How To Get Started with ACI & Multicloud Software Defined Networking
If you have been reading my previous blogs, you might have learned a bit on why MultiCloud Networking and Automation are key in today’s IT-driven world. In this blog I wanted to change the pace a little bit and address one of the most recurrent questions I get from many customers: “How do I start?”
Downtime is limited and so are maintenance windows, therefore we must understand how to make the most out of this new technology while learning it in such a way that it will provide a near-to seamless transition.
As with every new technology in your environment, ACI needs a bit of your time so that you understand how it is different from a legacy network, so I thought I would save you a few hours by sharing this YouTube play list (which is part of “ACI: The network made simple” series) in order to get you from 0 to Hero as quick as possible.
After we learn the basics, we have often referred to ACI as a “big switch” that aggregates physical, virtual, container and cloud networking in a single & secure pane-of-glass. It is now time to integrate it to your existing network as such.
By picturing your ACI Fabric as this “big-switch”, just connect any leaf port to your existing network (L2 and/or L3) and you should be done. You will be extending your VLANs (which will now be EPGs in ACI) and routing-protocols into ACI and this will allow you to run it side-by-side with your existing network, allowing you to migrate your existing servers to your new ACI Fabric at your own pace.
Everything connected to the ACI Fabric will be managed as part of this “single switch” and you can start enjoying the benefits of a fully automated VXLAN Fabric with embedded monitoring and telemetry with nearly zero disruption.
This provides you with simpler network management (including virtual and container networking), faster network provisioning times (through automation) and consistent security everywhere (through one-time defined policies and line-rate encryption).
You can further evolve that model depending on your goals (like Zero-Trust Policies, Network Segmentation, L4-L7 Services Integration, etc) and even extend it to multiple locations while maintaining that “single-switch” simplicity with features like ACI Multi-Site, Multi-Pod, Remote-Leaf, vPod and many more.
Then, if your business is already in the cloud or you are in the process of getting there, you can also integrate your ACI Network to AWS. Just go to AWS Marketplace and subscribe to Cloud APIC.
In a few minutes you will have a totally automated Cloud ACI Network Environment that can be linked to your on-premises ACI network through ACI MultiSite Orchestrator.
That will not only provide you with central visibility of on-prem and cloud networking but may give you the option to run encrypted as well between sites using CloudSec, while extending your network connectivity by using a fully automated and redundant set of CSR-1000v routers on AWS.
Take a look to get a rough idea on what Cloud ACI looks like.
It’s time to start running your network simple, agile and secure for any app, any size and anywhere!