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I'm kind of new to working directly with networking hardware (prior to my current job, the closest I got was logging into a Cisco router and modifying NATs), and have been tasked with automating the initial setup of various hardware. Because most of the hardware is either inaccessible over the network upon first boot, or because they're designed to be used with a wizard rather than just straight inputting commands, I've resorted most of the time to using expect scripts.

Is this a typical approach? Or are there other methods people generally use instead, be it scripting, or something completely different? If you need a concrete example, let's look at a Cisco 2900 series router.

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  • There are various tools designed to do this, including a proprietary one which I created for use where I work. Unfortunately, product or resource recommendations are explicitly off-topic here. You should only automate what you thoroughly understand.
    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 4 '16 at 1:44
  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 14 '17 at 22:33
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Chapter: Using AutoInstall and Setup <-- click me

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  • Thanks Ron. Do you find that you typically use proprietary tools like this for the different types of devices you configure, or do you also use scripts or more generic tools?
    – garettmd
    Aug 4 '16 at 14:32
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    I've never used this in my entire career. I have always had the equipment shipped to me for preconfiguration / staging then I put it back in the original box and ship it to the end-site. Aug 4 '16 at 17:01

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