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Python for network engineers  |    A 5 day   hands on   training course

Python training course description

This Python course focusses on teaching Python for use in network automation and network DevOps. We focus on getting delegates up and running with Python and network automation as quickly as possible rather than making them great programmers. In other words we concentrate on enabling delegates to use network automation libraries such as netmiko, NAPALM and Nornir, and APIs such as NETCONF and RESTCONF rather than enabling delegates to produce object oriented programs. Hands on sessions use Cisco and Juniper devices.

What will you learn
  • Run Python programs.
  • Read Python programs.
  • Write Python programs.
  • Debug Python programs.
  • Automate network tasks with Python programs.
  • Configure network devices with Python.
  • Collect data from network devices with Python.
Python training course details

Python training course contents

  • What is Python?
  • Programming languages, Why Python? Python in interactive mode, Python scripts, ipython, Python version 2 versus version 3. A simple Python script. Comments.
    Hands on Installing Python, Hello world.

  • A network example
  • On box vs off box Python. telnet, ssh, NETCONF, HTTP, APIs, manufacturers and API support, analysis of a simple telnetlib program.
    Hands on Using Python to retrieve the configuration from a network device. Using wireshark to analyse the actions.

  • Python basics
  • I/O, operators, variables and assignment, types, indentation, loops and conditionals.
    Hands on Modifying the telnet program, changing configurations on a network devices.

  • Functions, classes and methods
  • What are functions, calling functions, builtin functions, useful builtin functions, file handling, classes, objects, creating instances.
    Hands on Storing configurations in files, configuring devices from files, using an inventory file to work on multiple devices.

  • Libraries and modules
  • Modules, files and packages, import, from-import, Python standard library, other packages, pip install, executing other programs. Managing python libraries.
    Hands on Using pip, installing and using ipaddress, subprocess to access netsnmp. For the more advanced, using the sockets library.

  • Paramiko and netmiko
  • SSH, enabling SSH on devices, keys. Paramiko versus netmiko, example scripts. pexpect.
    Hands on Configuring VLANs from Python.

  • pySNMP
  • Gathering facts using previous methods, SNMP review, pySNMP GET, pySNMP and SNMPv3. easySNMP library.
    Hands on Walking a MIB from Python.

  • What is NETCONF? Enabling NETCONF on devices, A first ncclient script, device handlers, get_config, edit_config, copy_config, delete_config, commit, validate, pyEZ, utils_config, utils.sw.
    Hands on Configuration using ncclient and PyEZ. This session is expanded for those interesting in JunOS automation.

  • Manipulating configuration files
  • Builtin functions, string handling. Unicode. Sequences, strings, lists, tuples. Dictionaries. TextFSM. Regular expressions. JSON, YAML, XML, YANG, Jinja2, templates.
    Hands on Jinja2 templating with Python to configure network devices.

  • Getters, configuration operations, supported devices, NAPALM transport, Config-replace, Config-merge, Compare config, Atomic changes, rollback. Example NAPLAM scripts.
    Hands on Using NAPALM to gather facts, Using NAPALM for configuration management

  • What is REST, HTTP methods, GET, POST, cURL, Postman, Python requests library. RESTCONF, a RESTCONF example.
    Hands on Modifying a configuration using RESTCONF.

  • Scapy
  • What is scapy, Scapy in interactive mode, Scapy as a module.
    Hands on Packet crafting from Python.

  • Warning
  • Errors and exceptions, Exception handling, try, except. Memory management. Garbage collection. Context management, With.
    Hands on Improving Python code.

  • Nornir
  • What is Nornir? A network automation framework, inventories, connection management and parallelization. Nornir architecture and other libraires.
    Hands on Setting up nornir, nornir fact gathering, nornir tasks.

  • Optional
  • Writing your own functions, Writing your own classes. pyntc.
    Hands on Writing reusable code.

Learning path



Based on overall customer ratings

B. M. - London Internet Exchange

"Excellent presentation - very good course structure."

M. S. - LINX

"Great course, learned a lot, and do it again if technology changed."

Training approach

This structured course uses Instructor Led Training to provide the best possible learning experience. Small class sizes ensure students benefit from our engaging and interactive style of teaching with delegates encouraged to ask questions throughout the course. Quizzes follow each major section allowing checking of learning. Hands on sessions are used throughout to allow delegates to consolidate their new skills.