I am only going to say this once.
This is our third episode for what I have personally termed the ‘NX-OS’ exposed series. The first two have been about programmability. Exploring the exposed interfaces, Object Models, the NX Tool kit and more of the NX-API framework that enables DevOps teams to respond more quickly. [TWTV 176 – Open NX-OS Programmability and TWTV 180 – NX-API Rest/Object Models].
Today’s show dives into the automation piece. That simultaneously higher level conversation covering what an organization really cares about, why IT exists and how we finally brought data center switching into the automate-able value chain.
Network automation is an integral part of the overall infrastructure automation. Yet, it has been largely left out of the DevOps movement.
Automation is central to achieving a truly agile datacenter. DevOps has been the cultural movement working towards the realignment of disparate function involved in the IT value stream. It is the modern, ‘digital,’ equivalent of an optimized manufacturing line.
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Tags: 9k, devops, nexus, NX-OS, Puppet, Puppet Labs, TechWiseTV
Only on TechWiseTV
This is the first in a multi-part series where we cover ‘programmability’ for networking. The idea is to fully review the programming options now available inside the Nexus switches, (3000, 9000). This first episode covers new access with Linux tools, NX-API and more. Further shows will be diving into the details around Object Models and orchestration partners.
The primary point for any of these is to understand how Cisco Open NX-OS extensibility exposes greater programmability and automation capabilities. It is fascinating and full of new learning opportunities. It does not come without a few career questions of course…usually, something along the lines of: do network engineers need to become programmers now too?
Two answers: Yes. It depends.
Networking knowledge and skill should not be undersold here. Programming capabilities should be additive. They are useful in just about any tech career and obviously affecting the networking space. I think it’s foolish to ever quit learning but it does depend on your aspirations, your current level of satisfaction and perhaps how narrowly defined your skill set might be.
Full disclosure: I am not a programmer. I have been learning the fundamentals of python and a few others as I work on this series but I am not hire-able for this skill by any means. But the distinct feeling I get, and the feedback I hear from you guys: its not that hard. You are probably well versed in scripting for various CLI operations…take it up a few notches and work on some of these ‘readable’ languages that will have similar syntax. This will give you the ability to judge the appeal of what we are offering with ACI and other solutions much more credibly…and I guarantee you will find ways to get rid of redundant crap and stupid errors you may be fighting with yourself or your team.
JOIN US AT THE WORKSHOP
Live, interactive, never dull.
September 21, 2015
Programmable networks will forever change the way you manage infrastructure enabling you to dramatically accelerate configuration and deployment of your network, automate time consuming manual tasks, and allocate IT resources far more efficiently. Are you ready for the revolution?
Discover how to create a programmable network as we discuss and demonstrate the NX-API and NX-API REST (Object Model) in detail. Understand how Cisco Open NX-OS extensibility exposes greater programmability and automation capabilities that eliminate costly manual errors.
– You can sign up at the workshop tab when the date gets a bit closer, http://www.techwisetv.com
Nicolas Delecroix in the TechWiseTV Lab
Two great experts on this episode.
Six Key Points: What OPEN means for NX-OS
Shane Corban shares Six Key Points: What OPEN means for NX-OS
Changes made across the software stack to address Extensibility, Openness, Programmability.
- Auto Deployment (Bootstrap and Provisioning)
- Added support for PXE server, operationalize NX-OS software to match an existing server environment
- Extensibility – how we package software
- We did not use to expose much beyond a bash shell
- Now you can install native RPM’s, and third party applications running processes as they would on a Linux server
- Open Interfaces
- We are now adding support to leverage Linux like tools for debugging, configuration and troubleshooting…manipulate those front panel ports as native Linux interfaces within our switch software stack.
- Application Integration (Adaptable SDK)
- Published an SDK, a build environment that you can install on any Linux server, download the build agent, and put your source into that directory structure and build into an RPM for installation and run it natively.
