THe Validator - Validating Office Configurations with Ansible Tower

 

This talk will focus on using Ansible Tower to ensure remote offices are up, ready and in a good state as well as how to begin the cultural change from heroics to compliance.

Indeed is a massively growing company that has opened more than 20 offices in the past few years. Since networking is the most critical piece of technology required for a modern office to function, opening so many offices has placed a great burden on the network team to ensure that network equipment is installed properly.

During the past few years worth of office builds, every network engineer performed custom checks to ensure the network was ready. The problem has been that each engineer’s checks were unique, and some team members did not find misconfigurations or errors. This resulted in delayed productivity and lost revenue as new employees were unable to work on the first day that an office opened. Non-standard configuration caused the network engineering team to work long into the evenings and weekends trying to ensure good network connectivity at a new office. 

This model of extra man hours and possible mistakes was not sustainable. The team needed an automated and repeated way to validate office network configurations, and an engineer on the team created the Office Validator. 

This Ansible Tower project checks all aspects of an office network including routers, switches, firewalls and VPN devices to ensure a standard configuration. The end result of the play is a beautiful human readable report that can be attached to a ticketing system to prove that an office is up and ready! This is especially helpful for reassuring managers that a network is ready or for managers to justify obtaining extra assistance if the office build is falling behind schedule. We also now have the project scheduled in Ansible Tower to run daily to identify new problems.

We chose to put this project in Ansible Tower for the ease in scheduling, and because it allows for each engineer to quickly click a rocket ship to run a validation when a site experiences a power outage or is reporting network issues. This project has played a role in promoting a cultural change from heroics to compliance, and we know that our journey is just now beginning.

Slides here

Presenters:

 

Sarah Tovar, Indeed

 

Susan Calland, Indeed