Operator-driven Network Automation and Software Defined Networking

5 Day Course
Hands On
Code PWL430

Book Now - 2 Delivery Methods Available:

Classroom Virtual Classroom Private Group - Virtual Self-Paced Online


The pace of innovation in operator networks is driven by three key factors: a reduction in capital and operational costs; delivery of new services faster; and service flexibility to generate new sources of revenue. Software-defined Networking (SDN) is a proven architecture and set of networking principles. It allows network administrators to quickly and easily manage network services from a centralize location without having to manually configure each individual network element (switch/router), using abstracted interfaces and leverage low cost networking platforms. However, not all environments are capable of greenfield SDN deployments, so a more pragmatic approach will be required to evolve larger operator network environments.

This course provides a refresher of how we build large multi-layer networks. We review the need for operators, and the underlining requirements, to use traffic engineering in their network and how more traditional Standards organisations are enhancing existing control plane and management plane technology to meet the goals outlined above. This includes discussion on the ongoing development of traditional routing protocols, deploying Path Computation Elements (SDN nodes), using traffic engineering architectures and protocols, and managing the network resources via YAML and YANG device and service models. 


  • Review current network architecture and understand requirements driving network change
  • Consider the impact if next generation deterministic packet services and 5G implications on network infrastructure

  • Asses core transport growth and multi-layer networking design and operational considerations

  • Identify the objectives of network programmability and automation

  • Investigate the role of more traditional Standards organisations and evolution existing control plane and management technologies

  • Introduces network automation principles and technologies and how these can be used in isolation or to enhance SDN

  • Highlight the role of SDN and how it can be leveraged with network automation

  • Hands-on automation using one of the elective modules: Ansible or Puppet

Target Audience

This course complements the fundamentals and advanced engineering SDN & NFV courses (PWL400 & PWL402). We build on the prior courses from the perspective of a network operator and the ongoing need for network automation, whilst leveraging existing network infrastructure. The course includes a significant amount of hands-on and is aimed at network operations using network programmability and automation techniques based on Python, this includes Ansible and ancillary software.


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Current Operator Network Architecture (9 topics)

  • Traditional network architecture
  • Data Plane
  • Control Plane
  • Distributed Control Planes
  • Management Plane
  • Understanding Next Generation Architectures
  • Southbound Interfaces (SBI)
  • SNMP

Evolution of Software Defined Networks (12 topics)

  • Principles of SDN for Network Automation
  • Centralized control
  • Network convergence
  • Abstraction
  • Network Programmability
  • Core SDN Network Design
  • SDN Controller for the Core
  • Network programmability
  • Evolving from traditional interfaces
  • Data plane
  • Control plane
  • Northbound to applications

Overview of Next Generation Network Objectives (5 topics)

  • Where is the Market for Application and Service demands?
  • Scaling Limitations of Delivering Services using existing Technologies
  • Predicting Next Generation Customer Demands
  • New Architecture Considerations
  • Addressing Network Scaling and Configuration Complexity

Deterministic Packet-oriented Internet Services (4 topics)

  • Why is Internet becoming deterministic?
  • What are the deterministic requirements?
  • Ultra-low latency, reliability and QoE
  • Impact of 5G network KPIs for the evolved packet core

Core Transport for Next Generation Services (6 topics)

  • Transport technology
  • Carrier Ethernet
  • Traffic Engineering
  • Recovery from Failure and ensuring Resilience
  • Delivering Quality of Service and Experience

Automating Path Computation and Traffic Engineering (14 topics)

  • Use of an External Path Computation Element
  • Components of External Path Computing
  • Interaction Between a PCE and a PCC
  • LSP Behavior with external computation
  • Stateless, Stateful, and Active PCE
  • Using the PCE for network applications and services
  • PCE-Controlled LSP Protection
  • PCE Controlled Point-to-Multipoint LSPs
  • Auto-Bandwidth, Delegated and PCE-Controlled LSPs
  • Deployment models for the PCE
  • Standalone PCE
  • Using a PCE as part of the SDN Controller
  • Using the PCE as a Centralised Controller (PCECC)
  • Hierarchical PCE Architecture

Role of Path Computation Element (PCE) in the SDN Controller (7 topics)

  • Application-based Network Operations (ABNO) and role of the PCE
  • Using the PCE via the SDN Controller
  • SDN Controllers utilizing the PCE
  • OpenDaylight
  • ONOS
  • Juniper NorthStar
  • Cisco Open SDN Controller

BGP-based Software Defined Networks (3 topics)

  • BGP FlowSpec for per flow routing enabler
  • BGP as a WAN optimization lever
  • BGP-LS for network reachability, management, and visibility

Recent Developments for SDN and Network Automation in Operator Networks (4 topics)

  • Enhanced IGP Developments
  • Interface-to the Routing System
  • Segment Routing (SR)
  • Network Service Headers

Abstraction and Control of Transport Networks (ACTN) (6 topics)

  • Abstraction and control of transport network resources for intelligent networks
  • Multi-domain networks and need for abstraction
  • Why do we need Inter-Domain Traffic Engineering?
  • SDN Controllers, Hierarchy and Architecture
  • Integration of ACTN with ONOS
  • Applicability of ACTN to 5G and Network Slicing

