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Knox Hutchinson
Nugget trainer since 2018
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Automating Networks with Ansible FAQs: Cost, Training, Value

What is network automation and how does it work?

Network automation is a broad term that applies to many different processes that relate to configuration, management, provisioning, and operation of network devices, systems or applications done automatically through code. Network automation is largely made possible with scripting, programming and specialized tools which perform repetitive tasks, like device configuration, traffic monitoring, and troubleshooting. The aim of network automation is to avoid and prevent manual intervention as much as possible.

What is a network automation tool and what are the best ones?

A network automation tool is software that streamlines and automates tasks related to configuring, managing or operating network devices and systems. Network automation tools are sometimes 'homegrown' apps that perform checks and updates particular to a certain network. Or they can be commercially available applications and suites of tools that have scripting, orchestration and API integration features. Ansible, Puppet, Chef, and Terraform are some of the best network automation tools.

What are some of the different types of network automation?

The different types of network automation often refer to the different types of tasks necessary for maintaining a network. One type is configuration automation, which ensures consistency in the configuration of devices like routers and switches. Another type is provisioning automation, which enables faster deployment and better scalability by streamlining the provisioning of services like VLANs or VPNs. Another type is monitoring automation which automatically observes network performance and health alerts.

What makes Ansible especially good at network automation?

Ansible is especially good for network automation thanks to its simplicity, agentless architecture, and extensive library of pre-built modules for specific network devices. Ansible uses SSH to communicate with devices, which is how it eliminates the need for installing agents. YAML is the name of Ansible's declarative language, and it's liked by the network automation and engineering community for its easy-to-understand syntax and how well it facilitates config management across diverse environments.

Is this network automation course associated with any certifications?

No, this course isn't designed with any industry certifications in mind. Rather than focus on exam objectives or test preparation, this course is more interested in providing you with real-world experience and hands-on practice with provisioning network resources, writing good YAML playbooks, and navigating the modules for infrastructure management.
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