Red Hat Ansible Network Automation

Enabling next generation network operations

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SIMPLE. POWERFUL. AGENTLESS.

First, server infrastructure. Now, network infrastructure. The benefits of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform can be extended to physical networks, software-defined networks, and cloud-based networks. Ansible Automation Platform is a single, flexible automation technology that can be used across diverse network devices and other IT domains, making it easy to automate entire network and IT processes.

Switches, routers, load balancers, firewalls, etc.

You have loads of existing networking gear. Ansible can help. Leverage the existing network CLI commands you know and love to get automating quickly across a wide range of networking platforms.

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Top-level controller management

Software Defined Network (SDN) controllers can manage specific networking platforms, but what if you have multiple SDN platforms? Ansible can “manage the managers” and provide top-level automation for many purpose-built software-based controllers.

Multicloud illustration

Managing a network involves an ecosystem of tools. Automate and integrate inventory systems, IP Address Management (IPAM) tools, GitHub repositories, ServiceNow and other “source of truth” solutions for network devices. Retrieve and store device configuration and operational states and push trusted configurations stored in these management tools out to your network.

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“Before, it was one engineer’s job to manually move traffic between our data centers. If there was ever an incident, we’d have to call that one engineer, making our mean time to resolution quite slow. In our business, we need downtime resolved in minutes, not hours. With Ansible, we estimate that we’re saving about two hours per service move.”

-- MICHAEL PERZELSENIOR DEVOPS ENGINEER, SURESCRIPTS

 

Read the case study

Featured network use cases

Configuration Management

Are you ready for infrastructure-as-code? 

Backup and restore network devices from a multitude of different vendors and provide a critical path toward next generation network management. Instead of manual flat-files, use an infrastructure-as-code approach with network resource modules to automate network operations. Push a change to the “source of truth” repository and configure this change across any applicable network solution automatically. Complete work quickly and enforce configuration policies.

Infrastructure Awareness

Are you maintaining the right network resources?

The foundation of good network management is trusted information. With Ansible Automation Platform, collect network facts automatically from hundreds or thousands of multivendor devices, then normalize this information. Once consistently available as structured data, use the information to decide which devices and resources need preventive maintenance to avoid outage risks and avoid unnecessary hardware refreshes.

Network Validation

Is your network operating as expected? 

To increase automation maturity, examine the operational state of network devices to check for network connectivity, protocols in use, and to ensure alignment with specific network compliance requirements. With this information as part of a NetOps workflow, measure network intent, then manage to achieve defined outcomes by automatically adjusting the network.

Enterprise Features

Ansible Automation Platform provides an easy to use language that automates many management tasks across the network architecture. Its flexible workflow capability can include any number of playbooks, updates and other workflows regardless of whether they use different inventories, run across different users and more. This single automation tool flexibly supports a wide variety of network IT and network use cases and can even automate across automation tools.

Essential for modern GitOps, webhooks complement your workflows. With the Ansible Automation Platform, webhooks automatically execute specified Automation Jobs or Automation Workflows and natively supports communication and interaction with GitHub and GitLab.

Network security and compliance are areas of focus. Ansible Automation Platform includes a powerful Role-based Access Control (RBAC) capabilities to manage at a fine-grained level who can run commands on which network devices, including the ability to run playbooks without having access to the network resources themselves. Ansible’s RBAC capabilities support teams and roles, and can also be specified down to the credential, inventory, playbook or Job Template level for an individual user if needed.

Enterprises often need strict compliance and auditing processes in place, and a subscription to Ansible Automation Platform meets this need. All network and other automation activity is securely logged, with audit trails showing who ran the activity, how it was customized, what changes were made, and which resources were changed. This information is securely stored and can be exported through an API for purposes such as external logging, further analysis and more. External logging tools such as Splunk, Loggly, Sumologic and Elastic Stack are supported with your subscription.

