In the data center, Cisco ACI provides a single point of policy-based automation and application-centric infrastructure from the data center access layer through the core. The centralized ACI policy model reduces operational complexity while providing agility and flexibility.
What is Cisco ACI?
Cisco ACI is an application-focused architecture that enables policy-based automation from the data center access layer to the core. ACI is designed to simplify data center operations while providing flexibility and agility.
The ACI architecture is based on four key concepts:
Application-centric: ACI enables you to deploy and manage applications as a unit, with granular control over application traffic.
Policy-based: ACI uses a centralized policy model to automate network configuration and provisioning.
Programmable: ACI is designed for network automation, with a robust set of APIs for integration with third-party applications and devices.
Scalable: ACI scales linearly, with support for up to 16 leaf switches and 6,400 servers.
Cisco ACI Components
ACI consists of the following components:
Cisco APIC: The Cisco APIC is the central point of policy enforcement and configuration for the ACI fabric. The APIC provides a REST API for integration with third-party applications and devices.
Cisco ACI Fabric: The ACI fabric is a leaf-and-spine network architecture that provides high-performance, low-latency connectivity between servers and devices.
Cisco ACI Leaf Switches: Cisco ACI Leaf switches are top-of-rack switches that provide connectivity between servers and the ACI spine switches.
Cisco ACI Spine Switches: Cisco ACI Spine switches provide high-bandwidth connectivity between the leaf switches in the ACI fabric.
How to Get Started with Cisco ACI
If you’re new to Cisco ACI, there are a few things you need to know to get started.
First, you’ll need to provision the ACI fabric. The Cisco APIC provides a GUI-based fabric provisioning wizard to simplify the process.
Once the ACI fabric is provisioned, you’ll need to configure the leaf and spine switches. The Cisco APIC provides a GUI-based switch configuration wizard to simplify the process.
Finally, you’ll need to deploy applications on the ACI fabric. The Cisco APIC provides a GUI-based application deployment wizard to simplify the process.
Cisco ACI Use Cases
Cisco ACI can be used for a variety of data center applications, including server virtualization, storage networking, and network security.
In addition, Cisco ACI can be used to simplify the deployment of other Cisco technologies, such as Cisco Nexus 1000V and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure Security.