Cisco ACI is a software-defined networking (SDN) solution for enterprise data centers that enables network administrators to centrally manage network policies and application-specific traffic flows. It is designed to simplify network administration and improve network agility.
Cisco ACI also automates the creation and distribution of these policies to the network devices, further simplifying network administration. In addition, Cisco ACI provides a centralized view of the network that allows administrators to quickly identify and resolve problems.
Cisco ACI is based on the Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) architecture, which uses a centralized controller to manage network devices and applications. ACI provides a scalable, high-performance, and highly available SDN solution.
Cisco ACI is available in two editions: the Base Edition and the Enterprise Edition. The Base Edition provides the core ACI features and supports up to 100 physical or virtual network devices. The Enterprise Edition supports an unlimited number of physical or virtual network devices and includes additional features such as advanced troubleshooting, comprehensive security, and integration with third-party management tools.
Cisco ACI is deployed in three-tier networks that consist of a spine switch, leaf switch, and border leaf (BL) switch. The spine switch is the central point of the network and connects the leaf switches to form a single, logical switch. The BL switch provides connectivity to external networks.
Cisco ACI uses the following technologies to provide a unified policy model and centralized view of the network:
Application-Specific Policies: Cisco ACI uses application-specific policies (ASPs) to centrally manage network policies and application-specific traffic flows. ASPs are stored in a central repository and can be applied to any number of devices in the network.
Network Abstractions: Cisco ACI provides logical representations of the network devices and applications that are used to create ASPs. These abstractions allow administrators to create policies without having to configure individual devices.
Centralized Management: Cisco ACI uses a centralized controller to manage network devices and applications. The controller provides a single point of control for the entire network and simplifies network administration.
Cisco ACI is a comprehensive SDN solution that simplifies network administration, improves network agility, and provides a unified policy model for managing network policies and application-specific traffic flows.