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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.

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.

2023 Automation Review: Top 3

The year of 2023 I think may have had some of the biggest leaps in the Network Automation capabilities that are being delivered by some of the best in the business. With Nautobot's Golden Config App adding the ability to complete configuration remediation and Ansible release Event Driven Ansible, there are a couple of powerful tools to help you with your Network Automation. And all with a great new conference addition specific to Network Automation.

Nautobot: How I Use Tags For VMs

In my home environment I am leveraging Nautobot as my source of truth. This is for the network, which is probably not all that interesting in my home environment, and my virtual machines. Why am I tracking my virtual machines in Nautobot? Simple, to help automate them. I think that this is a clever methodology to help use tags and to get automation working within the environment. This same type of thing may be applicable to your network environment as well.

DevNet Expert Workstation On Debian

As part of my journey of using my Debian based Dev Workstation, as well as my studies towards completion of the DevNet Expert, I wanted to get up and running with the DevNet Workstation example that would help to become familiar with the environment that would be found at the live exam. There were a few small quirks along the way, so I thought I would go ahead and create a post about how to get started.

Nautobot Environment File

Within Nautobot there are many ways to be able to get the Nautobot environment running. Environment variables are used quite a bit in the Docker environment following best practice principles set forth in the 12 Factor App. The use of environment variables is helpful for working through the various stages of an application to production. The installation instructions leverage a single environment variable NAUTOBOT_ROOT and that is set in the SystemD files shown below.

Upgrade Nautobot Python Version in Virtual Machine

One observation lately is that Python is moving along quickly with new versions and new EOLs. Along with needing to make these updates, the applications that Python uses will also need to be moving along. Nautobot is my favorite, and in my opinion the best SOT platform available in the open source ecosystem today. So let's dive into the updating of the Python version.

For this post, I've created a new Rocky 8 Virtual Machine to be the host. See the note below for the reasoning. This will start off with a Nautobot install from the Nautobot docs. I won't dive into all of that, assume that is the starting point with a fresh Nautobot application.