We have unveiled a new web-based training class: JUNOS as a Scripting Language. This training class is approximately four hours long and attempts to provide an overview of using the script automation features built into the JUNOS Software.
I actually was one of the primary authors of this class. One of the main challenges we had in writing this class was addressing the wide variety of audiences. It is doubtful that there were many people who were experts in both JUNOS and the languages used for automation. So, we needed to expect that people viewing this class would come from a wide variety of backgrounds: some would know programming well, while others would know JUNOS well. We tried to include enough background on the languages used for automation scripts to help those unfamiliar with the languages. And, we tried to include enough context with the JUNOS examples to ensure that you didn't need to be a JUNOS expert to follow the examples. Time will tell whether we hit the mark well.
The other main challenge we had in writing the class was balancing the need to get into details with the need to cover a wide variety of material. We tried to give the building blocks to write scripts, provide a few good examples, and cover some of the major opportunities for misunderstanding (the "gotchas") that could be lurking for first-time users of scripts. We wanted to empower the viewers of the course to begin writing their scripts and arm them with enough information to get them on the right track without overwhelming them with myriad details they may never need. Again, time (and your comments) will tell whether we did a good job balancing these competing desires.
One of the things the course should show is how powerful scripting can be in a network. We show some basic examples that highlight just some of the many uses of automation scripts. We show a basic example where a complex configuration is reduced to a simple configuration statement. We show a simple example where the output of "show interfaces terse" is restricted based on the customer ID configured for an interface. We show a basic example of changing traffic flows based on the results of real-time performance monitoring (RPM) probes. And, these are all fairly basic examples that just scratch the surface of the capabilities of JUNOS automation scripts.
One of the best parts about JUNOS automation scripts is the cost: free (just like this training class). The capabilities of JUNOScript are included in the JUNOS Software and don't require purchase of a separate license to use. All you need to do is write a script, put it on the device, and configure the JUNOS Software to use it. This training course should enable you to begin doing those things in your network.
Please feel free to view the eLearning course here: http://www.juniper.net/us/en/training/elearning/junos_scripting/index.html. Even though the class is four hours long, you can stop the class at any point and resume where you stopped. (If you have cookies enabled, the class will remember where you stopped and allow you to easily restart at that point.)
And, if you have any scripting success stories you'd like to share, feel free to leave them in a comment to this post!