Introduction to Ansible Network Automation: A Practical Primer

  • 11h 1m
  • Brendan Choi, Erwin Medina
  • Apress
  • 2023

This book provides a comprehensive learning journey aimed at helping you master Ansible and efficiently automate a range of enterprise network devices, such as routers, switches, firewalls, Wireless LAN Controller (WLC), and Linux servers. Introduction to Ansible Network Automation combines the fundamentals of three books into one, covering basics of Linux administration, Ansible concepts, and Ansible network automation.

Authors Brendan Choi and Erwin Medina have created a structured learning path that starts with the fundamentals and allows you to progressively enhance your skill sets with each chapter. Part I serves as an Ansible primer, guiding you through Linux basics using WSL on Windows 11 and assisting in the setup of your learning environment. Part II covers essential Ansible concepts through practical lab activities involving four Linux servers. In Part III, you will learn how to apply your Linux skills from Part I and the concepts from Part II to real-world scenarios by creating Ansible automation YAML scripts.

What sets this book apart is its unique focus on Ansible and Network Automation, combined with a strong emphasis on understanding Linux. It is specifically designed for novice network automation engineers and students, assuming no prior Linux expertise, and provides first-hand experience starting from scratch. It also offers practical insights by sharing real-life examples of Ansible playbooks derived from production enterprise infrastructure, allowing you to gain an understanding of how Ansible can be effectively applied in real-world enterprise network environments.

Upon completion of this book, you will have developed foundational skills in Ansible network automation and general Linux administration, and will understand how to apply this newly acquired knowledge to real-life scenarios.

What You'll Learn

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of Ansible and its essential concepts for automating enterprise network devices and applying them to real-world scenarios
  • Master the basics of Ansible operations within Linux automation and progress to applying Ansible concepts specifically to network device automation
  • Execute Ansible ad-hoc commands and playbooks for a range of network operational tasks, including configuration management, software and system updates, and upgrades
  • Work with real-life examples of Ansible playbooks derived from actual enterprise infrastructure, gaining practical experience in writing Ansible YAML scripts
  • Acquire the skills to automate network operations using Ansible, streamline network management processes, and replace manual-driven tasks with directives in Ansible playbooks

Who This Book Is For

Network, security, UC and systems engineers, as well as technical leaders, IT managers and network students.

About the Author

Brendan (Byong Chol) Choi is a highly accomplished tech lead at Secure Agility, with over 19 years of hands-on experience in the ICT industry. He is a certified Cisco, VMware, and Fortinet Engineer, and has worked for renowned enterprises such as Cisco Systems, NTT (Dimension Data), Fujitsu, as well as reputable Australian IT integrators like Telstra and Secure Agility. Brendan specializes in optimizing enterprise IT infrastructure management and enterprise business process optimization, utilizing both open and proprietary tools. He is the author of Python Network Automation: Building an Integrated Virtual Lab as well as Introduction to Python Network Automation: The First Journey. Through these publications, Brendan shared his knowledge with the IT community. He has trained over 200 Network and Systems Engineers on Python and Ansible Network automation and enjoys sharing industry-acquired knowledge through social media, blogging, and his YouTube channel. Brendan's current interests revolve around private cloud, enterprise networking, security, virtualization, and automation technologies. His dedication and passion for enterprise infrastructure management are evident in his commitment to continuous learning, knowledge sharing, and contributing to the ICT industry as a whole.

Erwin Medina is an experienced Senior Security and Network Engineer in the ICT industry with over 11 years of experience. He holds certifications in Cisco, Palo Alto, Fortinet, and Juniper technologies. Currently employed at CSIRO, Erwin contributes to the organization's security, network, and system operations and optimization, utilizing both open and proprietary tools. Erwin began his career as a field engineer in telecommunications before transitioning to ICT as a network engineer. Working with diverse networks in customers' production environments, he recognizes the crucial role of automation in simplifying complex network and security challenges. Embracing Ansible as his primary IT tool, Erwin has successfully transitioned away from manual-driven tasks. During his time at Telstra, Erwin had the privilege of being mentored by Brendan for over two years, gaining invaluable experience in leveraging Ansible and Python for enterprise network and security device management. Currently, Erwin applies Ansible in real-production scenarios to drive efficiency and productivity within his organization. He thrives on technical challenges and eagerly adapts to the ever-evolving ICT landscape, actively contributing to his organization's success. Erwin's commitment, expertise, and passion to share his knowledge with others make him a valuable asset in the ICT industry.

In this Book

  • Introduction
  • Is Ansible Good for Network Automation?
  • Shall We Linux? (Part 1: The Linux Command Line)
  • Shall We Linux? (Part 2)
  • Setting Up an Ansible Learning Environment
  • Understanding Data Types and File Formats for Ansible
  • Learning Ansible Basic Concepts I: SSH and Ad Hoc Commands
  • Learning Ansible Basic Concepts II: Ad Hoc Commands – A Beginner’s Guide
  • Learning Ansible Basic Concepts II: Using when, Improving Playbook, and Targeting Nodes
  • Learning Ansible Basic Concepts III: Git, Tags, Managing Files, and Services
  • Learning Ansible Basic Concepts IV: Users, Roles, Host Variables, Templates, and Password Vault
  • Building an Ansible Learning Environment for Network Automation
  • Cisco Router and Switch Configuration with Ansible
  • Network Device Backup Ansible Playbook
  • Ansible Playbook Scheduling with Cron
  • Cisco Router Upgrading Playbook
  • Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Upgrading Playbook
  • Creating User Accounts on Palo Alto and Fortinet Firewalls
  • Creating Security Policy Rules on Palo Alto and Fortinet Firewalls
  • Creating IPSec Tunnels on Palo Alto Firewalls
  • Object Addresses and Object Address Groups Creation Playbook for Palo Alto Firewall
  • Upgrading Palo Alto Firewalls