Guest Speakers

From Building Network Automation Solutions

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At a Glance

  • High-intensity interactive online course;
  • Jump-start your network automation career;
  • Hands-on experience working on a solution to your own problem;
  • 6 week course spread across ~2 months;
  • Live discussion and guest speaker sessions;
  • Design and coding assignments and group work;
  • Final course completion certificate.

One of the highlights of the Building Network Automation Solutions course are the guest speakers: industry experts talking about emerging technologies, use cases, or their deployment and operational experiences.

The guest speakers in Winter 2017 and Autumn 2017 course include:

Getting Started

Patrick Ogenstad, the guest speaker in the introductory session, will talk about his journey to network automation, what got him started as well as key takeaways and lessons learned along the way.

More about Patrick

Previous guest speakers

In January 2017 Elisa Jasinska (Bigwave IT) gave an overview on how to approach your automation and orchestration strategy. She described how you could:

  • Split your automation challenge into numerous small automation services;
  • Decompose each automation service into smaller components, and identify common components that could be reused across many services;
  • Design your network automation systems;
  • Create a single source of truth for your automation solution;
  • Set up data collection and monitoring systems;
  • Integrate individual services into an orchestration solution.

More about Elisa Jasinska

Easy Wins

Network automation is becoming more widely, if grudgingly accepted. However, this acceptance has not spread much beyond initial configuration, and there are genuine reasons why automation isn't easy to adopt. With ideas such as BGP unnumbered, the domain of network configuration can be significantly simplified. But what about the life of a network operator after the initial configuration ? How do we automate validation and troubleshooting ?

Dinesh Dutt, the guest speaker in September 2017 course, will explain why we need new tools to supplant existing network troubleshooting tools, and describe the new technologies and tools being developed. Finally, we'll delve deep into NetQ, the tool Dinesh has been working on.

More about Dinesh Dutt

Previous guest speakers

Scott Lowe started his transition from an infrastructure engineer focused on storage and virtualization into full-stack engineer familiar with open-source software in 2012. He started by exploring the intricacies of Git and GitHub and continued the journey by researching the capabilities of Open vSwitch, LibVirt, etcd,Terraform, Vagrant/VirtualBox, Docker and Ansible.

In spring 2017 course he focused on lessons learned while using Git/GitHub. We also spent a significant amount of time talking about his journey toward becoming an open-source-aware full-stack engineer.

More about Scott Lowe

Data Models

David Barroso (the author of SDN Internet Router, co-author of NAPALM, and author of YANG and OpenConfig support in NAPALM) will talk about OpenConfig support in NAPALM and demonstrate how you can use YANG data models to modify device configurations and get structured operational data in a multi-vendor environment.

More about David

Previous guest speakers

In spring 2017 course Marcel Wiget introduced OpenConfig and explained how you can use it for configuration and telemetry. He concluded the presentation with with practical examples demonstrating the capabilities of Ansible networking modules in combination with OpenConfig/YANG to provision Juniper Networks routers and switches.

More about Marcel

Changing Network Configurations or State

Network automation is great, but it can't happen unless you have some way to model what your network should look like. NetBox, one of the few open-source tools focused on networking engineers' needs was developed to function as the "source of truth" for a network, covering all aspects of IP address and infrastructure management. In his presentation Jeremy Stretch will explain what drove him to create a new IPAM/DCIM tool in the first place, the challenges he encountered in defining the data models, and how the API can be used to drive network automation.

More about Jeremy Stretch

Previous guest speakers

David Barroso, the author of NAPALM and SDN Internet Router, described how you can use NAPALM to create a vendor-independent network automation solution in spring 2017 course. His presentation included these topics:

  • The challenges of working with vendor automation libraries and data models;
  • Abstracting vendor API with NAPALM;
  • Abstracting vendor configuration syntax with Jinja2 templates;
  • Simplifying the configuration management workflow with NAPALM;
  • Data-driven configurations
  • Using database backend with Ansible and NAPALM;
  • Simplifying network operations by abstracting sites and services.

More about David Barroso

Validation, Error Handling and Unit Tests

The attendees of spring 2017 session wanted to get more details about the Continuous Integration pipeline Pete Lumbis set up with GitLab and Vagrant, and he agreed to come back and do a deep dive into CI with GitLab in autumn 2017 course.

Previous guest speakers

In March 2017 Pete Lumbis explained how you can use the software concept of automated testing to bring a faster rate of change with a greater degree of success. He described the tools required to make automated testing a reality, and how automated testing can be easily folded into a team-wide change management system.

More about Pete Lumbis

Putting It All Together

Thomas Wacker (UBS AG) will describe how UBS embraces automation for the currently ongoing data center network rebuild. He will start with prerequisites and key objectives, lay out the architecture, showcase the toolchain in use today, and explain the phases of build, test, documentation and ongoing operations.

In the conclusion, he’ll go through the benefits of UBS approach, the next immediate goals, and how automation will keep changing the networking industry.

More about Thomas Wacker

Previous guest speakers

Ryan Heffernan and Mat Wood (both from Facebook) will be discussing lessons learned from automating an enterprise network environment within a web-scale software company.

More about Ryan

More about Mat