeze over 70 videos and links on a single page ;).

Oh, and you do know you get Ansible webinar (and over 50 other webinars) with ipSpace.net subscription, right?

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Where Do You Want to Move the Complexity?

Michael Klose left an interesting remark on my Regional Internet Exits in Large DMVPN Deployment blog post saying…

Would BGP communities work? Each regional Internet Exit announce Default Route with a Region Community and all spokes only import default route for their specific region community.

That approach would definitely work. However, you have to decide where to move the complexity.

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