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Deploying Cloud resources using Aviatrix and Itential Automation Platforms:

Background:

Aviatrix and Itential are working together to build a Technology Alliance so our users can use the Itential Automation Platform to build automations for various Aviatrix specific use cases.

This is possible in two ways with Itential.

1 – Using Aviatrix Terraform Provider – with Itential Automation Gateway (IAG) and Itential Automation Platform (IAP) to build automations.

2 – Using Itential API adapter for Aviatrix - to send Aviatrix APIs calls from Itential Automation Platform.

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*As part of this Partnership, integrating Aviatrix APIs into Itential is under development and an initial version of the IAP API adapter for Aviatrix Platform can be found here - https://www.itential.com/adapters/aviatrix/

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Now let’s explore how we solved a real-world use case scenario for Itential and Aviatrix.

Platform component introductions:

Terraform:

Hashicorp Terraform is an open-source infrastructure as code software tool that codifies cloud APIs into declarative configuration files

-       https://www.terraform.io/

Aviatrix is an official partner of Hashicorp, and we have partnered together on not just Terraform but also on their other Product lines, Hashicorp Consul for example.

Aviatrix Terraform provider is Cloud-agnostic and has been used by several of our customers to deploy their network and network security infrastructure in one or many clouds.

Documentation of our Official Terraform Provider can be found by starting here:

-        https://www.hashicorp.com/integrations/aviatrix/terraform

Aviatrix Engineering team works diligently to ensure that with every new Aviatrix Controller release, our TF Provider is in parity with the new APIs.

Itential Automation Gateway (IAG):

IAG can be used a stand-alone application to standardize and consume existing custom-built scripts, Ansible Playbooks, etc. which may or may not have previously been API enabled.

In short, it is meant for ‘Bring Your Own Automation’ into Itential and take advantage of its API capabilities to build automations.

One of the many benefits of IAG is that it can also consume Terraform Artifacts, i.e., Itential’s integration with Terraform enables users to perform the full lifecycle of Terraform operations: Plan, Validate, Refresh, Apply, and Destroy.

In addition, IAG can -

·       Centralize and Consolidate management of these Scripts, Ansible playbooks, and Terraform artifacts for all deployments

·       Dynamically Discover Scripts, Ansible, and Terraform Artifacts

o   Any changes made to these artifacts by users are dynamically reflected

o   Ability to try out the APIs in an interactive manner before executing them

·       Federate as well as ‘Decorate’ or enhance scripts to enable and enforce consistent (JSON) schema definitions and normalize scripts for standardized and repeatable API consumption

Itential Automation Platform (IAP):  

IAP provides an extensible platform for management of multi-vendor/multi-technology environments, and it does this by using network and OSS adapters to facilitate the integration of these various systems and applications.

Demo - https://www.itential.com/resource/demo/solution-overview/

Here is a direct reference from Itential for IAP -  https://docs.itential.io/2020.2/admin/Itential%20Automation%20Platform/

As mentioned earlier, it is possible for IAP, using an adapter, to directly consume the same Aviatrix API’s that our Terraform modules consume today. This will mean that IAG is not required.

IAG+IAP:

As Per Itential documentation, it is also possible to integrate IAG with IAP to Build End-to-End Network Automations. This is easily done by installing a network adapter in IAP for IAG API (similar to the network adapters for Ansible tower API, NSO etc.)

Here is a quick demo of IAG - https://www.itential.com/resource/demo/automation-gateway/


And Itential documentation of IAG - https://docs.itential.io/2020.2/admin/Itential%20Automation%20Gateway/About/#key-features-of-automation-gateway

 

As a result, users will be able use IAG to consume Aviatrix Terraform Modules into the Itential Platform to create automations to meet their individual use cases.

 

Demonstration:

(Topology and Video are in the beginning of this blog post)

A quick review of the demo -

In this video, we will be stepping through an actual deployment process from an Automation in Itential automation platform, which is a collection of pre-built automations that users can input data into and quickly get to deploying their infrastructure in a low code manner.

This specific automation, Aviatrix-Itential-TF-v13, is taking an automation called aws-demo from the automation building and tying that with some input data via a JSON form I quickly created using the form builder in IAP.

This aws-demo workflow specifically is using Aviatrix Terraform provider in the backend to deploy a transit/spoke design for applications in AWS. 

Conclusion:

For Enterprises with multiple platforms and services built on modern application development principles and in today’s world of Hybrid/Multi-Cloud, Aviatrix and Itential partnership can largely simplify the foundational requirements around Network and Security using an end-to-end automation workflow such as the one highlighted here.

Why Aviatrix:

Here directly from our customers on Why Aviatrix - https://aviatrix.com/resources/real-world-cloud-networking-customers

Why Itential:

Itential simplifies and automates complex multi-domain and multi-vendor networks and bridges the gap between IT and networking teams by enabling users to easily build, execute and visualize end-to-end network automations for operations, configuration, and service lifecycle management. Itential’s low-code environment provides a vendor agnostic, turnkey solution, connecting network orchestrators and controllers with IT Service Management applications and configuration tools to accomplish closed-loop network automation. (Source - https://www.itential.com/products/why-itential/)

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