F5 Automation with Ansible

Overview

Some of the most frequent changes on network infrastructure are on load-balancers.  Changes are required as new applications are deployed, updated, and modified on a daily basis.  These increased even more in the world of virtualization and continues to increase in the world of micro-services and containerization.  This courses specifically dives into how you can start using Ansible by RedHat to more efficiently manage your F5 BIG-IP LTM and BIG-IP DNS environments.

Note: This is a three (3) day course.

Prerequisites

While there are no programming, software/dev, or automation prerequisites, students should have:

  • Good grasp on general day to day management of F5 BIG-IP LTM devices
  • Basic understanding of using a Linux terminal.
  • Aware of how to use a text editor: SublimeText, nano, vi/vim, notepad++

Course Summary

Module 1 – Reviewing Common Workflows when Managing BIG-IP LTM devices

Module 2 – Understanding Data Types & YAML

Module 3 – Using Ansible for F5 BIG-IP Automation

Course Outline

Module 1 – Reviewing Common Workflows when Managing BIG-IP LTM/DNS Devices

In this module, we’ll level set and provide an overview of common workflows seen when managing F5 BIG-IP LTM & DNS Devices.  This includes basic operations such as adding members to a pool, deploying a new VIP, updating and managing iRules, or de-commissioning members in a pool and goes into more advanced operations such as rolling upgrades (using manual processes) and what that looks like in a fully orchestrated manner. This module sets the stage for what will be covered when hands meet the keyboard in the labs that will follow.

This module is on Day 1.

Module 2 – Understanding Data Types & YAML

Before we start diving into Ansible, the course reviews common data types and the use of YAML in tools such as Ansible.  Since this course does not have any programming and automation pre-requisites, there is a good amount of time spent on understanding data types as it’s a critical piece of extracting the most amount value with Ansible.

This module is on Day 1.

Module 3 – Using Ansible for F5 BIG-IP Automation

In this module, we provide an introduction to Ansible and a complete overview how to manage the most common operations in F5-BIG IP LTM/DNS environments.  The module starts slow by ensuring you have an understanding of Ansible, variables, inventory files, and the basic structure of playbooks.  It continues to walk through each use case in Module 1 in which you’ll also have dedicated lab access to see first-hand how Ansible is used to manage F5 BIG-IP appliances.

This module starts on Day 1 and finishes on Day 3.

Major Points:

  • This is a three (3) day course.
  • Class hours still start at 9am and run until about 5:00pm.  Final day ends at 2pm.
  • Each student will have their own dedicated pod with at least 2 F5 BIG-IP LTMs and several Linux hosts for testing.
  • Private boot camps available upon request.
  • This course has over 65% hands-on labs.