“Automation Lab” Project

Automation Lab Project

This time last year, I knew nothing about GIT, GITHub, BitBucket, Ansible or Vagrant and my Linux foo skills were a bit low on the ground. Now, after spending a bit more time reading/testing and practicing with some “on the job skills” every day, I know a little bit more than I did.

Generally I use GNS3 to create Labs and use a combination of VMs/Cisco IOS images/Real kit to lab things up. With my JNCIS-SEC exam coming up, I want to create some Labs using a combination of Real Kit and some Juniper Olive Images.

Problems faced when I created labs in the past:

  • Accommodating kit at home is costly to run and takes up a lot of room!
2015 CCNP Rack
My 2015 CCNP Rack
  • Storing my configurations/projects can become a pain (Several GNS3 Projects scattered)
  • Sometimes I’ll make changes to configurations, close down then forget what I’ve changed
  • Creating similar configurations for 10 routers etc can be a real drag (I don’t want to pay for Cisco VIRL yet) and there doesn’t seem to be a VIRL equivilent for Juniper
  • Building a Linux VM (DNS Services, Endpoints, Web Servers) for use in the lab involves downloading the ISO and installing everything

What goals do I want to achieve here:

  • Solve a few of the “problems” mentioned above using DevOps tools and general network tools
  • Create a GIT repository for Network Scripts
  • Build a Vagrant Box containing the DevOps tools
  • Get to grips with Netmiko and Python to perform tasks on a network
  • Build up a framework to create network templates using Jinja2 template language
  • Explore the features of using Ansible to orchestrate changes to a router (Juniper or Cisco)
  • Have a method of saving configurations and viewing any changes that have been made (Diffs)

What is the project exactly?

At the moment It’s just a set of goals that I want to achieve, to help me become a better network engineer and aid myself with getting my JNCIS-SEC exam. I’ve already started putting some work into a BitBucket private repo that has been going on for the past 6 months and once that’s in better shape I’ll get it released.

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