Ansible Updates

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Webinar details

The Ansible Updates series of webinars will focus on:

  • Ansible networking modules
  • Interesting Ansible use cases and details on non-networking modules that you might find useful in your Ansible playbooks
  • In-depth information on YAML markup language and Jinja2 templates

The webinar will be delivered as a series of interactive online events. Upcoming live sessions include:

  • Using NAPALM with Ansible by David Barroso (author of NAPALM) on May 23rd 2017

Previous update sessions:

  • Ansible networking modules (Part 1) on September 29th 2016
  • Data Structures, YAML and JSON deep dive on November 17th 2016
  • Jinja2 deep dive on November 17th 2016
  • Basics of Ansible and Ansible playbooks on December 8th 2016
  • Advanced Ansible and Ansible playbooks topics on December 8th 2016
  • More advanced Ansible playbook topics on January 10th 2017
  • Ansible networking modules (Part 2 - managing configurations) on January 10th 2017

Each online session will mix presentation and hands-on demos (the source code is already available on Github).

Webinar contents

Ansible networking modules

  • Overview of Ansible networking modules
  • Executing commands
  • Simple command-based playbooks
  • Getting operational data in text and JSON format
  • Network device facts available in Ansible 2.1
  • Gathering SNMP facts
  • Changing device configuration
  • Configuring order-sensitive configuration constructs (example: ACLs)

The initial version of this section focuses on Cisco IOS, Nexus OS and Junos, with Arista EOS examples coming in near future.

Data structures, YAML and JSON

  • Introduction to YAML and JSON
  • YAML and JSON syntax
  • Scalar data types and values
  • Lists and dictionaries
  • Complex data objects


  • Jinja2 basics
  • Traversing complex data types and using loops
  • Variable, macros and includes
  • Using Python methods in Jinja2
  • Jinja2 IP address handling plugins in Ansible

Ansible and Ansible Playbooks

  • Ansible inventory file
  • How does Ansible really work?
  • Grouping managed nodes in inventory file
  • Introduction to Ansible playbooks
  • How Ansible playbooks really work?
  • Debugging and conditional task execution
  • Host and group variables
  • Magic variables
  • Ansible modules and module arguments
  • Generating configurations from Jinja2 templates

Advanced Ansible Playbook Topics

  • Ansible variables and variable precedence
  • Saving data from Ansible into text files or databases
  • Play and task execution
  • Error handling

Creating Reusable Ansible Code

  • Ansible includes
  • Complex loops implemented with includes
  • Ansible roles

Extending Ansible

  • Dynamic inventory and dynamic hosts
  • Ansible plugin overview
  • Callback plugins
  • Jinja2 filters and tests

About the Author

Ivan PepelnjakIvan Pepelnjak (CCIE#1354 Emeritus) has been analyzing OpenFlow technology and SDN ideas (and being pretty vocal about their shortcomings) since March 2011, resulting in a number of high-impact events, on-site SDN workshops for large enterprises and service providers, and vendor-sponsored webinars.

Ivan is the author of several SDN-related books, highly praised webinars, and dozens of OpenFlow and SDN-related technical articles published on his blog.

More about Ivan Pepelnjak

David BarrosoDavid Barroso is Network Systems Engineer at Fastly. He's the author of SDN Internet Router and co-author of NAPALM, a network automation abstraction library.

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