In tune with changing technology trends, our data center customers are increasingly adopting a solution-focused approach, instead of a point product one, for managing and monitoring their Data Center operations. This trend is very much pronounced with intent-based networking technologies, such as ACI, that provide customers a cloud-like experience with their on-prem infrastructure. A very understandably popular request from our customers – and this was heard loud and clear in our most recent Cisco Live EMEA – is to consume networking and application-delivery services together as a cohesive solution. With the goal to enable customers to do just that, Cisco and F5 have collaborated on a F5 App for the Cisco ACI App Center.

Today, I am pleased to share with you my thoughts on this newly designed F5 ACI ServiceCenter App, a multi-function and operations focused solution, covering its key L2-L7 operational use-cases. You’ll be able to see how customers can leverage its capabilities combined with the speed and flexibility of its host, the ACI App Center.

What does this mean?

Customers want a native ACI solution and a single point of automation and visibility for L2-L7 infrastructures. The F5-ACI App represents a strategic and new directional transference from the erstwhile device-package based integration approach. Centered around ease-of-use and customer experience, this App is quick to install and intuitive in its design flow for the end user. This forms the basis for the design innovation of the F5-ACI App addressing flexibility without compromising features, domain expertise, or ease of use.

F5 ACI App – Key Use Cases and Value Proposition

F5-ACI App – Use Cases

      1. Enhanced Visibility across Cisco ACI and F5 BIG-IP
        (correlation of APIC components and BIG-IP configurations)
      2. Configure network connectivity between ACI and BIG-IP
        (deploy ACI-to-BIGIP L2-L3 connectivity)
      3. Provision application services on BIG-IP from App UI
        (use pre-defined json files to push custom configuration from App-to-BIGIP)


F5-ACI App – Key Benefits

      1. Native and easy deployment from ACI App center
      2. Operational model alignment with ACI and F5 users
      3. Applicability to “Brownfield/Greenfield” user deployments
      4. Consistent with F5’s overall approach towards automation leveraging a declarative automation approach through AS3 from the F5 Automation Toolchain

We are committed to a robust roadmap evolving the App to address the strong demand of this integration by our customers. This is a phenomenal milestone – two industry leaders collaborating to enable our customers with success and cutting edge, yet simple, technology.

In Summary

I want to close my thoughts by giving you the most eagerly awaited download link for the App:

In addition, I would like to encourage our readers to enjoy a couple of our latest thought leadership videos featuring exec leadership members from Cisco Data Center Business Group with F5 Networks. The videos elaborate on the importance of this partnership and the significance of this new phase of integration for customers (related links below).

Please stop by our booths at Cisco Live San Diego, between June 10-14, at our World of Solutions demo area (ACI and F5 booths), where Cisco and F5 subject matter experts will be available to engage with you on a one-one.

Lastly, you can get a ringside view of the F5 ACI app by registering to our SDxCentral webinar on July 16th, 10 AM PDT (click here). This will be a good opportunity for follow up questions from Cisco Live and a great introduction to the app in case it’s the first time you see it. We will cover the business and technical benefits of the F5 ACI ServiceCenter App including a demo, and Q&A.

We look forward to seeing you at Cisco Live next week.


Additional and Related Links

F5 ACI ServiceCenter App Download

F5-Cisco alliance partner landing page

ACI-F5 ServiceCenter App solution overview

F5 ACI ServiceCenter Press Release

Cisco ACI and F5 BIG-IP Joint Solution Update Exec Video

Innovation through Cisco F5 Partnership Exec Video

F5 Exec Blog Bringing ACI and BIG-IP closer together – one step at a time

Cisco Data Center Networking Ecosystem

Cisco ACI

Cisco Live San Diego 2019 blog

Cisco blog with F5 Guest Blogger Lori MacVittie

F5 ACI ServiceCenter: SEE HOW IT WORKS (video and audio)

F5 ACI ServiceCenter: SEE HOW IT WORKS (video only)

SDxCentral webinar


Ranga Rao

Director of Technical Marketing