Friday, October 16, 2015

Use Network Automation Tool Infoblox NetMRI Push Configuration to Multiple Network Devices

Infoblox NetMRI Appliance
For those still do not know what is Infoblox NetMRI product, here is some simple introduction. Actually it can do more than what normal network administrators think.

NetMRI is one of the most important products owned by Infoblox. This product came with the acquisition of Netcordia in 2010. NetMRI provides automatic network discovery, switch port management, network change automation and continuous configuration compliance management for multi-vendor routers, switches and other layer 2 and 3 network devices. NetMRI helps customers move from out-of-date spreadsheets, error-prone manual processes like scripts and CLI access and ad hoc audit teams.



NetMRI Dashboard
The NetMRI also has virtual appliance version which runs on VMware ESXi 5.x/6.0 host(s) helping organizations automate, discover and control network devices.

NetMRI's central console, Operations Center, greatly enhances NetMRI's scalability by coordinating, controlling and collecting data from multiple NetMRI devices. The vendor says one NetMRI Operations Center can monitor a network of 20,000 or more routers, switches and firewalls -- roughly 10 NetMRI appliances worth.

This post is the guide to use NetMRI to push configuration to multiple network devices automatically, which is really helpful to lock down and take control of your environment.

1. Go to Config Management - Job Managment - Scripts Page

You will find out lots of prepared scripts with many examples. In this guide, we will use 'AD Hoc Command Batch' scripts to push configuration to multiple Cisco switches and routers.


2. Move your mouse to the gear icon in front of  'AD Hoc Command Batch'

A dark menu with 'Run now' option will show up. You will just click 'Run now' option.


3. Put your configuration into text box. Then click Next.

For example:
conf t
line con 0
login authentication CONAUTH
end
wr mem



You can ignore Custom Fields error and directly click Next again.

4. Choose proper device group(s) you want to change. Then click Next.

In this example, Routers and Switches have been chosen.

5. Review your configuration and select Run Now.

6. You will be brought to Job History page:


7. Click Job name 'Ad Hoc Job 10/15 21:58' to see the Job Details.

There are some errors because of commands incompatible issue. You may need to change your commands to run it again. Click Error will give you which command caused this error issue.


To sum up, NetMRI is a good product. Infoblox NetMRI identifies, tracks and shows the impact of changes to multi-vendor networks, and automatically compares configurations to gold-standard settings. NetMRI provides critical network visibility even in the most complex, virtualized environments. But it is really expensive to purchase and maintain. It is licensed by network devices numbers. When you purchased the appliance, by default, you will only have 50 network devices licensed. If you want to add another 50 license, it will cost you more than $15k .

Reference:

Infoblox Data Center Automation with NetMRI
Infoblox / Forums / Network Change & Configuration Management Network Change & Configuration Management




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