Programming and Automating Cisco Networks

A guide to network programmability and automation in the data center, campus, and WAN

; Jason Gooley

Improve operations and agility in any data center, campus, LAN, or WAN

Today, the best way to stay in control of your network is to address devices programmatically and automate network interactions. Les mer
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Om boka

Improve operations and agility in any data center, campus, LAN, or WAN

Today, the best way to stay in control of your network is to address devices programmatically and automate network interactions. In this book, Cisco experts Ryan Tischer and Jason Gooley show you how to do just that. You'll learn how to use programmability and automation to solve business problems, reduce costs, promote agility and innovation, handle accelerating complexity, and add value in any data center, campus, LAN, or WAN.

The authors show you how to create production solutions that run on or interact with Nexus NX-OS-based switches, Cisco ACI, Campus, and WAN technologies.You'll learn how to use advanced Cisco tools together with industry-standard languages and platforms, including Python, JSON, and Linux. The authors demonstrate how to support dynamic application environments, tighten links between apps and infrastructure, and make DevOps work better.

This book will be an indispensable resource for network and cloud designers, architects, DevOps engineers, security specialists, and every professional who wants to build or operate high-efficiency networks.

Drive more value through programma bility and automation, freeing resources for high-value innovation
Move beyond error-prone, box-by-box network management
Bridge management gaps arising from current operational models
Write NX-OS software to run on, access, or extend your Nexus switch
Master Cisco's powerful on-box automation and operation tools
Manage complex WANs with NetConf/Yang, ConfD, and Cisco SDN Controller
Interact with and enhance Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)
Build self-service catalogs to accelerate application delivery
Find resources for deepening your expertise in network automation



Introduction xviii

Section I Getting Started with Network Programmability

Chapter 1 Introduction: Why Network Programmability 1

What Is Network Programmability 3

Network Programmability Benefits 4

Cloud, SDN, and Network Programmability 6


Is Programmability a New Idea? 9

Network Automation 10

Summary 11

Chapter 2 Foundational Skills 13

Introduction to Software Development 13

Common Constructs-Variables, Flow Control, Functions, and Objects 15

A Basic Introduction to Python 20

APIs and SDKs 37

Web Technologies 37

Web Technologies-Data Formatting 38

Google Postman 40

Basic Introduction to Version Control, Git, and GitHub 45

Git-Add a File 47

Creating and Editing Source Code 49

Getting Started with PyCharm 50

Introduction to Linux 55

Working in Linux 56

Using Systemd 61

Summary 66

Section II Cisco Programmable Data Center

Chapter 3 Next-Generation Cisco Data Center Networking 67

Cisco Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI) 70

Nexus Data Broker 74

Use Case-Nexus Data Broker 75

Evolution of Data Center Network Architecture 76

Cisco Data Center Network Controllers 80

Nexus Fabric Manager 80

Virtual Topology System (VTS) 81

Cisco ACI 81

Summary 82

Chapter 4 On-Box Programmability and Automation with Cisco Nexus NX-OS 83

Open NX-OS Automation-Bootstrap and Provisioning 83

Cisco POAP 83

Cisco Ignite 87


Bash 88

Bash Scripting 89

Bash Variables, Conditions, and Loops 89

Bash Arithmetic 90

Bash Conditions and Flow Control 91

Bash Redirection and Pipes 94

Working with Text in Bash 96

Awk 98

Bash on Nexus 9000 99

ifconfig 101

Tcpdump 101

ethtool 103

Run a Bash Script at Startup 103

Linux Containers (LXC) 106

Network Access in Guestshell 109

EEM Variables 113

On-box Python Scripting 113

On-Box Python-Use Cases and Examples 118

EEM Neighbor Discovery 121

Summary 124

Chapter 5 Off-Box Programmability and Automation with Cisco Nexus NX-OS 125

Nexus NX-API 125

NX-API Transport 125

NX-API Message Format 126

NX-API Security 126

NX-API Sandbox 127

Summary 158

Resources 158

Chapter 6 Network Programmability with Cisco ACI 159

Cisco ACI Automation 160

ACI Policy Instantiation 161

A Bit More Python 162

Python Exceptions Handling 166

ACI Fundamentals 169

ACI Management Information Model 169

ACI Programmability 174

Cobra SDK 198

Summary 213

Section III Cisco Programmable Campus and WAN

Chapter 7 On-Box Automation and Operations Tools 215

Automated Port Profiling 216

AutoSmart Ports 216

Enabling AutoSmart Ports on a Cisco Catalyst Switch 217

AutoConf 220

Enabling AutoConf on a Cisco Catalyst Switch 222

Modifying a Built-in Template 224

Auto Security 227

Enabling Auto Security on a Cisco Catalyst Switch 228

Quality of Service for Campus Architectures 230

AutoQoS on Campus LAN Devices 230

Enabling AutoQoS on a Cisco Catalyst Switch 231

AutoQoS on Campus WAN Devices 233

Enabling AutoQoS on a Cisco ISR Router 234

Automating Management and Monitoring Tasks 236

Smart Call Home 236

Enabling Smart Call Home on an Cisco Catalyst Switch 237

Tcl Shell 243

Embedded Event Manager (EEM) 246

Summary 253

Chapter 8 Network Automation Tools for Campus Environments 255

Data Models and Supporting Protocols 256

YANG Data Models 256


ConfD 259

Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module (APIC-EM) 263

APIC-EM Architecture 263

APIC-EM Applications 264

Intelligent WAN (IWAN) Application 264

Plug and Play (PnP) Application 269

Path Trace Application 276

Additional APIC-EM Features 279

Topology 279

Device Inventory 281

Easy Quality of Service (Easy QoS) 283

Dynamic QoS 285

Policy Application 286

APIC-EM Programmability Examples Using Postman 288

Ticket API 288

Host API 291

Network Device API 292

User API 294

Available APIC-EM APIs 296

APIC-EM Programmability Examples Using Python 297

Ticket API 297

Host API 299

Summary 302

Chapter 9 Piecing It All Together 303

9781587144653, TOC, 8/1/2016

Om forfatteren

Ryan Tischer, CCIE No. 11459 is a Technical Solution Architect at Cisco where he focuses on SDN, Cloud, and network programmability. He has worked in IT for 20 years, specifically focused on design, deployment, and operations of networking technologies. Ryan holds a BA in Information Technology from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and a MS in Network Engineering from Depaul University. Ryan lives with his wife and children in the Milwaukee, WI area. Ryan blogs at

Jason Gooley, CCIE No. 38759 (R&S & SP), is a very enthusiastic engineer that is passionate about helping others in the industry succeed. Jason has more than 20 years of experience in the Information Technology and Telecommunications industry. Jason currently works at Cisco as a Strategic Systems Engineer where he specializes in SD-WAN, campus, and data center network design. In addition, Jason works with Learning@Cisco on certification development, mentoring, and training. Jason is also a Program Committee member and organizer for the Chicago Network Operators Group (CHINOG). Jason lives in Illinois with his wife Jamie and their daughter Kaleigh.