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Nautobot Jobs in Jobs Root

Today I was working to demonstrate how to get started with Nautobot Jobs within the Jobs root of Nautobot. This is not a pattern that I develop often, as I am typically developing Jobs within a plugin as my development standard. More to come on that later. During this case, the ask was to build a Job that would connect to a network device. I had a few troubles that I didn't want to have to work through on a call that had limited time and that was a screen share. So I am taking to working on this via a blog post to share, and hopefully will be helpful for others as well.

Nautobot Ansible Collection: Devices

All of the work through the modules thus far in the series have brought us to what we all want to see. How to get or update device information inside of Nautobot. Adding of sites, device types, device roles are required to get us to this point. Now you can see how to add a device to Nautobot using the networktocode.nautobot.device module.

There are many optional parameters for the module specifically. I encourage you to take a look at the module documentation (linked below) in order to get a good sense of all of the options available. The required parameters for a device that is present are:

  • device_role
  • device_type
  • name
  • site
  • status

An important caveat for me is that this is something that should be done with rarity. Only when truly adding a device to Nautobot, in a programmatic way this should be used. I do not advocate for running this module constantly based on your devices. The idea is to get Nautobot to be your source of truth about devices, not to have devices be the source of truth and updating Nautobot.

So where do I see this being run? I do absolutely see it being a part of a pipeline or a service portal. The idea being that the service portal has a request for a new site to be turned up. That in turn kicks off an Ansible Playbook that will make the necessary updates to Nautobot, and is done in a consistent manor.

Nautobot Ansible Collection: Device Types

A device type is the next piece in the Nautobot Device onboarding requirements. The device type corresponds to the model number of the hardware (or virtual machine). This is where you are able to template out devices during their creation. So if you have a console port on a device type, that console port will be created when you create the device. However, there is NOT a relationship built between the device type and the device. If the device type gets updated after the device is created, the device itself is not updated.

Nautobot Ansible Collection: Device Roles

A device role is aptly named, the role of the device. This is likely to be something that is meaningful to your organization and could change. For example you may have the 3 tier system of Core, Distribution, and Access layer environments. These are just fine. So you would want to have the roles there to reflect this reality. You may have leaf-spine environments, there are two more roles. And in my past I have also had roles that would indicate that there are dedicated DMZ, WAN edge, Internet edge devices. So this is the place to set this.

Nautobot Ansible Collection: Manufacturers

Adding your manufacturers via code is the easy way to get started with your Nautobot devices. Immediately after adding Sites, the next thing to get going when using Nautobot as your Source of Truth is to add in Manufacturers. These are just that, who makes the gear that you use. For this demonstration you will see adding just a few manufacturers. I'm not necessarily picking on any vendors and who should or shouldn't be here. It is just what my background brings.

Nautobot Ansible Collection: Platforms

Platforms are an optional item when adding devices into Nautobot. The platform is the OS that you are going to be using. Most often this is used to help identify which driver your automation platform is going to be using. Specifically the slug of the platform is what needs to match. So in the terms of Ansible (since we are using Ansible to populate Nautobot), you will want to set Cisco IOS devices to ios. By having the slug match the automation platform name you have that information in your inventory. For these reasons I strongly recommend setting the Platform for devices.

NetBox Ansible Collection: Device Roles

A device role is aptly named, the role of the device. This is likely to be something that is meaningful to your organization and could change. For example you may have the 3 tier system of Core, Distribution, and Access layer environments. These are just fine. So you would want to have the roles there to reflect this reality. You may have leaf-spine environments, there are two more roles. And in my past I have also had roles that would indicate that there are dedicated DMZ, WAN edge, Internet edge devices. So this is the place to set this.

Note

This post was created when NetBox was an open source project used often in my automation framework. I have moved on to using Nautobot due to the project vision and providing a methodology that will drive network automation forward further. You may want to take a look at it yourself.

NetBox Ansible Collection: Device Types

A device type is the next piece in the NetBox Device onboarding requirements. The device type corresponds to the model number of the hardware (or virtual machine). This is where you are able to template out devices during their creation. So if you have a console port on a device type, that console port will be created when you create the device. However, there is NOT a relationship built between the device type and the device. If the device type gets updated after the device is created, the device itself is not updated.

Note

This post was created when NetBox was an open source project used often in my automation framework. I have moved on to using Nautobot due to the project vision and providing a methodology that will drive network automation forward further. You may want to take a look at it yourself.