As the producer of Cisco’s Snack Minute video series, I collaborate with the industry’s leading minds to present a weekly 10-minute exploration of foundational learning, coding, APIs, and some exciting projects we are working on. In Episode 112, Jason Belk, Senior Technical Advocate, discusses the Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) and the new “Building Your First NSO Action Package” tutorial. The Snack Minute series reflects Cisco’s commitment to ongoing education and keeping pace with rapid technological shifts. For more bite-sized learning experiences, visit our Snack Minute Playlist.

Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) is a cornerstone in the network orchestration industry, providing automation across traditional and virtualized networks. One of its lesser known features are NSO Actions, which allows for the execution of custom code when a package is introduced to NSO.

Understanding Cisco NSO Actions: Automation and Beyond

NSO Actions permit users to execute specific code, seamlessly integrating with NSO’s data model. They’re notably effective for quick operational state verification and initiating robust API calls to various platforms, such as can efficiently retrieve case numbers or change requests from platforms like ServiceNow or allocating IP addresses from your IP Address Management system. In our recent Snack Minute Episode 112, Jason Belk, Senior Technical Advocate, sheds light on how NSO Actions can be used with an open source library called selftest to verify the state of operational data after NSO makes some configuration changes. You can try out the demo yourself in the DevNet sandbox with the code available online.

Your Guide to Implementing NSO Actions

  • Modeling: Begin by shaping the action in a YANG model, specifying input parameters, and determining expected outputs.
  • Implementation: Develop the core logic using either Python or Java.
  • Registration: Ensure smooth integration with NSO, often updating the related service or package. (This is optional, though necessary in the selftest example)
  • Invocation: The action is ready for use through NSO’s interfaces upon successful registration.

Hands-On Experience with NSO Actions on Cisco U.

Get a practical grasp of NSO Actions through the self-paced online tutorial on Cisco U. titled “Building Your First NSO Action Package.” All it takes is creating a free Cisco U. account.

The tutorial covers:

  • Understanding the concept behind an NSO action.
  • Analyzing real-world NSO action examples.
  • Navigating package loading and action applications.
  • Tweaking your custom NSO action.

Begin Now: Access the Tutorial Here

Cisco NSO Actions: Changing the Face of Network Automation

Integrating NSO Actions into the Cisco NSO platform offers more capabilities, extending its reach and providing new solutions for network challenges. Stay updated and enhance your networking knowledge. Kickstart your journey with the “Building Your First NSO Action Package” tutorial today!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What exactly are NSO Actions?

NSO Actions enable the execution of custom code sequences when a package is integrated into Cisco NSO, enhancing its features.

Why opt for NSO Actions in network automation?

NSO Actions add to the Cisco NSO platform’s capabilities, opening up additional avenues for addressing network-specific challenges, such as integrating in service verification or talking to an outside API (such as an IP Address Management system).

How can I learn more about NSO Actions?

The self-paced online tutorial on Cisco U. offers a detailed walkthrough on creating your first NSO Action package and it is covered in the advanced Python Course that is available on Cisco U.

Discover More with Snack Minute Episode 112. Watch now!

Read next: DevNet Certifications – How To Prepare for the Service Provider Automation and Programmability Exam

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Julio Fernandez

Senior Manager for Digital Strategy

Cisco Learning and Certifications