Intro to Ansible Network Automation

Network infrastructure is still managed today the same way it was many years ago

  • collection of scripts
  • node by node
  • handcrafted and CLI driven

Why Ansible?

  1. It is similar to how network people work already - Same cli and config commands
  2. Agentless - No need for third party services
  3. Simplicity

Configuration Automation

  • Multi-vendor networks - ansible abstracts the device specific implementation away
  • gathering of facts - discovering devices, operating systems and capabilities of the devices
  • Only changes whet needs to be changed
  • Don’t have to get bogged down in vendor speak, focus on roles and tasks

Test-driven Deployment

How do network operators test today?

  • CLI commands like show
  • Device specific utilities
  • Homegrown and one-off scripts

The test driven deployment is essentially a playbook that is verifying certain responses from the cli. It then has a when clause to do certain things when there is a speicfic response.

Continuous Compliance

Continually monitoring the network configuration network and state

Eliminate configuration drift

  • validate that configuration statements are correct
  • state is correct
  1. playbooks can be scheduled to run
  2. it will find network devices that are out of compliance

Source