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Network Automation with Ansible by Jason Edelman

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Chapter 3. Why Ansible for Network Automation?

We’ve taken a brief look at what Ansible is and also some of the benefits of network automation, but why should Ansible be used for network automation?

In full transparency, many of the reasons already stated are what make Ansible such as great platform for automating application deployments. However, we’ll take this a step further now, getting even more focused on networking, and continue to outline a few other key points to be aware of.

Agentless

The importance of an agentless architecture cannot be stressed enough when it comes to network automation, especially as it pertains to automating existing devices. If we take a look at all devices currently installed at various parts of the network, from the DMZ and campus, to the branch and data center, the lion’s share of devices do NOT have a modern device API. While having an API makes things so much simpler from an automation perspective, an agentless platform like Ansible makes it possible to automate and manage those legacy (traditional) devices, for example, CLI-based devices, making it a tool that can be used in any network environment.

Note

If CLI-only devices are integrated with Ansible, the mechanisms as to how the devices are accessed for read-only and read-write operations occur through protocols such as telnet, SSH, and SNMP.

As standalone network devices like routers, switches, and firewalls continue to add support for APIs, SDN solutions are also emerging. The one common ...

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