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Hands-On Enterprise Automation with Python

Automate common administrative and security tasks
with Python

About :

The book starts by covering the set up of a Python environment to perform
automation tasks, as well as the modules, libraries, and tools you will be using.

We'll explore examples of network automation tasks using simple Python 
programs and Ansible. 

Next, we will walk you through automating
administration tasks with Python Fabric, where you will learn to perform server
configuration and administration along with system administration tasks such as
user management, database management, and process management. 

As you
progress through this book, you'll automate several testing services with Python
scripts and perform automation tasks on virtual machines and the cloud
infrastructure with Python. 

In the concluding chapters,

you will cover Python-
based offensive security tools and learn to automate your security tasks.

By the end of this book, you will have mastered the skills of automating several
system administration tasks with Python.
What this book covers

Chapter 1, 

Setting Up Python Environment, explores how to download and install
the Python interpreter along with the Python Integrated Development
Environment, called JetBrains PyCharm. The IDE provides you with smart
autocompletion, intelligent code analysis, powerful refactoring and integrates
with Git, virtualenv, Vagrant, and Docker. This will help you to write
professional and robust Python code.

Chapter 2, Common Libraries Used in Automation, covers the Python libraries that
are available today and that are used for automation. We will categorize them
based on their usage (system, network, and cloud) and provide a simple
introduction. As you progress through the book, you will find yourself deep
diving into each of them and understanding their usage.

Chapter 3, Setting up Your Network Lab Environment, discusses the merits of
network automation and how network operators use it today to automate the
current devices. We will explore popular libraries that are used today to automate
network nodes from Cisco, Juniper, and Arista. This chapter covers how to build
a networking lab to apply the Python script on. We will use an open source
network emulation tool called EVE-NG.

Chapter 4, Using Python to Manage Network Devices, dives into managing
networking devices through telnet and SSH connections using netmiko,
paramiko, and telnetlib. We will learn how to write the Python code to access
switches and routers and execute commands on the terminal and then return the
output. We will also learn how to utilize different Python techniques to back up
and push configuration. The chapter ends with some use cases used today in
modern network environment.

Chapter 5, Extracting Useful Data from Network Devices, explains how to use
different tools and techniques inside Python to extract useful data from returned
output and act upon it. Also, we will use a special library called CiscoConfParse
to audit the configuration. Then we will learn how to visualize data to generate
appealing graphs and reports with matplotlib.

Chapter 6, Configuration Generator with Python and Jinja2, explains how to
generate a common configuration for a site with hundreds of network nodes. We
will learn how to write a template and use it to generate a golden configuration
with a templating language called Jinja2.

Chapter 7, Parallel Execution of the Python Script, covers how to instantiate and
execute your Python code in parallel. This will allow us to finish the automation
workflow faster as long as it is not interdependent.

Chapter 8, Preparing a Lab Environment, covers the installation process and
preparation for our lab environment. We will install our automation server either
in CentOS or Ubuntu over different hypervisors. Then we will learn how to
automate the operating system installation with Cobbler.

Chapter 9, Using the Subprocess Module, explains how to send a command from a
Python script directly to the operating system shell and investigate the returning

Chapter 10, Running System Administration Tasks with Fabric, introduces Fabric,
which is a Python library for executing system administration tasks through
SSH. Also, it's used in large deployment of applications. We will learn how to
utilize and leverage this library to execute tasks on remote servers.

Chapter 11, Generating System Reports, Managing Users, and System Monitoring,
explains that collecting data and generating recurring reports from the system is
an essential task for any system administrator, and automating this task will help
you to discover issues early and provide a solutions for them. In this chapter, we
will see some proven ways to automate data collection from servers and generate
formal reports. We will learn how to manage new and existing users using
Python and Ansible. Also, we will dive into monitoring the system KPI and logs
analysis. You can also schedule the monitoring scripts to run on a regular basis
and send the result to your mail inbox.

Chapter 12, Interacting with the Database, states that if you're a database
administrator or database developer, then Python provides a wide range of
libraries and modules that cover managing and working on popular DBMSes
such as MySQL, Postgress, and Oracle. In this chapter, we will learn how to
interact with DBMSes using Python connectors.

Chapter 13, Ansible for System Administration, explores one of the most powerful
tools in configuration management software. Ansible is very powerful when it
comes to system administration and can be used to make sure the configuration
is replicated exactly across hundreds or even thousands of servers at the same

Chapter 14, Creating and Managing VMWare Virtual Machines, explains how to
automate VM creation on a VMWare hypervisor. We will discover different
ways to create and manage virtual machines over ESXi using VMWare's official
binding library.

Chapter 15, Interacting with Openstack API, explains that OpenStack was very
popular in creating private IaaS when it came to private cloud. We will use
Python modules such as requests to create REST calls and interact with
OpenStack services such as nova, cinder, and neutron, and create the required
resources over OpenStack. Later in the chapter, we will use Ansible playbooks
for the same workflow.

Chapter 16, Automating AWS with Python and Boto3, covers how to automate
common AWS services such as EC2 and S3 using official Amazon binindgs
(BOTO3), which provides an easy-to-use API for services access.

Chapter 17, Using the SCAPY Framework, introduces SCAPY, which is a powerful
Python tool used to build and craft packets and then send them on the wire. You
can build any type of network stream and send it on the wire. It can also help
you to capture network packets and replay them to the wire.

Chapter 18, Building Network Scanner Using Python, provides a complete
example of building a network scanner using Python. You can scan a complete
subnet for different protocols and ports and generate a report for each scanned
host. Then, we will learn how to share the code with the open source community
(GitHub) by leveraging Git.

Setting Up Our Python Environment

In this chapter, we will provide a brief introduction to the Python programming
language and the differences between the current versions. Python ships in two
active versions, and making a decision on which one to use during development
is important. In this chapter, we will download and install Python binaries into
the operating system.

At the end of the chapter, we will install one of the most advanced Integrated
Development Editors (IDEs) used by professional developers around the
world: PyCharm. PyCharm provides smart code completion, code inspections,
on-the-fly error highlighting and quick fixes, automated code refactoring, and
rich navigation capabilities, which we will go over throughout this book, as we
write and develop Python code.

The following topics will be covered in this chapter:

An introduction to Python
Installing the PyCharm IDE
Exploring some nifty PyCharm features


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