- Build your own custom automation apps, monitoring agents, and have them run natively on our platform
- Programmability Tool Choice
- We have a native Python shell today that has a Native Cisco Library that you can utilize for automation
- NX-API – the ability to embed CLI commands and structured data (JSON, XML) for execution on the switch via HTTP/HTTPS Interface to get back structured data back on show commands.
- Management Tools
- Support for Chef and Puppet
- Agents will be publicly available on the enterprise sites
- Support for Open Stack, Neutron
NX-OS is now more modular, more open, more capable of third party integration providing a wide variety of programmability choices ideal for Dev-Ops environments.
Five case study examples
Nicolas provides five case study examples.
- Checking Software Version
- Using Python script with NXAPI and JSON to pull version numbers
- Python script to query multiple switches to check compliance against a specific version
- VLAN Provisioning
- Checking for proper VLAN provisioning
Special thanks behind the scenes to Rami Rammaha and Mark Jackson
Cisco Nexus 9000 Programmability Guide
Matt Oswalt is a great writer. You should follow his blog: Keeping it Classless. I enjoy his angles on things. Read up on his blog entry: Evolution of Network Programmability, Nexus 9000 NX-API,NX-API Update.
Some Learning Basics:
What do you think still needs to be covered? I would love any thoughts on how the rest of this series should be shaped. Leave your comments below and just to make sure…tag me on twitter. We are diving into Object Models (taping next week) and then some angle with the Orchestration Partners. Case in point: Puppet Labs is making available today a native Puppet NX-OS agent and Cisco Puppet Module.
Let me know!
Tags: ACI, Awesome, Insieme, JSON, Linux, nexus, NX-OS, Open, Programmable, python, RPC, TechWiseTV, XML
Made better with Cisco Collaboration Meetings Rooms (CMR for short) offering a standards based approach. Jabber supports Lync interoperability despite having to work with proprietary Microsoft protocols.
CMR can be deployed on premise, in the cloud, or as a hybrid mix of both. It provides a business quality collaboration experience by combining video, audio and content sharing while juggling all the background normalization steps needed to ensure that meetings run seamlessly for all participants.
Read up further on the benefits and specifics of CMR or check out this short ‘at a glance’ pdf.
Watch this short video backgrounder for more.
Tags: Cisco Jabber, cmr, jabber, lync, Lync Interoperability Telepresence, Microsoft, Techwise TV, TechWiseTV
Talking Intercloud Fabric on TechWiseTV
In middle school in the late 70s I took a test that was supposed to indicate my future career. The suggested careers were given a probability ranking. The top two results, by far were Entertainer at number 1 and Scientist at number 2, with the difference in probability between them almost imperceptible. Every other career was so less probable they barely registered.
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Tags: Cisco, cloud, hybrid, InterCloud, TechWiseTV
Test & Verify. How often is this ‘really’ be done in networking?
After learning more about what can be done here, I really feel like more people should be taking advantage of this.
The idea of building a fully virtualized version of your existing or desired network so you can see how your applications (and the network itself) will act and react in various situations, is like a wonderful dream of ‘never leave the chair’ goodness. This is immensely helpful and cost effective when compared to the amount of equipment historically required.
Nour Abu Sheik for Cisco Modeling Labs
Watch the show: TechWiseTV 172 Cisco Modeling Labs
More information at their cisco.com/go/cml website.
Guest Expert: Nour Abu Sheik
Engineering Expert, Craig Brown, first introduced me to this software/service at Cisco Live Milan…but was stuck in Australia when we taped this…
Simulation vs. Emulation. Different of course. Emulation is a ‘pretender’ whereas ‘simulation’ is full on re-creation. CML is a simulation of the environment that you create so your experience is as realistic as it can be.
Cisco Modeling Labs uses the same IOS code running on your hardware, but built to run in a simulated environment. Using OS images such as IOS, IOS XR, IOS XE, NX-OS, and L2 switching, you can design, build, visualize, and launch a network simulation in a matter of minutes rather than days.
Why do we care?
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Tags: advanced services, CML, simulator, TechWiseTV