As data center networking requirements continue to evolve, so too must the technology that supports it. For years, Cisco has been the go-to networking provider for many enterprises, but in recent years other options have emerged, such as VMware’s NSX-T.
One of the great things about ACI is that it can be integrated with other SDN solutions, such as NSX-T. This allows organizations to take advantage of the best features of both solutions and create a data center network that is tailored to their specific needs.
The integration of ACI and NSX-T is not without its challenges, however. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the key considerations for integrating these two solutions, as well as some best practices for making the most of this integration.
When it comes to ACI and NSX-T integration, there are two main options: direct integration and indirect integration. Direct integration is the simpler of the two, as it only requires a single management platform (Cisco APIC) and a single control plane. This option is best suited for small to medium-sized deployments.
Indirect integration, on the other hand, uses two management platforms (Cisco APIC and VMware vCenter) and two control planes (ACI and NSX-T). This option is more complex, but it offers a few advantages, such as the ability to manage NSX-T objects from the Cisco APIC interface and the ability to take advantage of NSX-T’s distributed firewall.
No matter which option you choose, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind when integrating ACI and NSX-T. First, it’s important to understand the differences between the two solutions and how they work. This will help you determine which option is best for your environment and make sure that the integration is successful.
Next, you need to consider the management platform. For direct integration, this will be Cisco APIC, while for indirect integration you’ll need both Cisco APIC and VMware vCenter. Make sure that you have the proper licenses for each platform and that you understand how to configure and manage them.
Finally, you need to think about the networking infrastructure. ACI uses traditional networking hardware, while NSX-T uses software-defined networking (SDN) hardware. Be sure to choose the option that best fits your needs and has the proper support from your hardware vendor.
With these considerations in mind, you’re ready to start integrating ACI and NSX-T. The first step is to deploy the ACI fabric. This can be done using the Cisco APIC or the VMware vCenter interface.
Once the ACI fabric is deployed, you’ll need to create a logical switch. This is done in the Cisco APIC interface. Be sure to select the “Cisco NSX-T Logical Switch” type and give it a name.
After the logical switch is created, you can add ports to it. To do this, select the logical switch and click the “Add Ports” button. Select the ports that you want to add and click “OK.”
The next step is to create a VPN. This is done in the NSX-T interface. Select the “VPN” tab and click the “Add VPN” button. Give the VPN a name and select the type (IPSec, SSL, or L2TP).
After the VPN is created, you’ll need to add a gateway. To do this, select the VPN and click the “Add Gateway” button. Select the gateway type (static, DHCP, or PPPoE) and fill in the required information.
The last step is to add a route. This is done in the Cisco APIC interface. Select the “Routing” tab and click the “Add Route” button. Select the route type (static, OSPF, or BGP) and fill in the required information.
That’s it! You’ve now successfully integrated ACI and NSX-T.
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