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Onboarding Extensions

What are onboarding extensions?

Onboarding Extensions are Python modules that are dynamically loaded and executed as a part of device onboarding.

What are common use cases for onboarding extensions?

Onboarding extensions could be used (but not limited to) to perform the following operations:

  • Stack onboarding
  • HA Pairs, VSS pairs onboarding
  • Populating device-bays and child devices, ie. Cisco UCS-Es
  • Populating device inventories during onboarding
  • Setting device roles during onboarding, ie. Role = Access Switch
  • Setting device tags during onboarding, ie: onboarded_with=networktocode

How do I enable onboarding extensions?

You have to modify Nautobot configuration in to include your extension's configuration. In the example below, we map a NAPALM driver name (this one could be a custom NAPALM driver too!), into a loadable python module containing your onboarding extension. Onboarding plugin will dynamically load and execute your module as specified below:

        "onboarding_extensions_map": {
            "cisco_ios": "onboarding_extensions.ios",
            "cisco_nxos": "onboarding_extensions.nxos",
            "cisco_asa": "onboarding_extensions.asa",

How do I create an onboarding extension?

You have to create two elements as a part of your extension:

  • an OnboardingDriverExtensions class inside your python module
  • an OnboardingClass

At first, plugin will initiate an instance of your OnboardingDriverExtensions (you have to use this name of the class). Onboarding plugin passes the NAPALM device with an opened connection to this class, allowing you to to execute any custom commands with NAPALM (ie. collect device stack information).

OnboardingDriverExtensions must contain two important class attributes:

  • onboarding_class (mandatory)
  • ext_result (optional).

In onboarding_class attribute, you have to return a custom class that defines your onboarding methods. This is useful, as you might want to onboard devices in multiple different ways and onboarding_class acts as a distinguisher here.

The ext_result attribute allows to collect and store any data while the device connection is active. Your custom OnboardingClass will be initiated with driver_addon_result attribute containing the value of ext_result.

Where do I find an example of onboarding extension ?

Please check our example: