Metaminds shows you how to automate an enterprise network using Python and Ansible

Grow fast or die slow: the rapid development rate of technology challenges businesses to keep up with its speed unless they want to lose their relevancy. As one of CISCO’s strategic partners, we were happy to share our expertise during CISCO Connect Romania, the online conference that took place on the 17th-18th of November. 

The event aimed to show IT&C professionals and businesses how to overcome present and future challenges with the latest CISCO technologies and solutions. Petru Cristian Gal, our Security Solutions Team Leader, was given the floor to impart his knowledge on how to use Ansible and Python for Enterprise Network Automation.

 

The participants had the opportunity to see how we have used Python for deployment automation in one of our projects. The choice to use Python was based on the project’s requirements: numerous locations and equipment (ISR, Catalyst and AP), the lack of advanced technical expertise which asked for an as easy as possible installation, the need of real-time notifications of the implementation (to know when locations were up and running), as well as the later possibility of extending the system.

 

After the introduction, Cristian Gal took significant time to explain in great detail the architecture used in the project. The whole architecture was based on two pillars:

the Cisco Cloud Redirect Server through which the ISR equipment, once connected, was redirected to a PnP cluster (one server was not enough to hold over 30,000 units of equipment), and an automation system built on 4 components.

 

He later went on to describe these 4 components: the TFTP server (chosen because it’s written in Python and allows customization on each session), the RQ server (Redis Que), the suite of python scripts with specific functions and the direct notifications sent on Slack from the automation system.    

 

And since everything is easier to understand once you see it with your own eyes, our Metaminds specialist ended his presentation with a demo that showed step by step how the automated installation was carried out. 

 

For the full online presentation and demonstration: