Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about SDN and more recently more about what can be done today with existing products, APIs, and tools in terms of improving operational efficiencies. Most of the examples have leveraged modern network devices that have some type of API because it streamlines how to integrate with 3rd party systems be it a custom application or a platform like Ansible (a platform that I’ve written about frequently). I’ve posted examples here and there on GitHub on these topics, but nothing that starts from the ground up.

With that in mind, I’ve recently created a new GitHub project that walks through step by step on how to get Ansible installed and specifically up and running ready to automate Cisco Nexus switches. Note: In full transparency, I was compensated by Cisco for this particular project. It was a no-brainer since I was already doing similar work over the past several months. That said, going forward it would be great to get others involved in any capacity from writing docs to writing code.

Network Automation with Cisco Nexus & Ansible

The README in the GitHub project repository outlines exactly how to get started. There are also two videos, option 1 and option 2, that demo how to get started and they map directly back to the README. Option 1 follows a more traditional install process (apt-get, pip, etc.) and Option 2 allows users to download a Docker image that already has all required software pre-loaded. Both videos can be found at the bottom of this post – links are also in the README of the GitHub repo.

[UPDATE] The Growth of a Network Community

In January, I wrote about new operational models and started a new google group that is meant to be forum where anyone can share thoughts and ask questions with a focus on network programmability, APIs, and automation. Reminder: anyone can join. No need to ask, as a few have done.

I’m happy to say we have over 160 members in the group already! And as people start to automate networks, learn APIs, or have questions on using automation tools such as Ansible in conjunction with automating networks, that google group would be a great forum to ask questions and get started!

If you haven’t signed up yet for the group, you can do so here: SIGN UP NOW.

Thanks, Jason

Twitter: @jedelman8