Archives For July 2013

I’ve published VRFSearchTool version 0.06 Alpha on GitHub.

Approximately two weeks after I published my preliminary plans for the VRFSearchTool and not quite a week after I completely rewrote the functionality of the tool, I’m releasing the Alpha version.

Although it’s as functional as I expect the final product to be, I’m still calling it an Alpha at this stage because it’s still a little rough around the edges.  It contains the minimum amount of code to be usable, lacks some error-checking on user input and is short on commentary in certain sections of the code.

I expect the Beta version of the application to be published sometime next week, put into production and turned loose so the team can start playing with it and provide feedback.  Standby for another update, examples and screenshots next week!

I’ve updated Run Router Command to version 1.10.

My changes to this application pretty much mirror those changes made to the application this one was built from: DownloadRouterConfig.py.

Anyway, here is a cut-n-paste of the highlights of changes made between version 1.08 and 1.10:

  • I changed the application to use ‘routers.txt’ instead of ‘routers.lst’ by request since not all users that may be using this application have the ability to make permanent file associations.  Upon further consideration, I decided to take this a step further and allow users to actually set the name of the file they want to use for this function.  I’ve created a variable to define this filename in the source code.
  • I have also improved the error-checking for the files.  I understand that this source code might actually be distributed as a binary and users may not have access to documentation or the source.  I built functionality into the application such that if a required file does not exist, the application will create an example file for the user with instructions on it’s use.  I’m still not certain this is the right approach, but I like the way that it works, in theory.

See my GitHub Repository for this project to learn more.

I’ve updated Download Router Config to version 2.17.

Here are a few of the highlights since version 2.15:

  • I changed the application to use ‘routers.txt’ instead of ‘routers.lst’ by request since not all users that may be using this application have the ability to make permanent file associations.  Upon further consideration, I decided to take this a step further and allow users to actually set the name of the file they want to use for this function.  I’ve created a variable to define this filename in the source code.
  • I have also improved the error-checking for the files.  I understand that this source code might actually be distributed as a binary and users may not have access to documentation or the source.  I built functionality into the application such that if a required file does not exist, the application will create an example file for the user with instructions on it’s use.  I’m still not certain this is the right approach, but I like the way that it works, in theory.

See my GitHub Repository for this project to learn more.

This week I made great progress with my VRFSearchTool.  I’m still not ready to push it to GitHub just yet, so I thought I’d blog a little bit about how it’s coming along.

While working through the functions I realized that I could better streamline the flow of the application by moving some of the functions around.  Originally, the application design did not check for the presence of the “routers.txt” file until later in the program.  The more I thought about this, the more backwards this seemed.  The “routers.txt” file is required by the program to know which routers to log into.  This is a requirement, if you plan on updating the index of VRF names in your environment.

Continue Reading…

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I’ve finally developed a method to automate (preseed) Raspberry Pi installations using the Raspbian Installer.

Here are a few more details about this project, lifted from it’s GitHub Repository:

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I’ve begun working on a new project entitled VRFSearchTool.

Put simply, this is a Python application that allows a user to search for a VRF name and returns the hostname/router of the gateway on which it is configured.

I regularly have the need to locate a VPN tunnel configuration across multiple routers and lack a quick-and-easy way determine which router this tunnel is configured on without using other slow or inconvenient means. The idea is that this tool will provide a (very) basic means of maintaining an index of all configured VRFs throughout a Cisco environment and provide the user with the ability to search for those VRFs.

Continue Reading…

I’ve updated RunRouterCommand.py to version 1.08.

Changes in this version:

  • Updated error checking to include validating `commands.lst` file exists.

See my GitHub Repository for this project to learn more.

I’ve updated DownloadRouterConfig.py to version 2.15.

Changes in this version:

  • Updated the file open operation to specify opening the routers.lst file as read only.
  • Minor corrections to the IOError message.

See my GitHub Repository for this project to learn more.

Back To Blogging

July 10, 2013 — 3 Comments

Much to my own surprise, I’ve decided to return to blogging.

So how would I describe my on-again-off-again affair with blogging and why is this blog any different than the rest?

In the past, my blogs have revolved around a specific subject, such as motorcycles.  Honestly? It became more tedious (to me) to write about motorcycles than to throw my leg over a bike and hit the curves.  Ultimately, I lost interest in maintaining the blog because experiencing the subject was time well spent compared to documenting the experience.

Previously, my motivation for blogging was personal — therefore I approached it with casual effort.  Now, my motivation for blogging is professional.  Not “professional” in the sense that I’m promising well-written, polished content, but “professional” in the sense of career development.

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