did you Expect- (1)

What did you Expect? Part 5, Basic Error Handling.

In the first four parts of What did you Expect, we covered the basics of getting started with automating interactions for network equipment.  In the first few posts it was important have a networking environment that  was 100% stable.  The last thing I needed when I was trying to learn to use python to automate network devices that were randomly unresponsive and would crash my code.  In order to accomplish that I built a test network you can read about here in GNS3, created a basic configuration to enable a IOS device to be remotely managed.  I also wrote a quick multi-device ping tool to verify that all the devices are responsive before we run remote code against them.  I made my life easy.  But as all operators know our lives are not that cut and dry.  So I started to break things…and my code did not like me. Read more

Money where my mouth is

Money Where My Mouth is, Get Coding Giveaway (UPDATE)

So lately I have been on a coding kick.  More and more I believe that staying competitive in the IT space is going to require at least a minimal understanding of how to code.  I know I am late to this game but I also know there are lots of other who are even further behind but want to start.  Yesterday I posted about how I got started coding and the tools I have found useful so far in going from zero to three on the automation scale.  The more I have thought about that post, the more I realized that if I feel this strongly about moving people down the coding and automation path I should be willing to put my money where my mouth is.

By far the most influential book in learning Python for me has been Learn Python the Hard Way by Zed Shaw.  So I am going to give two copies this book away.  Let me point out that I do not know Zed and I am doing this out of my “Blogging Allowance”.  I have always believed in helping elevate people in their lives and in their careers.  Sometimes you can do that with a cup of coffee and a hour long chat, other times you have to drag someone kicking and screaming to their potential and others you just have to spend some time and money on.

So how is thing going to work you ask?  Great question.  Well I am working out the details over the weekend.  Long and short I am going to setup an opt-in page for StaticNAT for you to subscribe to if you would like a chance at one of the two books.  I plan on running the opt-in page for two weeks to allow people to sign up.  Once the two weeks are up I’m going to run the people who have joined the list through a randomizer and the first two that pop out get the books.  I don’t care who you are or where you are in your career or coding experience I want you to sign up!  If you win and don’t need it you can tell me someone who could use and I will gladly send them your copy.

Stay tuned!  I should have all this worked out by early next week and I am excited about getting two more people moving down the coding path!

The Signup is live!  At the top of the page you should see a place to add your First Name, Last Name and email address.  Just fill that out and your in the running!  We will select the two winners on Sunday November 29, 2015.  If you want to invite friends all you have to do is send them to Staticnat.com and they will get a form to submit on the homepage.  If your worried about me spamming you to much after this is all over lets be honest I don’t really have the time to do that.  I am considering a quarterly newsletter called ACL the StaticNAT newsletter.  Heck if you don’t even want that feel free to unsubscribe after the drawing!  Good luck to everyone!

Get Coding!

Get Coding!

So lets start off with I am an old dog and I am learning new tricks.  My entire career I have avoided the dreaded programing.  In college I slid by my degree requirement for a coding class by taking Visual Basic for Industrial applications.  I hated it.  Debugging drove me nuts and there is still a hole in my bedroom wall at my parents where that brick of a VB found itself one night around 2am.  From there I was just gun shy and honestly had plenty of other things going on that could afford to ignore learning anything outside of the basics of HTML and CSS.

Cut to today,  I am in my late 30’s and going through a career transition of sorts.  My timing for the transition is decent because the network industry is also going through a bit of a transition.  For awhile now all the cool kids have been doing automation and Dev/Ops in the Server, OS and application space.  But networks are trickier.  I will leave out all the discussion of why because that horse has been beat dead a few times online.  In this transition over the past six months or so I have found myself doing things I would never have guessed even a year ago.

So what types of things you ask.  Ok for one I am now doing dev work.  Mind you it is not great dev work and I will never be a professional developer but I have been writing code.  In one case even some minor code for a library that is now in production with clients…scary huh.  But mostly I am coding to learn and help move other people along the Path to Automated Networking including myself.

automated networking

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Video (1)

Back to the basics. Installing Ubuntu Server 14.04

Back in 1996 when I started this game there were lots of things I had not done.  Now days it seems like everyone I meet is 18, running service provider networks and writing code in all the hip new languages.  That is not the reality of the world.  The reality is that we all start someplace.  So I am going to create some content with the assumption you have never done some of the basics.  This first one is a video showing a basic Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS install.  Enjoy.



A Few Easy Steps- (1)

A Few Easy Steps: Cisco IOS, Setup for Automation

In this session of A Few Easy Steps, we will be doing the initial setup for automation on a Cisco IOS Device. In General this will work on any Cisco IOS Device.  Session Prerequisites:

  • You have a Cisco Console Cable
  • You have a serial port
  • You have a Terminal Program that you can access your Serial Port

Session Assumptions:

  • Hostname is already set
  • Domain name is:  SPC.DEV
  • RSA modulus is  1024 bits
  • Our Admin interface is:  FA0/0
  • The Interface has already had its IP Address assigned
  • Enable Password is: password
  • Username is : pytest
  • Password is:  pytest
  • We are using VTY ports 0-5

Our goals of this session are:

  • Setup IP Domain Name
  • Create RSA key for SSH
  • Set Enable Password
  • Setup Username
  • Setup Password
  • Turn interface FA0/0 on
  • Enable SSH on VTY 0-5
  • Set Login to Local Authentication

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