In this article we will talk about Traditional Network Configuration, and in previous article we already discussed about HDLC configuration in Cisco Packet Tracer.
Network devices such as router, switches, and firewalls have traditionally been configured by a network administrator using the CLI, as shown in the figure. Whenever there is a change or new feature, the necessary configuration commands must be manually entered on all of the appropriate devices. In many cases, this is not only time-consuming, but can also be prone to errors. This becomes a major issue on larger networks or with more complex configurations.
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) was developed to allow administrators to manage nodes such as servers, workstations, routers, switches, and security appliances, on an IP network. Using a network management station (NMS), shown in the following figure, SNMP enables network administrators to monitor and manage network performance, find and solve network problems, and perform queries for statistics. SNMP works reasonably well for device monitoring. However, it is not typically used for configuration due to security concerns and difficulty in implementation. Although SNMP is widely available, it cannot serve as an automation tool for today’s networks.
You can also use APIs to automate the deployment and management of network resources. Instead of the network administrator manually configuring ports, access lists, quality of service (QoS), and load balancing policies, they can use tools to automate configurations. These tools hook into network APIs to automate routine network provisioning tasks, enabling the administrator to select and deploy the network services they need. This can significantly reduce many repetitive and mundane tasks to free up time for network administrators to work on more important things.
We are rapidly moving away from a world where a network administrator manages a few dozen network devices, to one where they are deploying and managing hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands of complex network devices (both physical and virtual) with the help of software. This transformation is quickly spreading from its beginnings in the data center, to all places in the network. There are new and different methods for network operators to automatically monitor, manage, and configure the network. As shown in the figure, these include protocols and technologies such as REST, Ansible, Puppet, Chef, Python, JSON, XML, and more.