Automation and Orchestration
From Next-Generation Data Center
The automation and orchestration topics are usually discussed as an afterthought, but we’ll start with them because they are one of the most crucial aspects of a successful data center deployment.
We'll figure out what our single source of truth is, what data storage mechanism to use, and how to use the network and services state to provision infrastructure and services, and validate network operations. We'll also discuss various network automation tools, and select the best one for the job that needs to be done.
The guest speakers in this module include:
Thomas Wacker (UBS AG) described how UBS embraces automation for the currently ongoing data center network rebuild. He started with prerequisites and key objectives, laid out the architecture, showcased the toolchain UBS was using at that time, and explained the phases of build, test, documentation and ongoing operations.
In the conclusion, he detailed the benefits of UBS approach, their immediate goals, and his view on how automation will keep changing the networking industry.
Elisa Jasinska (Bigwave IT) did a great overview on how to approach your automation and orchestration strategy in a datacenter environment in Autumn 2016 session. She described the separation of provisioning tasks from orchestration or ongoing management, and provided examples and tools to cope with each of them.
If you’re new to network automation these webinars will give you a good foundation:
This content is a must-see if you're not familiar with network automation systems and tools:
- Network Automation and Orchestration Systems from Autumn 2016 session (~1 hour 30 minutes)
- Network Automation Tools webinar (2 hours).
Additional recommended materials
If you want to know more about network automation and SDN, and how you can use then in data center environments, do watch these webinars:
- SDN Architectures and Deployment Considerations (2 hours)
- SDN Use Cases (the Data Center Fabrics section - ~1 hour)
- Using Ansible, YAML and Jinja2 (~10 hours - watch the YAML, Jinja2 and basic Ansible sections)
These Software Gone Wild episodes focus on open-source tools (each one is ~1 hour long):
- NAPALM: Integrating Ansible with network devices
- Napalm update (October 2016)
- Network automation tools
- Open-Source Network Engineer Toolbox
- More open-source network management tools
- Distributed on-demand network testing
I would recommend listening to the practical aspects of data center network automation covered in these podcasts:
- Schprokits with Jeremy Schulman (even though the tool never got anywhere, it’s worth listening to due to the blast radius discussion)
- Network Automation at Spotify
Finally, you’ll enjoy watching the NAPALM and network automation presentation @ NANOG64 (40 minutes)
If you still have some time left, do listen to these podcasts:
- Test-Driven Network Development
- Use nProbe and ELK Stack to build a Netflow solution
- Model-driven networking
Recordings of live sessions
Starting with Data Center Network Automation (spring 2017)
- Starting with Data Center Network Automation (PDF)
- Starting with Data Center Network Automation
- Discussion and Questions