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Hank Preston and I presented at Network Field Day 23 to a network engineer audience. This gave me a chance to share my personal journey from network engineer to automation evangelist, and how Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) drew me deeper into automation. I then demoed some of NSO’s basic features on the CLI, showing how a network engineer could get started without having to learn any other coding skills yet. By watching the overview video (below), you will get a better idea of what Cisco NSO is and why it is relevant to network engineers.

NSO network field day

Using Cisco NSO in the DevNet Sandbox

Hank shared how he is using Cisco NSO in the DevNet Sandbox team to manage a variety of network devices and other infrastructure components. He gave a live demo in his pre-production environment, creating a new service instance which provisioned configuration across a number of devices.

NSO network field day

His service behind the scenes used Python code and Yang to enforce his network standards automatically, so an engineer consuming his service from another team would only have to provide a few basic inputs and Cisco NSO would handle all the rest. Hank’s demo showcases some of Cisco NSO’s more advanced features, and shows the sky is the limit in terms of what the product can accomplish after you learn the basics. Here’s Hank’s video:

NSO network field day

The session was lively and interactive, including questions about how Cisco NSO compares to Ansible and how does NSO handle configuration rollbacks. The panelists asking the questions represented a variety of engineers from different backgrounds not from Cisco.

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