Your browser failed to load CSS style sheets. Your browser or web proxy might not support elliptic-curve TLS

Building network automation solutions

9 module online course

Start now!

Network Reliability Engineering on Software Gone Wild

In summer 2018 Juniper started talking about another forward-looking concept: Network Reliability Engineering. We wanted to find out whether that’s another unicorn driving DeLorean with flux capacitors or something more tangible, so we invited Matt Oswalt, the author of Network Reliability Engineer’s Manifesto to talk about it in Episode 97 of Software Gone Wild.

read more Add comment

Continuous Integration in Network Automation

In the first part of his interview with Christoph Jaggi Kristian Larsson talked about the basics of CI testing. Now let’s see how you can use these concepts in network automation (and you’ll learn way more in Kristian’s talk on April 9th… if you register for our network automation course).

How does CI testing fit into an overall testing environment?

Traditionally, in particular in the networking industry, it's been rather common to have proof of concepts (POC) delivered by vendors for various networking technologies and then people have sat down and manually tested that the POC meets some set of requirements.

read more Add comment

Five Stages of Automation Grief

As I’m doing occasional consulting for large enterprises redesigning their data centers, I encounter a wide range of network automation readiness, from “we don’t need that” to “how could we automate as much as possible”.

Based on the pervasiveness of “we don’t need that” responses it looks like many enterprise network engineers still have to go through the five stages of automation grief.

read more see 1 comments

To Centralize or not to Centralize, That’s the Question

One of the attendees of the Building Next-Generation Data Center online course solved the build small data center fabric challenge with Virtual Chassis Fabric (VCF). I pointed out that I would prefer not to use VCF as it uses centralized control plane and is thus a single failure domain.

In case you’re interested in data center fabric architecture options, check out this section in the Data Center Fabric Architectures webinar.

Here are his arguments for using VCF:

read more see 4 comments

BGP as High Availability Protocol

Every now and then someone tells me I should write more about the basic networking concepts like I did years ago when I started blogging. I’m probably too old (and too grumpy) for that, but fortunately I’m no longer on my own.

Over the years ipSpace.net slowly grew into a small community of networking experts, and we got to a point where you’ll see regular blog posts from other community members, starting with Using BGP as High-Availability protocol written by Nicola Modena, member of ExpertExpress team.

Add comment

What Is Continuous Integration?

In spring 2019 Building Network Automation Solutions course we’ll have Kristian Larsson diving into continuous integration and his virtual networking lab product (you might want to listen to the Software Gone Wild episode we did with him to get a taste of what he’ll be talking about). Christoph Jaggi did a short interview with him starting with the obvious question:

What is CI testing and how does it differ from other testing methods?

CI is short for Continuous Integration and refers to a way of developing software where changes written by individual developers are frequently (or "continuously") integrated together into a master branch/trunk, thus continuous integration.

read more Add comment

Firewall Ruleset Automation with CI Pipeline

One of my readers sent me a description of their automation system that manages firewall rulesets on Fortigate firewalls using NAPALM to manage device configurations.

In his own words:

We are now managing thousands of address objects, services and firewall policies using David Barroso’s FortiOS Napalm module. This works very well and with a few caveats (such as finding a way to enforce the ordering of firewall policies) we are able to manage all the configuration of our firewalls from a single Ansible playbook.

The did the right thing and implemented an abstracted data model using GitOps to manage it:

read more see 1 comments

Webinars Plans for 2019

You might have noticed that our Winter 2019 webinar schedule got crazily busy with seven live sessions in the first two months of the year (another first)… but that’s not all, there are two more live sessions that we haven’t announced yet as we always schedule a single live session of a particular webinar.

Wondering what’s coming during the rest of 2019? Starting with committed ideas:

read more see 7 comments

SD-WAN Reality Gap

Here’s some feedback I got from a subscriber who got pulled into an SD-WAN project:

I realized (thanks to you) that it’s really important to understand the basics of how things work. It helped me for example at my work when my boss came with the idea “we’ll start selling SD-WAN and this is the customer wish list”. Looked like business-as-usual until I realized I’ve never seen so big a difference between reality, customer wishes and what was promised to customer by sales guys I never met. And the networking engineers are supposed to save the day afterwards…

How did your first SD-WAN deployment go? Please write a comment!

see 7 comments

Network Automations Is More than Just Ansible

One of the attendees of my Building Network Automation Solutions online course sent me this suggestion:

Stick to JUST Ansible - no GitHub, Vagrant, Docker or even Python - all of which come with their own significant learning curves.

While I understand how overwhelming the full-blown network automation landscape is to someone who never touched programming, you have to make a hard choice when you decide to start the learning process: do you want to master a single tool, or understand a whole new technology area and be able to select the best tool for the job on as-needed basis.

read more see 2 comments

Large Layer-2 Domains Strike Again…

I started January 2018 blogging with a major service provider failure. Why should 2019 be any different? Here’s what Century Link claimed was causing two-day outage (more comments here).

Supposedly it was a problem with the management network used by their optical gear, but it looks a lot like a layer-2 network spanning 15 data centers and no control-plane policing on the managed devices… proving yet again that large-scale layer-2 networks are a really bad idea.

read more see 2 comments

Zero-Touch Provisioning with Patrick Ogenstad (Part 2)

Last week we published the first half of interview with Patrick Ogenstad, guest speaker in Spring 2019 Building Network Automation Solutions online course (register here). Here’s the second half.

ZTP is about provisioning. Can this include configuration as well?

You could argue that provisioning is a form of configuration and in that sense, provisioning can certainly include configuration. If your ZTP solution is good at configuration management is another question.

read more Add comment

Automation, Big Data and AI

The final topic David Gee and Christoph Jaggi mentioned in their interview was big data and AI (see also: automated workflows, hygiene of network automation and network automation security):

Two other concurrent buzzwords are big data and artificial intelligence. Can they be helpful for automation?

Big Data can provide a rich pool of event-sourcing information and, as infrastructures get more complex, it’s essential that automation triggers are as accurate as possible.

read more see 3 comments

Webinars in 2018

2018 was our busiest year ever… we created or updated 19 webinars, for a total of 32 live webinar sessions.

We wrapped up the 2018 webinars with Storage December featuring Hyper-Converged Infrastructure with Howard Marks and NVMe-over-Fabrics with J Metz (I never thought I would enjoy storage technology discussions, but Howard and J were brilliant)… and this is what we’ve been doing the rest of the year:

read more Add comment
Sidebar