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Nautobot App Baking Cookies

·555 words·3 mins
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.


2023 Automation Review: Top 3

·542 words·3 mins
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.

Slack Power Keyboard

·752 words·4 mins
Recently Slack started introducing a new UI that is bringing back the importance of knowing keyboard shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts within Slack are immensely helpful in my day to day, and it is essential for me being able to keep up with what is going on within my organization and some of the other 20 Slack organizations that I have joined. So much so, I don’t believe that once I am in the Slack UI on my machines, I am ever touching the mouse to get from one place to another.

Nautobot: How I Use Tags For VMs

·655 words·4 mins
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.

Designing WAN Availability

·1751 words·9 mins
One of my hot topics in my past that I haven’t seen written about often is the calculation of WAN availability and what the design is built for. There is often the number of 9’s whether that is 5 9s or 3 9s or otherwise, where do you start? Well, in the past the post by outlines system reliability. It talks about designing systems in parallel and in serial. What does that mean.

DevNet Expert Workstation On Debian

·1065 words·5 mins
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.

Debian Finger Print Login

·630 words·3 mins
As a long time MacBook user and of recent years on the M1 using the TouchID system that allows for fingerprint authentication, this is something that I wanted to get to work pretty quickly for myself. I had tried a couple of different options to get fingerprint reading to work. Through the 3 methods, I finally have one that works, and I figured it would be worth the share. Attempted Routes #Now some of these may seem foolish as I write after the fact.

Nautobot Environment File

·814 words·4 mins
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

·729 words·4 mins
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.

Using Google Earth for Golf

·1257 words·6 mins
I’m going to diverge a small bit from the straight network automation space that I have blogged about primarily and dive a small bit into the world of using Google Earth to help prepare for your golf game. Upcoming, I’m playing in a Minnesota Golf event at two courses in late August. I’m going to put together a green book for myself and figure this would be a great topic to touch on how I’m going about this activity.

Workstation Troubleshooting 2023

·809 words·4 mins
In my previous post I wrote about a workstation that I was working on building. It took an incredibly long time to get up and into a stable environment. But I have finally accomplished stability (hoping to not jinx it here with the post). I went through a fair bit of troubleshooting to get to this point. Symptom #The symptom that was having instability was that the system would freeze randomly.

Desktop Build 2023

·840 words·4 mins
Here I’m going to dive into what I’m planning to build out for my next desktop here in 2023. Prime Day is nearly upon us, and I’m anticipating (but do not know for sure) that prices on some of the gear that I’m looking for will be available at a good price. I’m also looking to build out a bigger system in order to run some intense VMs up coming.

Nautobot: Get IP Addresses From Nautobot

·1979 words·10 mins
One of Nautobot’s primary functions is to serve as an IPAM solution. Within that realm, the application needs to provide a method to get at IP address data for a device, quickly and easily. In this post I will review three prominent methods to get an IP address from Nautobot. It will demonstrate getting the address via: Nautobot REST API curl Python Requests GoLang HTTP pynautobot Ansible Lookup Nautobot GraphQL API curl Python Requests GoLang HTTP pynautobot Ansible Lookup Each method I will demonstrate how to get the IP address for Loopback0 on the device bre01-edge-01 within the demo instance of Nautobot.

Slack Canvas

·526 words·3 mins
Hot Take: Newly released (at some point anyway) is Slack Canvas, what looks to be a little bit of on demand wiki, collaboration space, and possibly (based on marketing materials) workflow organizer. This came to light as a “pop up” when I went into a Slack window on my mobile. Being a curious person and someone that is willing to try out new things I jumped right in. The Take #Without reading any marketing pages or anything else, I just started to do a few things with it.

Nautobot Remote Validation

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In this post I’m going to dive into a bit more on the Nautobot custom validators. This is a powerful validation tool that will allow for you to write your own validation capability, including in this demonstration on how to complete a validation against a remote API endpoint. The custom validators are a part of the Nautobot App extension capability. This allows for custom code to be written to validate data upon the clean() method being called, which is used in the majority of API calls and form inputs of Nautobot.

Poetry Fix

·387 words·2 mins
The Python Poetry is our go to package management system thus far, you can see that in all of the Python projects that Network to Code open sources, such as Nautobot, pyntc, network-importer, and NTC-Templates. Lately though, I’ve been having some challenges when my HomeBrew updates happen and my system Python gets updated. I’ve been able to recover with the help of the same few pages I land on from my Google searches.

Nautobot Secrets - Hashicorp Vault

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With Nautobot, one of the things that came up was how to work with secrets. Nautobot itself is not the place to maintain secrets, as it is not a vault. There may be some good cryptographic libraries out to handle this, but by its nature, that is not the intent. So Nautobot has written methods to be able to retrieve secrets from proper vault sources and be able to leverage them.

Nautobot Jobs in Jobs Root

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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.

Moving to Hugo

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In this post I dive into more about my migration of the blog site to Hugo static content system. I will dive into primarily the why and how during this post. This also dives into the few changes that I had to make in order to make the change over from a Jekyll site to the Hugo site. Why Migrate? #While I do not have a ton of posts, I do have a few that I like to get out into the wild periodically.

Nautobot IP Provisioning

·1390 words·7 mins
One of the great things about building an enterprise system, is being able to get systems to work cohesively amongst themselves to bring a complete solution. One of the workflows that is often required in a static IP address environment is the need to provide static IP addresses to hosts on a network segment. When using an IPAM (IP Address Management) solution such as Nautobot, the APIs and SDKs/modules made available for use in automation workflows is paramount to having the cohesion to make a seamless IT system.