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Red Hat is excited to share that it is collaborating with NetBox Labs to continue supporting streamlined integration between Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, the mission-critical automation solution for operating complex hybrid cloud workloads along with AI-enabled applications at scale, and NetBox, the most popular network source of truth. As part of this collaboration, the new Red Hat Ansible Certified Content Collection for NetBox is published at Ansible automation hub, offering customers greater confidence in their network automation journey, knowing they have NetBox Labs and Red Hat support to address evolving network automation architectures.

“NetBox and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform are two of the most critical pieces of modern network automation architectures, widely deployed in the most mature network automation practices in the world,” says Kris Beevers, co-founder and CEO of NetBox Labs. “As organizations continue to embrace the transformative power of network automation, the collaboration between NetBox Labs and Red Hat will continue to pay dividends for the network automation ecosystem.”

The benefits of the Red Hat Ansible Certified Content Collection for NetBox

The Red Hat Ansible Certified Content Collection for NetBox enables networking teams to leverage NetBox as the dynamic inventory for Ansible Automation Platform automation jobs. Using NetBox as the network and infrastructure source of truth, automation jobs automatically apply to the appropriate infrastructure with the latest configuration information sourced from NetBox as the network and its configurations evolve. This workflow not only streamlines network operations, but also enables network automations to more consistently apply to the correct infrastructure, enhancing reliability, accuracy and ultimately, network performance, while accelerating the operations of networking and infrastructure teams.

The Red Hat Ansible Certified Content Collection for NetBox also includes modules that facilitate the creation, updating, deletion and querying of data in NetBox, allowing for more seamless interaction between Ansible Automation Platform and NetBox. This bidirectional functionality accelerates the population of the NetBox network data model using Ansible automation, and also enables data to be more easily extracted via the NetBox API for use in automation playbooks.

The business impact of the Red Hat Ansible Certified Content Collection for NetBox

The significance of the Red Hat Ansible Certified Content Collection for NetBox extends beyond its technical capabilities: it aligns closely with the key requirements of modern network automation architectures, serving as a valuable component when pursuing network automation. The collection’s widespread adoption within the network automation community and its integration into the architectures of the most mature network automation practices worldwide attest to both its efficacy and reliability.

Ansible Automation Platform is a unified solution for strategic automation. It combines the security, features, integrations and flexibility needed to scale automation across domains, orchestrate essential workflows and optimize IT operations to successfully adopt enterprise AI. With Ansible Automation Platform, you can maximize efficiency, improve security and overcome increasing IT challenges like skill gaps and tech sprawl.

With tens of thousands of installations, NetBox is widely deployed in enterprise footprints and is trusted by IT, networking and datacenter teams in industries such as financial services, retail and hospitality, industrial, manufacturing, energy and government. Combining the capabilities of DCIM and IPAM into a comprehensive network source of truth, NetBox has become critical infrastructure and is the linchpin of modern network management and automation architectures.

“Ansible Automation Platform and NetBox are preferred tools for our network automation practice, making this collaboration a win-win for our clients and team members,” said Dan Wade, Network and Infrastructure Automation Practice Lead, BlueAlly. “Pairing one of the most widely used network automation tools with the most popular network source of truth promises to supercharge the network automation strategies of our clients and ensure there is consistent, comprehensive data for Ansible and ongoing support for users of both tools.”

Use cases to get started

Some of the use cases where you can use the Red Hat Ansible Certified Content Collection for NetBox for network automation are the following:

  • Network State Management: Define the intended network state in NetBox, and deploy changes via Ansible Automation Platform.
  • Network Dynamic Inventory: Use NetBox inventory plugin to dynamically update the Ansible Automation Platform inventory from device data in NetBox.
  • Query and Return elements from NetBox: Use the lookup plugin to query and return elements from NetBox including lists of devices, device configurations, prefixes and IP addresses etc. Trigger automation jobs and workflows for element changes using NetBox as the Network Source of Truth.

Fig 1. Single source of truth to operate with consistency and control

The History of the NetBox Ansible Content Collection in the Community

The NetBox Ansible Content Collection allows users to automate the management of network configurations and inventory by integrating with NetBox's API. The collection was crafted by a dedicated team of nearly 100 NetBox community members and has become, and was first created by Mikhail Yohman in 2019 and later led by current maintainer Martin Rødvand. It is one of the most popular collections among Ansible users, ranking in the top five percent of collections in terms of use and engagement. Both organizations look forward to continued collaboration with the community for ongoing maintenance and evolution of this collection well into the future.

Learn more!

Those interested in seeing the Red Hat Ansible Certified Content Collection for NetBox in action can join a webinar hosted by NetBox Labs, “Integrating NetBox and Ansible with Catalyst Center and Meraki as part of a modern Network Automation Architecture” on Friday, June 21.

For Cisco Live US 2024 attendees that want to learn how to get started, both Red Hat and NetBox Labs are on-site at Cisco Live US at booths #6235 and #4519 respectively. We will have joint talks “Introducing the NetBox integration with Ansible Automation Platform” in the Red Hat booth on Monday, June 3, from 3-3:30 PDT, and Wednesday, June 5, from 2-2:30 PDT in the NetBox Labs booth.

Stop by to learn more about how Ansible Automation Platform and NetBox can help you begin adopting automation within your network or take your existing efforts to the next level.

About the author

Dafné is a Principal Technical Marketing Manager for Ansible Automation Platform Business Unit at Red Hat. Prior to Red Hat, Dafné worked at Cisco Systems, supporting Service Providers customers across US, Canada and Latin America to design, implement and adopt automation, orchestration and network management solutions. She brings over 15 years of experience in the IT field with specializations in DevNet, ITIL, SCRUM, consulting, networking and automation.

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