Hands-On Network Automation

Whenever you hear about someone using network automation in a production network it’s usually a startup or large web property (Netflix, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook…). While some ISPs used automatic service deployment for decades, it seems nothing’s going on in the enterprise networks. This workshop will show you how wrong that notion is.

Some of the challenges we’ll solve

  • We’ll start with easy tasks: we’ll collect some simple information from network devices and create a summary report.

  • Next, we’ll generate network device configurations using Ansible instead of Excel spreadsheets, and you’ll see that you don’t have to be a programmer or speak fluent Python to get the job done. We’ll also use a “declarative intent” module to configure VLANs.

  • Moving to slightly trickier topics, we’ll collect network configurations with Ansible, store them in Git, and automate the deployment of our configurations while still retaining full control and sanity checks.

  • Finally, we’ll tackle a troubleshooting challenge: find a device with known MAC address hiding somewhere within a large network.

Who Should Attend this Training?

Network engineers who want to start honing their network automation skills without throwing away everything they learned in the last decades just because everyone-should-be-a-programmer is the latest fad. You might be a network architect, or an engineer deploying or troubleshooting networks - understanding what network automation can do for you and how it works will never hurt you. Finally, you might be a programmer looking for new challenges, in which case a healthy mix of programming skills and arcane networking knowledge might be exactly what you’re looking for. Welcome to a new frontier!


You might want to know a bit about how networks work. We’ll mention VLANs, OSPF, BGP and LLDP, but don’t get scared - we’ll never go deeper than saying “this is our use case, and here are the things we have to push down to the device to make it all work

You could be perfectly happy to just watch the demos, in which case bring a large bag of curiosity. If you want to get your hands dirty, make sure your to install Python, Virtual Box and Ansible on your laptop (or on a VM running on your laptop).

About the Speaker