Automating Multiple Cisco Router and Switches Configuration Backup with Python Paramiko Reading CSV File

Automating Multiple Cisco Router and Switches Configuration Backup with Python Paramiko Reading CSV File

Managing network infrastructure, especially in large-scale environments, can be a daunting task. Manually backing up configurations from multiple Cisco routers and switches and then transferring them to a centralized repository is time-consuming and error-prone. However, with the power of Python and Paramiko, these tasks can be automated efficiently.

Introduction to the Script

Our Python script utilizes the Paramiko library, which provides SSH and SFTP capabilities, to automate the backup and transfer of configurations from Cisco devices to an SFTP server. Let’s dive into how the script works and how it can simplify network management processes.

Retrieving Configurations

The script begins by reading router information from a CSV file, which contains details such as the hostname, username, password, and enable password for each device. It then iterates through each router, establishing an SSH connection and sending commands to retrieve the running configuration. This is achieved by invoking a shell session on the device, sending the necessary commands, and capturing the output.

Uploading to SFTP Server

Once the running configuration is retrieved, the script saves it to a local file named after the router’s hostname. It then establishes an SFTP connection to the designated server using the provided credentials and uploads the configuration file to a specified directory on the server.

Benefits of Automation

Automating the backup and transfer of configurations offers several benefits:

  1. Time Savings: By eliminating manual processes, network administrators can save valuable time that can be allocated to more critical tasks.
  2. Consistency: Automation ensures that configurations are backed up consistently and accurately across all devices, reducing the risk of errors and inconsistencies.
  3. Security: Storing configurations in a centralized repository enhances security and facilitates auditing and compliance efforts.
  4. Scalability: The script can easily scale to manage configurations across a large number of devices, making it ideal for enterprise environments.


Automating configuration backup and transfer is essential for efficient network management. With our Python script leveraging Paramiko, network administrators can streamline these tasks, improve reliability, and free up time for more strategic initiatives. Embrace automation and take your network management practices to the next level.

Here is the link to the script:

import csv
import paramiko
import time

def get_cisco_config(hostname, username, password, enable_password):
        # Connect to the Cisco device using SSH
        ssh_client = paramiko.SSHClient()
        ssh_client.connect(hostname, username=username, password=password)

        # Create a shell session
        shell = ssh_client.invoke_shell()

        # Send enable command
        shell.send(enable_password + "\n")

        # Send command to retrieve running configuration
        shell.send("ter len 0\n")  # Setting up terminal length as 0
        shell.send("show running-config\n")

        # Wait for the command to execute

        # Read the output of the command
        output = ""
        while shell.recv_ready():
            output += shell.recv(1024).decode()

        # Close SSH connection

        return output

    except Exception as e:
        print(f"Error retrieving configuration from {hostname}: {e}")
        return None

def upload_to_sftp(server, username, password, local_path, remote_path):
        # Establish an SFTP connection to the server
        transport = paramiko.Transport((server, 22))
        transport.connect(username=username, password=password)
        sftp = paramiko.SFTPClient.from_transport(transport)

        # Upload the file
        sftp.put(local_path, remote_path)

        # Close SFTP connection

        print(f"Configuration uploaded to {server} at {remote_path}")

    except Exception as e:
        print(f"Error uploading configuration to {server}: {e}")

if __name__ == "__main__":
    # Read router information from CSV file
    routers = []
    with open('router_info.csv', 'r') as csvfile:
        csv_reader = csv.reader(csvfile)
        next(csv_reader)  # Skip the header row
        for row in csv_reader:
                "hostname": row[0],
                "username": row[1],
                "password": row[2],
                "enable_password": row[3]

    # SFTP server credentials
    sftp_server = ""  # IP address of the SFTP server
    sftp_username = "cisco"  # Username for accessing the SFTP server
    sftp_password = "cisco"  # Password for accessing the SFTP server

    for router in routers:
        config = get_cisco_config(router["hostname"], router["username"], router["password"], router["enable_password"])
        if config:
            # Save running configuration to a local file
            local_path = f"running_config_{router['hostname']}.txt"
            with open(local_path, "w") as f:

            # Upload the running configuration to SFTP server
            upload_to_sftp(sftp_server, sftp_username, sftp_password, local_path, f"/running_config_{router['hostname']}.txt")

Here is a sample CSV file:



Here is the YouTube videos:


Stay tuned for more tutorials and insights into network automation and Python scripting!


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