Ansible for Networking Engineers

Webinar: 4.40 Instructor: 4.62 Materials: 4.48 more …

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Webinar details

This webinar is a practical and interactive look into network automation with Ansible. It will provide several real-world examples for automating network configuration including hands-on demonstrations.

This webinar will explore the use of YAML as a way of describing automation workflows, as well as Jinja2 for building configuration templates on our network devices. These are the building blocks that we'll use to work with tools like Ansible, which we will also be exploring in this webinar.

The case study part of the webinar gives you a step-by-step approach to creating an automated Cisco IOS configuration builder, from data model design (using YAML), configuration templates (using Jinja2) and process automation with Ansible.

The update sessions starting in September 2016 cover Ansible network modules and advanced YAML, Jinja2 and Ansible topics.


The webinar covers these topics:

  • Introduction to Ansible and network configuration templating case study
  • Data models with YAML and JSON
    • Introduction to YAML and JSON including YAML and JSON syntax
    • Simple data types
    • Lists (arrays) and dictionaries (hashes)
    • Complex data types
  • Creating templates with Jinja2
    • Jinja2 basics
    • Traversing complex data types and using loops
    • Variable, macros and includes
    • Using Python methods in Jinja2
    • Jinja2 IP address handling plugins in Ansible
  • Introduction to Ansible
  • Ansible playbooks
  • Advanced Ansible topics:
    • deep dive into Ansible variables
    • Play and task execution and error handling
    • loops
    • included tasks and plays
    • Ansible roles
    • file handling
    • exotic Jinja2 filters included in Ansible
    • dynamic inventory and dynamic hosts and groups
    • Custom plugins and Jinja2 filters
  • Ansible modules for networking devices
    • Executing commands on routers and switches
    • Simple command-based playbooks
    • Retrieving device facts and operational data
    • 'network_cli connection plugin
    • Managing device configurations with Ansible

About the Authors

Ivan Pepelnjak

Ivan Pepelnjak (CCIE#1354 Emeritus) has implemented his first network automation solution in mid-1990s, presented SDN and Network Automation solutions at Interop, Troopers, RIPE and other regional ISP meetings, and delivered numerous on-site SDN and network automation workshops for large enterprises and service providers.

Ivan is the author of several SDN-related books, Hands-On Network Automation workshop, Building Network Automation Solutions online course, highly praised webinars, and dozens of network automation and SDN-related technical articles published on his blog.

More about Ivan Pepelnjak

Matt Oswalt

Matt Oswalt (@mierdin) is an all-around technology nerd, currently focusing on networking, open source, and everything in between. He is at his happiest in front of a keyboard, next to a brewing kettle, or wielding his silo-smashing sledgehammer. He deploys networking technologies around the world, and likes to blog about his experiences when he comes up for air.

Happy Campers

About the webinar

I cannot think of a reason why a network engineer would not subscribe to these webinars, unless of course he does not want to grow.

Juan J Martinez
Good session, though it strikes me that I'm going to have to watch it again for the details to sink in.
Mark Greenlaw
It helps you to get an faststart with ansible and network "auto" configuration. It is a very good starting point to understand the basic mechanics of ansible
Basile Bluntschli
Great introduction to network automation
Nitya Ganesan
I liked the focus on real live examples, sufficient time to get through the topics and the rather limited amount of information, that was covered by the webinar.
Because of my really basic about Ansible and almost zero knowledge about Yaml, which will be covered later, it was a little bit challenging to 100% follow all the setup. Perhaps this is always a question, what to cover first - what we can achieve or details of the technology background.
Alexander Pickar
After a slightly wobbly start, this webinar series has been well structured like all your material is. Important in this case has been making it revelant to networking. Keep it up :-)
Steve Day
It's a good starting point to trigger the techie-bone and start trying out with examples
Kurt Wauters
Really good kick-start for Ansible from networking point of view.
Jaakko Rautanen
worth every second of my time, especially after being presented some of the ansible quirks and best practices that I already had been trying to wrap my head around for hours
Unknown User
It gave you a complete foundation and skills to get started automating your network
Reynold Tabuena

About the instructor

Matt has provided a very good webinar that ties together all the aspects of Network Automation in a way that is easy to understand. I walked away from this session with a much clearer understanding of what I can do with network automation.
Ed Weadon
Ivan is the man, period.
Juan J Martinez

About the materials

Ed Weadon
Good to get concrete examples and not just buzzwords that is currently overflooding the market with SDH NFV etc.
peter larsson
I would like to see more generic API example, such as integrating to ODL and such.
Srinivas Ram
not sure whether you'd like to encourage that behavior, but I'd like a bulk download helper for offline viewing of the videos.
Unknown User
It nice to have some more real world use case
Reynold Tabuena


Great webinar today! Looking forward to more content like this.
I agree with the question @ioshints shared, a blog post going over your toolset would be awesome
@Mierdin I totally lucked out..went to Ivan's site 2 hours ago and saw your thing was today!

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