Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure Overview

Introduction

A few weeks ago I started a new path in my career. I’m now working for Cisco as a Technology Evangelist. Specifically I’m concentrating on Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and the Nexus 9000 series switches. As software defined networking becomes more popular and even necessary, I’ll be writing about my journey learning ACI and other solutions.

ACI changes the way we’ve traditionally thought about networking. Traditional networking uses an imperative model which basically means we control what the network devices do. We give them commands and expect them to follow them as “written.” ACI uses a declarative control system where we specify what we want the end result to be and the network devices interpret it and do what they need to return that result. This gets us into promise theory which is what ACI is based on, but we’ll save diving into that for another article.

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Configuring tenants in ACI

Like many networking platforms Cisco ACI offers the ability to have multiple tenants. A tenant is generally a container that allows you to keep resources isolated. For example I might have tenants for dev and prod or I might have separate tenants for each department in my company. Usually public cloud providers will have a tenant for each of its customers. It’s a security construct that allows you to basically keep things separated.

In this blog I’ll go through creating a tenant using the ACI APIC GUI.

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VMworld 2014 – Opening Keynote

Ch-ch-ch-changes – the theme of the VMworld keynote on Monday, August 25th 2014. Robin Matlock, CMO at VMware, opened the keynote as she did the year before. While I think it’s terrific VMware has a woman open the conference, it would be nice if she could be somewhat technical. She made pithy comments such as “change can either be a barrier or an opportunity” and mentioned SDDC, but there was absolutely no technical information for the entire 15 minutes she was speaking. She did mention a pretty cool program they are doing with paper airplanes, however. The idea is to build a paper airplane and fly it. Depending on precision and performance, VMware will donate to any one of five charities (involving children, education, environment, Human Rights, and women and girls). A great idea in my opinion.

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