On automating network systems configuration management
In nowadays, communications are expanding in very high rates. New technologies are being born and some of them are taking so much importance in people’s lives. In a situation where people’s needs are getting more complicated and everybody’s lifestyle is advancing to another level, bigger and better infrastructure is needed. Managing all this process can’t be anymore a step by step process. It is strictly needed to evolve in automated process. Network configuration and reconfiguration may be a repetitive process, time consuming, and error prone process. To address this problem this paper is going to shed light on the benefits of an automated configuration and topology verification process. To this end, a proof of concept system, Netmiko, has been used in a case study. Netmiko scripts are able to read the current network state, can apply predefined configurations loaded from text-files or csv files, and automatically verify the network state. The goals of this paper are to demonstrate the development of Netmiko scripts, to illustrate the
simplicity in the implementation, to compare the automated network system reconfiguration to a fully manual one, and, finally, to discuss potential pros and cons in switching to an automated network configuration process in everyday practice. A simple Packet Tracer simulation in joint with a GNS3 simulation are involved to evaluate this proof of concept. In Packet tracer a manual network configuration is performed while in GNS3 an automated network configuration is developed.
Keywords:network configuration management, automated configuration management, computer networks, packet tracer, GNS3 , Cisco IOS XR, Python, Netmiko Library
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