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 🙂
As the time of this writing this repo is configured for netbox version 2.9.8.
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.
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.
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):
Networking Basics – From Etherhet to IP (Video) (Slides)
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.