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This Week: Mastering Junos Automation Programming

Junos automation scripting, known in the field simply as Junos scripting, is a key technology and a fundamental capability that enables you to automate your Junos devices for your own (and unique) operational requirements. You can deploy Junos scripts on any Juniper Networks device that runs the Junos operating system, such as the highly successful MX Mid-Range series (MX5/ 10/40/ 80 routers), the M- and T series of routers, the EX series of Ethernet switches, and the SRX Services Gateways series of network devices. That’s a lot of powerful iron.

The most common knowledge shift for many new Junos automation developers is to acquire a good grasp of the XSLT programming paradigm. While many programmers may be familiar with procedural languages such as Perl and Java, the transformation nature and programming framework of XSLT could be new. So (This Week: Mastering Junos Automation Programming) is written from the perspective of a “classical” script programmer, teaching you about the specific tasks and functions of the Junos automation development environment. Spend a week with this book and you’ll be able to write, deploy, and debug Junos automation scripts.

“‘Mastering Junos Automation Programming’ provides all the information you need to quickly harness the power of Junos scripting and automation. This book teaches the reader SLAX, a friendlier, more concise alternative to XSLT, through clear instruction, countless example scripts, and helpful comparisons to other common programming languages and concepts. All the while the authors provide best practices and valuable tips for overcoming common obstacles when scripting with SLAX.”

Skyler Bingham, Security Development Engineer, Global Crossing

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About the Author(s)

Jeremy Schulman is a Senior Systems Engineer at Juniper Networks who brings over 15 years of software engineering experience to the company. Jeremy immediately recognized the vast potential in using Junos automation technologies to help Juniper customers lower cost, reduce risk, and ultimately deliver improved services to their end-customers. Jeremy has created innovative demonstrations and solutions for a wide range of service provider and enterprise solutions, and continues to be a driving force in the Junos Automation community.

Curtis Call is a Senior Systems Engineer at Juniper Networks, has over a decade of experience working with Junos, and has authored multiple books on Junos on-box automation. He is a Juniper Networks Certified Internet Expert (JNCIE-M #43).

Author Q & A

What got you started on this book?

As I spoke to more and more people about Junos automation scripting, they all said they needed a book of with this type of format and content. They needed a book that can make writing scripts approachable in the same manner they would find with other publishing house books, like “Learning Perl” or “Mastering Javascripting”.

Who is this book for?

I’ve found that many network engineers have programming skills and are already trying to automate/script their networks. Once they become aware of Junos automation scripting, they are thrilled with the idea of leveraging the technology.

This book is also for Juniper Sales Engineering, Consulting Engineering, and other internal Juniper Networks teams. The Junos scripting technology is fundamentally a key differentiator that can be effectively used in pre-sales activities.

After reading this book, what’s the take away?

The fundamental goal of the book is to enable people to quickly leverage Junos automation scripting capabilities, and create immediate benefit in their day-to-day operations. This book will “demystify” scripting. It will make clear the benefits and the practical implementation techniques that can be applied for simple and complex automation solutions.

What do you recommend as the next item to read after this book? What are your plans for more?

A more in-depth book is in the works to provide more information about debugging, scripting tips, as well as thoughts on how to turn a script into a complete solution.

What do you recommend as the next item to read after this book?

Juniper Networks has a series of “Day One” and “This Week” books dedicated to the topic of Junos automation. Each of these books provide additional depth and breadth to the body of knowledge. Look for more books in this series to come!

What’s your inspiration?

I was inspired to write this book because I recognize the intrinsic and immediate value this technology has to offer to our customer, partners, and internal Juniper teams. I wanted to help make Junos automation scripting approachable, illustrate its value, and help make in a “main stream” topic in the broader Juniper Developer Network initiatives.

What’s your favorite bit/part in the book?

Showing how Junos scripting can be integrated and leveraged with customer’s network management OOS/BSS infrastructure. Junos automation scripts can be used in a way to dramatically decrease OSS integration times, and facilitate complex networking diagnostics. If you begin to combine Junos automation scripts with modern “Web 2.0” programming languages the possibilities become quite amazing!