Recent posts

Why Automate?

November 27, 2016 | 1 minute read

As my collection of automation posts continues to grow, now is a good time to discuss why you should use automation. The two automation related comments/questions and responses which I’ve found most interesting to date are: Why should I use automation, aren’t I just going to automate myself out of a job? No! Automation helps you get things ...

Ansible Playbook Structure

November 27, 2016 | 5 minute read

Update: If you find this article useful, I suggest reading the Anatomy of an Ansible Playbook post as well. Recently I posted about how it can be easy to get lost in the sea of options when it comes to having Ansible control your network gear. The next challenge you may face is figuring out how to structure your playbooks. For example, you can...

Guide: Building a Self-Contained Ansible & GNS3 Lab

November 23, 2016 | 9 minute read

My collection of Ansible posts is steadily rising, so I thought it would be a good idea to write a post on how you can connect an Ansible VM into GNS3 so that you can practice your automation skills in a non-production environment. While I am using VMware Wrokstation for this post, the process is very similar for VMWare Player and VirtualBox. ...

Writing your own API, Part 3

November 21, 2016 | 9 minute read

In my previous post I covered how to to download, install and test TextFSM. In this post I’ll demonstrate how to write your own template files so that you can create (and hopefully contribute!) them if a suitable one does not already exist. It is worth mention that the examples in this post are extremely basic. I’ve done it this way on purpose ...

Writing your own API, Part 2

November 21, 2016 | 2 minute read

As I mentioned in my previous post, NTC-Ansible uses TextFSM templates to allow you to convert your CLI outputs to JSON and then access the data in an API-like fashion. In this post I’ll cover how to run TextFSM templates against CLI outputs. Downloading TextFSM To get started, download the latest version of TextFSM using the ‘git clone’ comm...