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Cisco: Scaling Networks Automatically with ACI


There are many things we think about when considering Software Defined Networking. Mostly, it’s the controllers, and the ability to apply configs and policies to our networks. In fact, we almost forget about the hardware, because as long as it’s setup properly, we don’t NEED to think about it. However, as any good network engineer knows, that is not the end of the hardware story.

Applications are using more and more bandwidth, especially in an East/West traffic flow. We have more applications than we used to. We have things like Big Data and analytics taking up bandwidth. And, if we’re lucky, we gain more and more customers who are using our applications or taking up room in our internal apps. That’s actually a good problem to have, but what it means for the network folks is that we need to add more hardware.

How Does ACI Help?

ACI helps in many ways, but in this blog we’re concentrating on hardware scalability. So let’s first talk about the initial setup, referred to as Automatic Fabric Discovery. It couldn’t be easier. Once your boxes are racked and connected, you connect your APICs (Application Policy Infrastructure Contorllers). Answer about 10 questions in a CLI wizard, simple things like usernames, passwords, and VTEP (VXLAN Tunnel End Point) IP pools. Then just log into the GUI. The GUI will automatically discover the first leaf switch it finds (it uses LLDP for discovery) and you just need to enter a name and node number for the switch. It will then find all the other leaf and spine switches automatically. Again, you just enter a name and node number, and in minutes you’ll have a full network topology.

Read the entire article here, Scaling Networks Automatically with ACI

via the fine folks at Cisco Systems.

Cisco Cisco is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected.

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