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Create a Template Variables Spreadsheet

In an overlay network, you might have multiple Viptela devices of the same type that have identical or effectively identical configurations. For example, in a network with redundant vSmart controllers, each controller must be configured with identical policies. Another example is a network with vEdge routers at multiple sites, where each vEdge router is providing identical services at each site.

Because the configurations for these devices are essentially identical, you can create one set of feature templates, which you then consolidate into one device template that you use to configure all the devices. For options and parameters that are identical across all the devices, you set them globally in the feature templates. However, some options or parameters vary from device to device. For example, site IDs, timezones, system IP addresses, GPS coordinates, and interface names might differ on different devices. In the feature templates, you mark these fields as being device specific, you define a key, or variable, to uniquely identify the field, and you leave the value blank. Then, after you have consolidated the feature templates into a device template, when you attach the device template to an individual device, you specify the values for each of the device-specific variable fields.

You can enter the variable values in one of two ways:

  • Manually. When you attach a device template to a device, the vManage NMS prompts you for the variable values. While this manual process is simple and might work easily for small deployments, it scales poorly.
  • Load a file when you attach a device template to a device. This file, which is an Excel file in CSV format, lists all the variables and defines each variable's value for each device. It is recommended that you create a CSV file when configuring an overlay network that has more than a handful of vEdge routers.

To create a CSV file, start by having the vManage NMS create a empty CSV file that contains all the required columns and column headings. Then you populate the file with values for each variable.

CSV File Format

The CSV file is an Excel spreadsheet that contains one column for each variable required for a device's configuration. The header row contains the variable names (one variable per column), and each row after that corresponds to a device and defines the values of the variables for that device.

You can create a single spreadsheet for all devices in the overlay network—vEdge routers, vManage NMSs, vSmart controllers, and vBond orchestrators—or you can create one spreadsheet for each device type. The Viptela software determines the device type from its serial number.

In the spreadsheet, for each device type and for each individual device, you specify values only for the required variables. When you do not need to specify a value for a variable, simply leave that cell blank.

The first three columns in the spreadsheet must be the following and must be in the order listed below:

Column Column Heading Description
1 csv-deviceId Serial number of the device (used to uniquely identify the device). For vEdge routers, you receive the serial numbers in the vEdge authorized serial number file sent to you from Viptela. For other devices, the serial number is included in the signed certificate you receive from Symantec or from your root CA.
2 csv-deviceIP System IP address of the device (used to populate the system ip address command).
3 csv-host-name Hostname of the device (used to populate the system hostname command).

The headings for the remaining columns must be unique variable keys that are defined in the Enter Key box of a feature template. These remaining columns can be in any order.

Create an Empty CSV File

An easy way to get the correct text strings for the column headings is to have the vManage NMS create an empty CSV file. Note that this generated CSV is not completely empty. Rather, it contains one row for each Viptela device type. What it provides you, though, is the column headings required for each of the variables in the device configuration.

To have the vManage NMS create an empty CSV file, which contains columns and column headings for all the variables required by all the feature templates contained in the device template:

  1. In the Configuration ► Templates screen, click the Feature tab.
  2. Click Add Template.
  3. Create the required feature templates for one vEdge router, one vSmart controller, one vManage NMS, and one vBond controller. For information about creating the feature templates, see the Device Configuration How-To articles.
    In each feature template:
    1. For fields that have default values, verify that you want to use that value for all devices. If you do not want to use the default, change the scope to Global or Device specific.
    2. For fields that apply to all devices, select the Global icon next to the field and set the desired global values.
    3. For fields that are device specific, select the Device-specific icon next to the field and leave the field blank.
  4. For each Viptela device type, create a device template. For information about creating device templates, see the Device Configuration How-To articles.
  5. In the Configuration ► Templates screen, click the Device tab.
  6. In the Template List view, select the desired device template.
  7. Click the More Actions icon to the right of the row and click Export CSV.
  8. Repeat Steps 6 and 7 for each device type.

Edit the exported CSV file, adding at a minimum the device serial number, device system IP address, and device hostname for each device in the overlay network. Then add values for desired device-specific variables for each device. Note that variable names cannot contain forward slashes (/) or backwards slashes (\).

If desired, you can combine the CSV files into a single file.

To use the device-specific variable values in the CSV file, import the file when you are attaching a device template to the Viptela device. During the attachment process, click Import file to load the Excel file. If vManage NMS detects duplicate system IP addresses for devices in the overlay network, it displays a warning message or a pop-up window. You must correct the system IP addresses to remove any duplicates before you can continue the process of attaching device templates to Viptela devices.

Manually Enter Template Variables

If any fields in a feature template contain device-specific values, when you attach a device template to a device, the vManage NMS prompts you for the values of these variables. In test or POC networks, or if you are deploying a small network, you can simply enter the values manually instead of creating and importing a template variables spreadsheet and then attach the template to the device

  1. In the Configuration ► Templates screen, click the Device tab.
  2. In the Template List, select the desired device template.
  3. Click the More Actions icon to the right of the row and click Attach Devices. The Attach Devices dialog box opens with the Select Devices tab selected
  4. In the Available Devices column on the left, select a group and search for one or more devices, select a device from the list, or click Select All.
  5. Click the arrow pointing right to move the device to the Selected Devices column on the right.
  6. Click Attach.
  7. If the template contains variables, enter the missing variable values. Note that variable names cannot contain forward slashes (/) or backwards slashes (\). Once you provide values for all variables, the Status column to the right of each device row changes to green.​​​​
  8. Click Next.
    If any devices have the same system IP address, a pop-up or an error message is displayed when you click Next. Modify the system IP addresses so that there are no duplicates, and click Save. Then click Next again.
  9. In the left pane, select the device to preview the configuration that is ready to be pushed to the device. The right pane displays the device's configuration and the Config Preview tab in the upper right corner is selected.
    Click the Config Diff tab to preview the differences between this configuration and the configuration currently running on the device, if applicable.
    Click the Back button to edit the variable values entered in the previous screen.
  10. Click Configure Devices to push the configuration to the devices.
    The Status column displays whether the configuration was successfully pushed. Click the right angle bracket to the left of the row to display details of the push operation.

Release Information

Introduced in vManage NMS in Release 15.3.
In Release 15.4, add ability to export CSV file without having to first attach devices.
In Release 17.2, have vManage NMS check for duplicate system IP addresses.

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