Despite what some people might say, automation is not considered for the lazy ones. This opinion probably would be coming from the fact that the whole point of automation would be to reduce repetitive tasks as well as make your life easier. Indeed automation would be able to do just that and give you back hours each week for other tasks. We would be here discussing the five network automation tips as well as tricks to get clarity around your automation decisions and reduce any friction that might be inhibiting adoption of network automation. If you wish to make your career as a network designer, you need to check out the courses offered by the SPOTO CLUB.
- Choose whether you want simplicity or flexibility
Automating your network would be required to treat your network as code. It’s programming your network, as well as when it comes to programming, there would be several ways to accomplish the same objective. Unlike a traditional CLI, where there might be at most two ways to enable OSPF on an interface, there might be six or more ways along with automation.
- Build one-offs into your automation
One of the biggest barriers to network automation would be the inevitable presence of ad-hoc otherwise one-off configurations. You know, things like that one access list entry on that one switch that someone would be put there to satisfy an IT auditor way back when. Rather than trying for eliminating these, embrace them as well as make them a part of your automation solution. Adopt the mindset that if it isn’t in the automation code, it doesn’t subsist in the running configuration. Note that this doesn’t mean that you would have to automate everything right away. It would be wise to start by automating simple, small tasks.
- Use a single automation platform
There’s never getting around it. Automation would be required treating infrastructure as code, as well as every automation platform has its own chosen language. Ansible would be using Python, while Puppet and Chef would be using Ruby. Therefore, it would be considered quite important that while choosing your platform, everyone who would be using the platform which would be agreed on a common language. This wouldn’t mean that everyone or anyone has to know the language which would be starting. You, as well as others, might have to learn it, but the important thing is picking one automation platform as well as running with it.
- Use version control
All automated device configurations would be kept in a centralized repository utilizing a version control system. This would have a couple of advantages. The key to effective version control would be to track all of your changes, even the tiniest ones. If you would be making a change as well as suddenly the network gains slow, version control could be helped you prove that your change wouldn’t the culprit. But there would be one thing that version control can’t track: the state of the network.
- Validate and monitor your network using Cumulus NetQ
Regardless of where you would be on your automation journey, it is considered quite a smart idea to make sure NetQ is up and running early on. Whereas version control tracks change to your network configurations, NetQ tracks changes to the state of the network itself. In other words, NetQ would be able to tell you when the state of the network would be having changed as well as why it changed. Even if your network would only partially be automated, NetQ could still track every state change and even the manual ones. This would be eliminating the blind spot left by partial automation.
If you wish to have more help with the certification process, you could take the help of the Preparation courses offered by the SPOTO CLUB.