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Evaluate Nautobot fork of Netbox and decide whether to use.
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Description

Network to Code recently forked the Netbox codebase, citing various reasons on why they felt it was necessary.

WMF currently use Netbox for IP address management (IPAM) and datacentre inventory management (DCIM). It drives many aspects of our infrastructure automation, not least our network configuration.

Our currently deployed version of Netbox in production is v2.10.4, which can be migrated to Nautobot with relative ease. There are multiple changes to the back-end in Nautobot however, so if we upgrade to a more recent version of Netbox any potential migration to Nautobot afterwards would be a lot trickier.

I have created this Google doc to facilitate discussion and documenting the pros/cons of each solution. We can use this task to track the ultimate decision.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BwhV2BXSSfBMp4RU8bQg5nDugAeRuFruxSK2JcXh4DA

Event Timeline

cmooney triaged this task as Medium priority.Aug 10 2021, 11:24 AM
cmooney claimed this task.

Should have updated this previously, the discussion and decision-making moved to live meetings / irc, but I neglected to update the task.

A decision was reached in Infrastructure Foundations to stick with Netbox for the time being. The overall consensus was that while some of the new Nautobot features seem nice, we probably would not leverage many of them in the short-medium term. Likewise there was some uncertainty about the future of the Nautobot project, whether it might go "open core", or what the longer term vision of the Network to Code team was for it. Netbox seems to stick more to the Unix-philosophy of "do one thing and do it well", whereas Nautobot appears to want to be a "swiss-army knife" of Network automation, much of which WMF has covered by other tools and processes. Netbox remains under active development with an active community too.

We are in the process of planning to upgrade to Netbox verison 3 following this decision.