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Redux: Stadium Automation

At a previous position to joining Network to Code I was asked to help to build automation to help with the configuration of switches going into a MLS stadium. The stadium was under construction and the network build out would take place at the same time as the stadium was being built out. It was definitely a first and maybe only opportunity that I would have to build out a new stadium.


The task at hand is that each of the ports would need to be configured leveraging a good L2/L3 separation with each of the service providers that provide a service to the stadium their own network segment to work through. A large number of ports were going to need to be configured.

Nornir Transform Function

Nornir includes a function that allows for the transformation of inventory data, a feature integrated within the Nornir platform itself. The documentation for Nornir 3.0 is somewhat sparse regarding the usage of Transform functions, so I often refer to the more comprehensive 2.5 documentation. According to the Nornir documentation:

A transform function is a plugin that manipulates the inventory independently from the inventory plugin used. Useful to extend data using the environment, a secret store or similar.

Redux: WAN Design

In this post, we'll dive into WAN design and address a common question that I was provided with in the 2000s: "My home internet costs only $35 per month. Why do we spend $xxx per month per circuit?"

Bindkey For Autocompletion

I have been looking at migrating over to the Starship shell for a little while. The allure of running a rust shell prompt that gives me a ton of information is what I look for in a shell prompt. Such as the prompt below:

joshv in 🌐 my_device in nautobot on  u/jvanderaa-update_install_home_doc is 📦 v2.2.5b1 via 🐍 v3.11.9 (nautobot-py3.11)

The default installation however did not get the same behavior as my previous Oh My Zsh set up with the zsh-autocompletions and zsh-syntaxhighlighting. Whenever I would hit the up arrow key, the system would cycle through the commands as comes default with zsh/bash. But I was looking for subcommand scrolling. Such as the following command sequence.

Migration to MkDocs Material Blog Theme!

So, if you are a returning user you notice something that is a little bit different. I have migrated my blog site to a new site generator and format. I am now using [mkdocs-material] blog them that was introduced in late 2022 to the platform. The migration was not too painful to make, but I'm feeling in a good place about it at this point. The blog has been on a journey so far. It started off with a Jekyll themed site which I liked. Then I decided to move onto something that has a little more development. So I moved into the land of Hugo.

Automation Redux: Firewall Tables

Today I'm going to dive into my getting started with network automation, and perhaps my first successful automation. There are definitely some things that I would re-do and complete differently, and some things that I consider a success.

I'm working on a new series within my blog, about how I would look to have done things differently than I had done before, with the tooling and knowledge that I now have, years later. This is the first in the series.

One of my favorite features of Nautobot that may not be well known is the capability to put a button on pages that take you to other locations. This can be helpful when lining up the source of truth as that first place that you go, the idea of adding custom links will just help to enforce that as the first place to go. When you look at the idea of a source of truth to help feed other systems, you start to see the topology like below.

Nautobot Source of Truth for Other Systems

Nautobot App Baking Cookies

Just recently released at the beginning of 2024 is a project that I am super excited to see in the open source by Network to Code. This is the Nautobot App cookiecutter template. This may already be the biggest thing to become available for Network Automation in 2024. I know, its fresh at this point in the year, but this is something that is going to make getting started with your own Nautobot Application so much quicker.