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  • 1.
    Borgenstrand, Markus
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information Systems and Technology.
    Network automation – the power of Ansible2018Independent thesis Basic level (university diploma), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This report discusses network automation primarily with Ansible. Ansible is a software from Red Hat that can be used for network automation. The report also goes through YAML which is a standardized way of exchanging data, Jinja2 that is a templating language, Python as well as the security with Ansible. The report also goes through why network automation is needed as well as how much time might be saved with Ansible. Ansible ships with modules for Cisco IOS such as ios_config and ios_command and for Cisco ASA asa_config, asa_command and asa_acl as well as many other modules for Arista, Juniper and for other vendors. Ansible can use new APIs by creating new modules for handling that particular API, which means that the only change needed in the playbooks is to change the module name. Ansible can handle NETCONF API using the netconf_config module or various Juniper modules. Ansible is used in this report to perform certain tasks such as to adding VLAN's, close ports on ASA's, audit network devices configuration as well as to create network diagram using the information from CDP. Ansible can be made as secure as manually doing the tasks except that Ansible can do it faster and more consistently.  For connecting to normal Linux servers Ansible uses OpenSSH which is a default SSH client on most Linux systems and for connecting to network devices it uses Paramiko. The security in Ansible depends on SSH and may or may not have passwords stored locally, Ansible can be as secure as the administrator wants it to be such as using RSA key-pair to authenticate, using vault encrypted credentials or asking the administrator about which username and password to use. Using Ansible network automation can save time, the amount saved depends on what is being done, how many devices it is doing it on as well as how the playbook is written.

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