Current Trends in DC Networking - Ansible

Moving along in the series, I guess its time to start automating something, right? Yes lets automate!

Ansible has been around for a while and is popular among server and network engineers. As the product matures the community backing and support keeps growing and getting stronger.

On the server side of the house, Ansible is great at automating the build and deployment of service stacks on hardware, VMs or in the cloud. This is were Ansible started and is the strongest in my opinion. On the network side, Ansible is still growing and has some challenges with managing network devices. I dont blame Ansible for this, but blame the vendors for the outdated means of communication with their equipment. This is changing but its going to take time.

With that being said, Ansible is still a great tool to automate the configuration and deployment of network equipment.

Over the next few post I am going to cover the basics of Ansible and then walk through building out both the Arista and Cumulus networks we just built up.

So lets get started!


Current Trends in DC Networking - Cumulus EVPN VXLAN

In my previous post on Cumulus Networks we covered the basics and getting BGP peering setup with our data center (DC) topology. Now we need to get VxLAN working to move forward with our design.

Cumulus has had a VXLAN solution called LNV (Lightweight Network Virtualization) for a while. But with version 3.2 of Cumulus linux we now have the option to use an EVPN control plane. I spoke briefly about EVPN in my Introduction to VxLAN post and it appears the market is shifting to EVPN control plan as the popular VxLAN solution. Cisco and Juniper both support EVPN and Arista will hopefully release their version sometime early 2017.

Ive never been a big fan of EVPN as the VxLAN control plane, mostly due to its complexity, but EVPN has a lot of potential behind it that could introduce some cool features in the future.

So lets dig in.