Monday, December 5, 2022
HomeCloud ComputingTroubles Automating Your Cisco EVPN Cloth? DevNet Has Your Again!

Troubles Automating Your Cisco EVPN Cloth? DevNet Has Your Again!


I’ve been supporting datacenter community automation and programmability from inside DevNet for some time now, and have obtained a number of thanks and appreciation for the wealth of knowledge DevNet provides round ACI programmability. Nevertheless I’m usually requested, “when will we now have one thing for purchasers who selected to make use of Nexus switches in NXOS mode and Datacenter Community Supervisor (DCNM) as a controller?” To be trustworthy, I’ve needed to dodge the query a bit. Not as a result of I didn’t assume that it was essential, however there was numerous work that needed to be completed earlier than labs might be launched.  Now, I can confidently face the query of “wen DCNM?” As a result of now the reply is “now.”

DCNM sandbox

In direction of the tip of final 12 months, we launched a DCNM sandbox inside the DevNet Sandbox ecosystem.  This sandbox features a totally useful occasion of DCNM 11.5(1), together with a (6) node N9Kv topology (and a single CSR1000v performing as an “exterior community”) backed by CML.  A lot of the bottom configuration inside this topology was preconfigured, together with cloth names and attributes. This enables builders to give attention to the end result of their API calls, Ansible playbooks, or Terraform plans – moderately than the humdrum of constructing a material from scratch with every sandbox reservation.

DCNM sandbox

New Studying Labs

The sandbox, nonetheless, isn’t sufficient. We want studying labs to clarify the capabilities of DCNM, the right way to use the APIs inside it, and the right way to leverage instruments (like Ansible and Terraform) to carry out frequent duties utilizing DCNM as a centralized controller. Very like the sandbox, numerous work needed to be completed to make sure that the educational lab modules and supplier behaved the best way that we anticipated. After many hours spent working by way of points (and the PRs to go along with them) every thing aligned to begin working by way of the labs themselves. I feel you’ll discover they’re well worth the wait. Your complete set of labs is contained inside a Introduction to DCNM Programmability studying monitor. There you’ll discover three modules overlaying three completely different applied sciences:

  • Introduction to DCNM Programmability
  • Introduction to Ansible with DCNM
  • Introduction to Terraform with DCNM

Introduction to DCNM Programmability

DCNM learning lab 1

The Introduction to DCNM Programmability module focuses on the fundamentals of DCNM and the way the platform operates.  It familiarizes the person with the two-stage commit course of, the right way to navigate the online UI to confirm that the automation labored, after which introduces the API tooling inside DCNM. You’ll be taught in regards to the API software (which inspects API calls and their payloads from UI interactions) and interrogating the DCNM API utilizing a pre-built Postman assortment hosted inside DevNet’s public workspace.  For these simply turning into aware of the platform, this module is efficacious in your studying journey.

Introduction to Ansible with DCNM

DCNM learning lab 2

The Introduction to Ansible with DCNM module expands on the API data you acquired within the first module, by evaluating the duties completed manually by way of uncooked API calls from Postman (or from UI interactions) and locations them in an Ansible playbook utilizing the DCNM modules.  The educational module additionally walks by way of debugging and understanding when and why sure errors are thrown in the course of the operating of an Ansible playbook. It contains when sure circumstances aren’t met, or timeouts throughout activity runs are set too brief for the motion to return a profitable code.  Whereas not an entire walkthrough of all Ansible actions inside DCNM, it serves as a powerful start line to change into acquainted with how DCNM and Ansible work together.

Introduction to Terraform with DCNM

DCNM learning lab 3

Lastly, the Introduction to Terraform with DCNM module covers the usage of Terraform with DCNM.  In a lot the identical vogue, the person labs align straight with the duties within the earlier modules.  In some situations, Terraform is stretched exterior of its meant use-case to interrogate APIs straight utilizing the dcnm_rest useful resource.  In these situations, it’s famous that this isn’t the best utilization of Terraform, however that the train gives precious data (e.g., round utilization of information as reference payloads).  The educational module concludes with an train in how Terraform handles long-lived connections (e.g., including extra units to DCNM’s stock), and what a practitioner ought to do to make sure these actions are profitable.

You’re Not Alone!

Along with the guided studying monitor and the prebuilt Postman assortment, all code used to finish the educational monitor is offered in a pattern code repository inside the Cisco DevNet Github group.  This code can be utilized both with the educational tracks or individually as a part of your individual desired studying and exploration path.  Moreover, for the reason that performance supplied by the Ansible modules and Terraform Suppliers is consistently altering, if there are any modifications that should be made – you’ll be able to fork the repository and submit a pull request.  What higher strategy to enhance your NetDevOps data than following developer workflows to assist contribute to upstream supply!

I hope that you’ve as a lot enjoyable working by way of this studying monitor as I had placing it collectively.  As at all times, you probably have any feedback, questions, or have concepts on how we will enhance this studying monitor – please attain out to me.  Please depart me a Remark within the area under, or attain out to me on Twitter. I might love to begin a dialog.


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