What is the significance of Excel spreadsheets, why are they used?
Gen.IT uses excel spreadsheets as the source of all information. Users are required to create templates and configure variables and data within the spreadsheets. The reasoning behind this is that users can take advantage of the number crunching ability of excel. i.e.
My site summary addressing starts at 10.1.1.0/24. Using the macro’s developed for Gen.IT, I calculate the subnet mask, primary, secondary & vrrp address for the subnet. ‘=ipchange(10.1.1.0,1)’ will give 10.1.1.1.
Using excel also allows users to functions like lookup tables or references to other sheets to obtain information. i.e:
Lookup from sheet ‘Site sizes’ and if site is specified as ‘small’ use /26 for subnet mask, else if the site is ‘large’, use /23.
Lookup sitename for site XXX from the table in sheet YYY and give me the summary IP address for site XXX. From that same table, lookup the number of vlan’s required, and use Compound Templates to generate the required layer 3 interfaces.
Typically, the configuration for a single site or device would be defined within a single row on one or more spreadsheets. It is a simple process to then copy the row, change a few values, and be ready to generate the configuration for a new site or device.