Network and Service Models Explained (4 topics)

  • Network and Service Model Architecture
  • Models in an SDN context
  • Service Delivery and Network (Layer-1, Layer-2 and Layer-3) Models
  • Relationship to Intent and Policy

Standards-based and Open Source Network Models (4 topics)

  • IETF
  • MEF
  • OpenConfig
  • Telecom Infrastructure Project

Network Automation Principles (11 topics)

  • Automation and the future of networking
  • Network DevOps
  • Automation Applications
  • Network Visibility
  • Equipment Inventory
  • Service Deployment
  • SLA Automation
  • Analytics-driven network planning
  • Intent-based and Policy-based automation
  • Declarative-Intent
  • Imperative-Policy

Orchestration Models (2 topics)

  • MEF Life Cycle Orchestration
  • Open Network Automation Platform

Network Automation Scripting (18 topics)

  • Developing script-based network actions
  • Playbooks
  • Play
  • Tasks
  • Device automation modeling languages
  • YANG
  • YAML
  • JSON
  • Script-based automation
  • Pythonic
  • Perl
  • Model-based automation
  • YANG
  • Vendor-based automation
  • Arista EOS (eAPI)
  • Cisco NX-OS (Python API)
  • Juniper Junos (PyEz micro framework)
  • Cumulus Linux

Open Source Configuration Management Tools for Network Automation (5 topics)

  • Using DevOps tools for Network Programmability
  • Puppet: Arista, Cisco, Citrix, F5, Cumulus, Juniper and Huawei
  • Chef: Cisco NX-OS, ACI
  • Ansible: Arista, A10, Cisco, Citrix, Cumulus, F5 and Juniper
  • RESTful API interfacing for OSS/BSS or customer self-service portals

Network Automation with Ansible (Elective) (8 topics)

  • Building networks with Ansible
  • Intent-based Network Automation with Ansible
  • Ansible-based Network Tasks
  • Configuration automation of the network
  • Test and validate network state
  • Network drift compliance testing
  • Network Automation with Python & Ansible
  • Using Ansible and NAPALM

Networking automation with Puppet (Elective) (3 topics)

  • Building networks with Puppet
  • Intent-based Network Automation with Puppet
  • Puppet-based Network Tasks

Operational issues of Chef, Puppet and Ansible for Network Automation (9 topics)

  • Limited availability of target platforms that support python or ruby runtimes
  • Achieving Service Function Chaining
  • Transaction Capabilities & Roll-back support
  • Multi-tenancy
  • Topology Discovery
  • Support for Discovery of existing Services
  • Backwards compatibility for network playbooks
  • Support for Virtual Appliances
  • Integration with SDN Controllers

Other topics for consideration (4 topics)

  • Zero-Touch Network & Service Management
  • Automation Use Cases
  • IoT/IoE Applications and Services
  • SD-WAN Service Delivery

Hands on Network Automation (20 topics)

  • Ansible for Network Engineers
  • Node setup using GNS3
  • Ansible-based Network Tasks
  • Host configuration
  • Interface setup
  • Local network configuration
  • Declarative Configuration Management with Napalm
  • Vendor neutral configuration templates
  • Role based Network Abstractions
  • Automating network topology gathering
  • Network automation via models and scripting
  • Building YANG models and using NETCONF
  • Network automation with OpenDaylight
  • Device management
  • VLAN-based Layer-2 switching
  • IP-based Layer-3 switching
  • Discovery of network reachability and modification with BGP-LS
  • Service deployment using PCEP
  • Building Northbound APIs

Additional Learning

The courses below may help you meet the knowledge level required to take this course.

Scheduled Dates

Please select from the dates below to make an enquiry or booking.


Different pricing structures are available including special offers. These include early bird, late availability, multi-place, corporate volume and self-funding rates. Please arrange a discussion with a training advisor to discover your most cost effective option.

Code Location Duration Price Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Virtual Classroom (Bangalore)
5 Days $4,105
Virtual Classroom (Dubai)
5 Days $4,105
Virtual Classroom (London)
5 Days $4,105
Virtual Classroom (Reston, VA)
5 Days $4,105
Virtual Classroom (Singapore)
5 Days $4,105

What Our Customers Say

The training was delivered with a high level of expertise and excellence. Instructor was highly knowledgeable.”

Technical Trainer, Aviat Networks

Overall the course was really good, the trainer really understood the material and was very approachable.”

Customer Training Manager, Aviat Networks

Excellent course, informative and well-paced.”

CSE, Cisco

Course was very well outlined. Topics were great and bridged many gaps.”

System Engineer, Cable & Wireless

An excellent intro to video encoding & MPEG transport streams - I would definitely recommend it.”

Broadcast Engineer, Cisco

Definitely an excellent intro. Left me interested in learning more.”

Broadcast Engineer, Eircom

Excellent training course with real examples and practical classroom demonstrations.”

Transport Designer, Orange

Instructor knowledge and experience was excellent.”

Solutions Engineer, Akamai

Excellent course, very clear and well organised. Course content delivery was very good.”

Assistant Engineer, Dhiraagu

Very informative and appropriate.”

Network Support Technician, BT

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