Book Image

Network Automation Cookbook

By : Karim Okasha
Book Image

Network Automation Cookbook

By: Karim Okasha

Overview of this book

Network Automation Cookbook is designed to help system administrators, network engineers, and infrastructure automation engineers to centrally manage switches, routers, and other devices in their organization's network. This book will help you gain hands-on experience in automating enterprise networks and take you through core network automation techniques using the latest version of Ansible and Python. With the help of practical recipes, you'll learn how to build a network infrastructure that can be easily managed and updated as it scales through a large number of devices. You'll also cover topics related to security automation and get to grips with essential techniques to maintain network robustness. As you make progress, the book will show you how to automate networks on public cloud providers such as AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Azure. Finally, you will get up and running with Ansible 2.9 and discover troubleshooting techniques and network automation best practices. By the end of this book, you'll be able to use Ansible to automate modern network devices and integrate third-party tools such as NAPALM, NetBox, and Batfish easily to build robust network automation solutions.
Table of Contents (15 chapters)

Building an Ansible network inventory

In this recipe, we will outline how to build and structure the Ansible inventory to describe the network setup outlined in the previous section.

Getting ready

Make sure that Ansible is already installed on the control machine.

How to do it...

  1. Create a new directory with the following name: ch2_ios.
  2. Inside this new folder, create the hosts file with the following content:
$ cat hosts
access01 Ansible_host=
access02 Ansible_host=

core01 Ansible_host=
core02 Ansible_host=

wan01 Ansible_host=
wan02 Ansible_host=


  1. Create the Ansible.cfg file with the following content:
$ cat Ansible.cfg


How it works...

We built the Ansible inventory using the hosts file, and we defined multiple groups in order to group the different devices in our topology in the following manner:

  • We created the access group, which has both access switches (access01 and access02) in our topology.
  • We created the core group, which groups all core switches that will act as the L3 termination for all the VLANs on the access switches.
  • We created the wan group, which groups all our Cisco IOS–XE routes, which will act as our wan routers.
  • We created another group called lan, which groups both access and core groups.
  • We created the network group, which groups both lan and wan groups.

Finally, we created the Ansible.cfg file and configured it to point to our hosts file to be used as an Ansible inventory file. We disabled the setup module, which is not required when running Ansible against network nodes.