Cisco Automates IT Operations at Scale with SaltStack

December 14, 2015 - Rhett Glauser

To provide a sample of what to expect at SaltConf16 we are profiling a few talks from SaltConf15 here on the SaltStack blog. Make sure to take advantage of SaltConf16 discounts while they are still available. It would be great to see you in Salt Lake City in April.

Read more on how Cisco automates IT operations

When Ed Kern, Cisco consulting engineer, was approached by his management team to orchestrate, deploy and manage Cisco Virtual Internet Routing Lab (VIRL) environments using SaltStack, it was a big ask. They had the following requirements for the project:

  1. Deploy and manage OpenStack servers for large-scale network simulations;
  2. Host may vary….anything from a laptop to an OpenStack cluster;
  3. Provide multiple install options;
  4. Configuration options to be dictated by end users;
  5. Software control updates dictated by the users (all pull, no push);
  6. Create a development environment that closely resembles the real world.

To make the job even more challenging, Kern was essentially on his own. But with SaltStack automation, Kern shares how he is able to build OpenStack-based CML images and boxes for Cisco internal development and end customers.

Kern uses SaltStack-driven Packer, Salt grains and pillar data, plus Vagrant with SaltStack provisioning. Additionally, Kern discusses how intelligent SaltStack minions can be used in masterless mode to dictate software parameters of the CML stack.

For more specifics on how Cisco automates IT operations at scale with SaltStack, watch the SaltConf15 talk embedded below. And make sure to take advantage of SaltConf16 early-bird, free training and group discounts while still available.