Deploying new datacenters is a long and repetitive project. Many things can go wrong, and seemingly minor typos can cause large issues. Today I’ll be sharing a feature of NetMRI that focuses on automating these tasks.
“Template Variables” is a feature designed to automate these actions. They can also be saved for future deployments, and we’ll discuss how to leverage role-based control.
There are many settings that must be enabled for any new device deployment. Many times these are built adhoc and manually copy and pasted. Some examples, are SNMP, NTP, DNS, Vlan, Banners, and more.
First these actions take place under the Configuration Management pages. Right click on a device, under Config Archive to use any existing device configuration that NetMRI has as a starting point.
We can also edit, or copy previously saved templates under Job Management -> Config Templates.
Let’s select Edit Template:
Here we will create the templates specific to a group of devices, say all of our border or partner devices.
Selecting edit will open a wizard, which will prompt us for a name, we’ll be presented with the text of the device configuration file, and the middle section is where we will list our variables.
The variables start with a $ symbol, as seen in the above screenshot. Note that within quotes, the variable is left blank, we’ll discuss the value of this in the next section.
Here we will define a variable for our logging servers, time and name servers IP addresses, turn off telnet, configure interface IP addresses, VPN tunnel configurations, etc.
We also have a drop down called “Run Level” This drop down enables us to use Role based access, specifying who can make these changes to the device.
For example the network architect can design this template, and a new hire, or tier 1 engineer could be tasked with rolling this out, without ever needing to logon to a device!