Using Python for Juniper on a Mac

Juniper Networks has developed a python library to manage their devices.  The library is called "junos-eznc" hosted at GitHub.  This library is meant to be able to handle commands programmatically that you would usually do at a CLI.  In order to use it, you will need to also install "ncclient" which implements NETCONF in python.  The easiest way to install is to use PIP. MacPro:~ aaronpaxson$  sudo pip install ncclient MacPro:~ aaronpaxson$  sudo pip install junos-eznc If you receive an error regarding "error: 'cc' failed with exit status 1", this is because you don't have the C compiler in...

Cisco OnePK Topology

In my last post, I showed you how to get Cisco's free OnePK all-in-one VM to run inside Parallels for your testing.  I needed an easy-to-read topology map for quick reference as I do my tests.  The topology map that Cisco put in their documentation is less than ideal.  Below is my diagram.  Some quick notes: The brown ethernet segment ( is the VM Guest segment.  This allows you to access the routers from within the VM using the static IP's assigned to the interfaces. The red ethernet segment (ETH1 / DHCP) is a DHCP-based segment for the VM Host.  This allow you to access th...

Cisco OnePK VM in Parallels

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been bit by the "Automation Bug".  I want to automate everything.  Why?  Well, there are two reasons why I want to automate everything I can: Remove tedious, mundane, and repetitive tasks.  If I can do the same task over and over again, not only do I save time, but I remove any human errors from the equation. Abstract the complexities of the tasks at hand.  This is very useful when delegating the tasks to personnel who may not fully understand or know the intricacies of the steps. This week, I've started to learn about Cisco's OnePK software develop...

Facebook offering network switches?

Cat5 Cable
Well, maybe not Facebook, itself, but with the community it has spawned. The news is sparking again with SDN buzz, as Facebook’s OCP project (Open Compute Project) has signed up a network hardware manufacturer to build and sell the ‘Wedge’, as Facebook calls it. The Wedge started as a design idea built on an open-source community to build and weave different pieces of hardware to accomplish a task. It could be a web server, or, as you may have guessed, a network switch, with SDN being a core-concept in it’s use. As such, specific software-defined interfaces are built into the design. On ...

Blogger vs Influencer

For a few years now, when I tell people that I blog I'm usually asked 2 important questions: How can I start blogging? How can I make money blogging? The first question is easy.  Go to, create an account, and start writing.  That's all blogging is, really.  The second question was best answered by Tom Hollingsworth (@networkingnerd): How to make millions blogging? 1). Become a millionare 2). Start blogging So, what does that have to do with being an influencer?  Well, an influencer is someone that people trust in order to hear what they have to say about certain produc...

Starting Juniper Certs? There’s an app for that!

For those starting on your Juniper journey into certifications, Juniper Networks has created a fantastic app for your Apple Devices to help you prepare for your entry-level exams.  But, you droid users out there aren't left out.  Called "JUNOS GENIUS", this app helps you determine if you are ready for entry-level exams.  JNCIA is the base exam that all other certifications require, building on concepts and foundations of the Junos Operating System.  Building up from that, are the "Specialist" exams.  In Cisco parlance, they would be the equivalent to the CCNA certifications. Juniper release...

SDN Should Not Require Programming – Per Se

Provided as-is, with permission by Creative Commons 2.0, and courtesy of Libby Levi for
There has been a lot of controversy about how the network engineering profession will change in the future, thanks to SDN (Software Defined Networking).  Because network decisions will now be controlled by software, many think the network engineering profession will have to learn programming.  While this may be true in some cases, I do not believe it to be true in the majority of the cases. If you break down the acronym, it will say "Software-Defined" networking.  This means software that has previously been written to accomplish a specific task will be deployed on the network.  Do you need...

IT Automation vs IT Orchestration

The Auto Blogger
From time to time, I continually hear these two terms used interchangeably.  Most of the time, the terminology works and the audience still understands.  However, a few times, I feel the terms are used incorrectly, and I thought I would explain my thoughts on why they are different.  I do believe that there is a difference between the two. In the IT realm, automation is becoming more and more prevalent.  Network Engineers are becoming more apt to learning languages like TCL and Python to automate mundane and tedious tasks.  Take, for example, taking a switchport to an isolated VLAN.  Let'...

SDN is a Concept, Not a Technology

I was recently posed a question: "How does the networking industry train and build skills for tomorrow's SDN with today's engineers?". Personally, I think that is the wrong question.  SDN is not a skill that you learn.  SDN is not a class you can take.  SDN is certainly not a training path you can attend.  SDN is a concept, plain and simple.  It's the software and underlying technologies that you must train, understand, and build upon.  SDN, like Cloud, is born from the limitations of the current technology to keep up with the changes in other technologies and demands.  It is a mix of techn...

Blurb: Free Ethernet Connectivity Poster

Fluke Networks has created a 24" x 36" Network Connectivity Poster for anyone that would register for it (it has a 4-8 week shipping time).  No doubt, you'll be put on a mailing list for some of their uber-cool network testing equipment, but the poster is free nonetheless.  While it is a very basic poster, it could come in handy.  If you manage a team of junior professionals wanting to learn more (i.e. helpdesk technicians, or interns), this poster would be a great fit. I, myself, have registered to receive one, to put in my team's workroom to help them out.  If nothing else, it will give t...