Cisco ACI Getting Started Guide
The Cisco ACIGetting Started Guide provides an overview of the Cisco ACI architecture and explains how to get started with deploying Cisco ACI in your data center.
The guide covers the following topics:
• Cisco ACI Overview
• Cisco ACI Benefits
• Cisco ACI Use Cases
• Cisco ACI Deployment Models
• Cisco ACI Hardware and Software
• Cisco ACI Management and Orchestration
• Getting Started with Cisco ACI
Cisco ACI Overview
Cisco ACI is a next-generation data center architecture that unifies networking, compute, and storage resources into a single, easy-to-manage platform. Cisco ACI is based on industry-standard protocols and technologies, and it is designed to work with any third-party vendor’s equipment.
The Cisco ACI architecture is composed of the following components:
• Cisco ACI Spine Switches: Provide high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity between Cisco ACI Leaf Switches.
• Cisco ACI Leaf Switches: Connect endpoints, such as servers, storage devices, and VM hosts, to the network.
• Cisco ACI Border Leaf Switches: Connect the Cisco ACI fabric to external Layer 2 and Layer 3 networks.
• Cisco APIC: The centralized controller that manages and orchestrates the Cisco ACI fabric.
• Cisco ACI Application Policy Infrastructure Controller: The centralized controller that manages and orchestrates the Cisco ACI fabric.
Cisco ACI Benefits
Cisco ACI provides the following benefits:
• Simplified network management: Cisco ACI uses a centralized controller, the Cisco APIC, to manage the network. The Cisco APIC automates network configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting tasks.
• Increased network agility: Cisco ACI’s application-centric policy model enables you to quickly deploy and change network policies to support new applications and business requirements.
• Improved network security: Cisco ACI uses micro-segmentation to isolate traffic between endpoints within the same security domain. This isolation reduces the attack surface and helps to contain malware.
• Reduced network costs: Cisco ACI’s hardware and software components work together to provide an efficient and scalable network. The Cisco ACI fabric can be deployed in a pay-as-you-grow model, which reduces upfront costs.
Cisco ACI Use Cases
Cisco ACI can be used to support the following use cases:
• Data center interconnect: Cisco ACI can be used to connect multiple data centers. The Cisco ACI fabric can span multiple sites and provide a low-latency, high-bandwidth connection between sites.
• Cloud integration: Cisco ACI can be used to connect on-premises data centers to public and private clouds. The Cisco ACI fabric can provide a secure and efficient way to connect to cloud resources.
• Virtualization: Cisco ACI can be used to connect virtual machines (VMs) to the network. The Cisco ACI fabric can provide network isolation and security for VMs.
• Big data: Cisco ACI can be used to connect big data applications to the network. The Cisco ACI fabric can provide the high-bandwidth and low-latency connectivity required by big data applications.
Cisco ACI Deployment Models
Cisco ACI can be deployed in the following models:
• Standalone: Cisco ACI can be deployed as a standalone system. In this deployment model, the Cisco APIC is deployed on a dedicated server.
• Multi-node: Cisco ACI can be deployed in a multi-node configuration. In this deployment model, the Cisco APIC is deployed on a cluster of servers.
• High availability: Cisco ACI can be deployed in a high availability configuration. In this deployment model, the Cisco APIC is deployed on a cluster of servers and the Cisco ACI fabric is composed of two or more redundant fabrics.
Cisco ACI Hardware and Software
Cisco ACI hardware and software components work together to provide a scalable and efficient network. The following hardware and software components are required for Cisco ACI:
• Cisco ACI Spine Switches: Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches
• Cisco ACI Leaf Switches: Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches
• Cisco AP
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