Unimus 1.7.0 and Network Automation

Last week, we released Unimus 1.7.0.
The biggest part of this release was our new Network Automation / Mass Config Push feature.

This release marks a huge milestone for Unimus, and in this article, we would like to tell you more about it!
Before we go any further, here is our release overview video:


This article will mostly focus on Network Automation, since this is the biggest, and the most interesting feature in this release.

How to make Network Automation easy?

Ever since we started developing Unimus, our main goal always was "simple and fast to use, but powerful enough to solve hard problems".

We approached Network Automation with the same mind-set:
- you should not need to know an enormous technology stack simply to automate deployment of a VLAN across 50 switches
- new personnel should not have to spend weeks learning to understand and use a network automation platform
- it should just work, no matter the type of the device, or its vendor

Before we go any further, let's state one basic premise - Unimus will not turn your network into IaC (infrastructure as code).
This is not our goal, nor our aim, and if you want your network to be IaC managed, the automation features in Unimus are likely not for you.

So who are the Network Automation features in Unimus aimed at?
Every single network administrator who wants to save time and automate, without having to learn programming or entire automation frameworks; without needing to learn new languages, change work-flows, and without having to worry if their vendor supports it.

With the Network Automation features in Unimus, you can use the CLI commands you already know for your equipment.
You can automate configuration for all of the 90+ vendors we support in Unimus.
And most importantly - everything is easy to understand and fast to use.

Historically, the barriers of entry into network automation have been huge.
With this release, we are hoping to remove them completely.

We are hoping to give the power to every network administrator to mass-deploy configuration across their network, and to enable network scaling by making automation easy and painless.

For an example on how to automate MikroTik RouterOS deployments network-wide, you can check our previous article:
https://unimus.net/blog/network-wide-mikrotik-routeros-upgrade

Unimus 1.7.0 changelog

Finally, the full changelog of 1.7.0:

= Version 1.7.0 =
Features:
  Improved configuration change detection on Cisco IOS and Cisco NXOS
  Unimus now detects when devices return "permission denied" / "access denied" errors and fails the backup job
  Improved error reporting in Dashboard "Show log" for all jobs
  Improved logging of various errors and failed jobs in the log file
  Improved Enable/Configure mode switching for all supported vendors
  Added detection of command unsupported and permission denied errors in output of devices that do not use paging
  Added support for devices which require entering login password twice
  Added device description to job logs on the Dashboard

  Added a new "Mass config push" / "Mass reconfig" feature:
    - Unimus is now able to push configuration to your devices
    - you can create as many "push presets" as needed to automate your network
    - devices will be switched to Enable or Configure mode automatically if a push preset requires it
    - output from the push job is grouped, no need to check output of each device manually

  Added support for Enable/Configure passwords separate from Credentials (username/password combinations):
    - you can specify a list of Enable/Configure passwords on the Credentials screen
    - Unimus will automatically discover which Enable/Configure password is valid for a device

  Added support for Credential and Enable/Configure password binding:
    - you can bind specific Credentials or Enable/Configure passwords to devices
    - this will disable Credential and Enable/Configure password discovery on the device
    - only the bound Credential and Enable/Configure passwords will be used for the device
    - discovery, backup and any other operations on the device will fail if the bound Credentials are invalid

   Added a new "Network scan" (device discovery) feature
     - Unimus is now able to adopt devices by scanning your network
     - you can define multiple subnets for scanning, and Unimus will find available devices
     - networks scans can be scheduled to periodically adopt devices from the network

  Added support for:
    - Adtran NetVanta
    - Adtran Total Access
    - Brocade NetIron
    - HP 1950 switches
    - Ruckus Unleashed
    - ZyXel ZyWALL

Fixes:
  Fixed Brocade NetIron/FastIron/TurboIron SX/CX/GS/LS/WS not being discovered
  Fixed wrong backup contents for multi-context ASA
  Fixed not properly stripping pagination on some models of Netonix switches
  Devices with very long backup time (3+ minutes) would not be backed up, now they will be
  Fixed discovery not working when quickly removing and then re-adding the same device
  Fixed Citrix NetScaler driver not working with newer versions of NetScaler
  Fixed connections sometimes failing to slow devices
  Fixed missing scroll-bar in "View backup"
  Fixed wrong backups table columns width
  Fixed account with READ_ONLY role could access 'Adding the first device' screen
  Fixed not properly handling empty device address in Basic Importers
  Fixed license key change handling (it was not possible to change license key in certain situations)

Tickets closed by this release:
  UN-34, UN-127, UN-209, UN-232, UN-251, UN-309, UN-310, UN-311, UN-312, UN-313

Known issues:
  Special characters can be replaced by '?' under specific circumstances