DENOG12 Netbox workshop summary

One week ago DENOG12 took place virtually as an awesome venueless conference and I had the pleasure to hold a workshop about netbox and how to use it for automation. As promised here are the notes we collected while the workshop and projects that emerged since. This is provided as-is and as I don’t have used most of the external tools/scripts/reports/etc. linked below 🙂

Deployment

I forked the officiall netbox-docker GIT repository to set up netbox as a number of Docker containers and made some small changes, to run the PostgreSQL DB outside of Docker and restarte the container on Docker restarts / system reboots.

As the time of this writing this repo is configured for netbox version 2.9.8.

Device Types

The community Device Type library

Within the netbox-community organization on Github you can find the semi-official community Netbox Device Type library where a lot of Device Types are present and ready to be imported into your Netbox. Be aware that you have to create the Manufacturer first before you can import Device Types for that manufacturer. If you happen to create Device Types for devices which are no present in the library please open a PR – sharing is caring 🙂

Importing multiple Device Types at once

Someone mentioned this script/repository which offers the possibility to import multiple Device Types at once. (I didn’t test it yet :))

Reports and Scripts

This repository  hold a bunch of example Netbox Reports for various things within Netbox (circuits, Cabling, IPs/DNS, VMs, etc.) as well as Netbox Scripts to create a VM as well as a geolocator for a site.

My own netbox-scripts repository contains a script to populate a Freifunk Hochstift Backbone POP from one script.

This (archived) repository holds a bunch for tools to import/sync stuff into/with netbox.

Wikimedia seems to use Netbox, too and has open sourced some tooling including a zone file generator.

Other

Johannes wrote an article about adding own buttons within Netbox to open an SSH session into a router.

If you want to extent the authentication options of your Netbox there is a Plugin for SSO using SAML2.

A thread from the Google Group on setting custom fields via the API.

Deploying a Freifunk Hochstift backbone POP with Netbox Scripts

Some weeks ago Network to Code held the first (virtual) Netbox Day (YouTube playlist, Slides repo on github). John Anderson gave a great NetBox Extensibility Overview and introduced me to Netbox Scripts (Video, Slide deck, Slide 28) which allow to add custom Python code to add own procedures to netbox. I was hooked. About three to four hours of fiddling, digging through the docs, and some hundred lines of Python later I had put together a procedure to provision a complete Freifunk Hochstift Backbone POP within Netbox according to our design. I’m going to share my proof of concept code here and  walk you through the key parts of the script.

Netbox scripts provide a great and really simple interface to codify procedures and design principles which apply to your infrastructure and fire up complex network setups within netbox by just entering a set of config parameters in a form like the following and a click of one button.

Provision Backbone POP form
Provision Backbone POP form

Continue reading Deploying a Freifunk Hochstift backbone POP with Netbox Scripts

FrOSCon 13 Network Track – Videos and Slides

A month ago the 13th Free and Open Source Software Conference (FrOSCon) took place in St. Augustin, Germany.  At this years event I organized a two day Network Track designed for a broad audience of Linux folks, system administrators and developers to answer questions about networking topics they were afraid to ask or didn’t realize they wanted or had to know! As the lines between system engineering and network engineering keep on blurring it’s getting more and more important to broaden the focus in both worlds, keywords being things like SDN, IP-Fabric, Segment Routing etc. here.

The track started with a lecture about networking basics and over both days advanced to technically more sophisticated topics following a red line.

On Saturday the focus was on Layer 2 and Layer 3 fundamentals (Ethernet switching and routing), dynamic routing protocols as well as the Linux packet-filter. Sundays track started gently with VLANs, Bonding and Bridging and advanced to more sophisticated topics like policy-based routing, VRFs, Open vSwitch, Segment Routing and Software Defined Networking. The track concluded with an overview about Best Current Operational Practices and a Q&A sessions.

All these talks are – thanks to the nice folks at CCC-VOC – available on Video at media.ccc.de (german audio) as are the slides (english):

Day 1

Day 2

  • Adv. topics in Layer2/3 – Light and dark magic with the Linux network stack  (Video) (Slides)
  • Segment Routing  (Video) (Slides)
  • Open vSwitch – The switch within your machine  (Video) (Slides)
  • Best Current Opertional Practices – Dos, Don’ts and lessons learned
    (Video) (Slides)
  • Building your own SDN – The penguin orchestrates the network  (Video) (Slides)
  • Grand Q&A  (Video)

GulaschProgrammierNacht 2018 – Awesome talks, fiber cuts and a lot of fun

As every year some weeks after the EasterHegg, the GulaschProgrammierNacht (GPN18) took place at  Hochschule für Gestaltung (HFG) and Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (ZKM) in Karlsruhe. It’s a four day event with a lot of lectures, workshops, Gulasch, a lounge and other amazing things; like any chaos event. As usual the C3VOC did an amazing job streaming and recording (nearly) all sessions!

CC-BY 4.0 by Flo Köhler

 

Awesome talks

The GPN had a huge programm with so many technical, cultural, social, … sessions. I would like to especially highlight Alles was ihr schon immer über Glasfasern wissen wolltet (de) by Marc & MomoModerne Kommandozeilen-Werkzeuge (de) Standards – Gut, dass so Viele zur Auswahl stehen (de) by Martin as well as One Brain, One Keyboard, One Editor (en) by Miro.

The network

At the NOC – as always – we had some fun with shiny hardware and running a 4,5 day conference ISP for fun and Tschunk. This year Juniper and Arista provided some nice boxes which made up the core of the GPN network. An Arista DCS-7280SR was the core and border router and connected the GPN18 to the world with 120Gbit/s, a Juniper QFX5100 distributed all that bandwidth within the building, which appeared to be a setup we might want to adopt for future GPNs. As it turns out Aristas Cisco-like CLI is not quite cisco, but better 🙂

As it happens, not everything went after plan and we have a major downtime in the middle of the night due to a fiber cut and a misconfiguration coming together – Murphy must have been at the GPN, too. We had built a 2x40Gb/s LAG with two redundant paths from core to distribution, but one interfaces was in 4x10G mode instead of 1x40G and therefor not part ofthe LAG (so check your ports kids!) and one fiber patch of the active path was taped to the wall and broken by accident. Luckily it was in the middle of the night.