Many organizations use ServiceNow as part of an IT Service Management (ITSM) process and this can result in many requests for network actions and incident / outage response. Ansible Automation Platform includes a certified Content Collection for ServiceNow that enables closed loop response to ITSM workflows and automatic updates to the ServiceNow configuration database as part of playbooks executed outside of a service action.

When the network connects a distributed global enterprise, scalable automation helps manage it all. Ansible Automation Platform can be deployed to multiple nodes to increase scalability so you can run automation jobs for network architectures of any size or layout. Ansible Automation Platform is flexible enough to support flexible deployments based on the way you run your business operation, so you can expand automation strategies.

How to scale your network with Ansible Tower

Operationalize automation with Ansible Tower. Ideal for distributed teams with large network inventories. Leverages Ansible Roles and Playbooks under the hood for maximum flexibility and scalability.

  • Execute tasks on schedules (planned or unplanned outage windows)
  • Support for local or LDAP-based Role-based Access Controls
  • TACACS authentication
  • Enhanced logging
  • Support for Workflows, chaining of Playbooks for modular reusability
  • RESTful API for integrating with external applications

How to manage individual network activites with Ansible Roles

“DIY” can be daunting for Network Operators. Leverage a growing list of pre-configured and curated Ansible Roles and Providers to automate specific network tasks. Download supported Roles straight from Ansible Galaxy and “MIY” (Modify It Yourself) instead.


Config Manager Role

The Config Manager Role provides a platform-agnostic approach to managing the active (running) configuration file on a remote network device.


Cloud VPN Role

The Cloud VPN Role is a simplified management of “any-to-any” VPN connectivity for hybrid clouds. Connect between multiple vendors and multiple clouds such as AWS, OpenStack, Azure, Cisco CSR, VyOS, RHEL and more.


Yang Role

The Yang Role standardizes parsing and configuration of Yang models in a platform agnostic way. Schemas can be pulled from select network devices, its JSON configuration validated, the JSON config converted to XML, and then pushed via NETCONF connections.

How to build customized automation with Ansible Playbooks

Extensive developer support for ground-up network automation. Built on the power and stability of Python but without the complexity. Agentless connectivity (Ansible Plugins and Modules) specifically developed for various networking endpoints.


Device connectivity support

Ansible Network Connection Plug-ins (network_cli, netconf, httpapi and others)


Full network platform support

  • Arista EOS (CLI and eAPI)
  • Cisco IOS, IOS XE, IOS XR
  • Cisco NX-OS (CLI and NX-API)
  • Juniper JunOS
  • NETCONF
  • VyOS
  • See all

Certified network platform support

  • Cisco ACI, NSO, UCS
  • F5 Networks BIG-IP, BIG-IQ
  • Infoblox NIOS
  • Nokia SR OS
  • See all

24/7 premium tech support

24/7 Premium tech support from the award winning Red Hat Customer Experience and Engagement Team

Featured integrations

Ansible Automation Platform includes certified Content Collections for a variety of vendor networking solutions, helping you deliver automation more quickly with trusted, reusable automation. Certified content collections are developed and delivered by Red Hat and partners and are supported as part of your subscription. In addition to fully certified automation content provided through your Red Hat subscription, Ansible Galaxy allows automators to test, learn and share community-led automation content.

Arista

Aruba

 

cisco

 

F5

client_infoblox

Juniper

 

For enterprise-class networks:

Operationalize network automation with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform enables you to control, secure and manage automation through this user dashboard or through a RESTful API. Control, access, secure, audit, and delegate functions that are required for operations across the enterprise, including network operations. Perform drift management, security patching and automate essential, yet routine manual network updates.

Try Ansible Free Explore Features

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Resources


Introducing the Ansible Network Meta Collection on demand webinar

Collections


Ansible Automation Platform Certified Collections Documentation

Quick Reference


Video


Ansible Automation Platform Network Automation Blog

Network automation isn’t about getting ahead, it’s about keeping up.

Lori MacVittie,
F5 Networks

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