Recent few weeks should have been exciting if you are a customer of ACI.  First, we announced the shipment of ACI to Data Centers worldwide. Then, F5 announced that its device package for Cisco APIC is FCS. We also had a very successful F5 Agility at New York early in August, showcasing Cisco ACI-F5 Big IP joint solution in breakout sessions, world of solutions Expo and in keynotes Panels.  Cisco also recently published a jointly written technical whitepaper, a solutions brief and a Design guide with F5.

In this blog, I want to take you on a quick tour of the Cisco ACI-F5 integrated joint solution.

Traditional approaches to inserting L4-L7 services into a network entail highly manual operations, that takes days or even weeks to deploy. Likewise when an application is retired, removing a service device configuration, such as firewall rules, can be difficult. Cisco APIC can automate service insertion while acting as a central point of policy control. APIC can also automatically configure the service according to the application’s requirements, which allows organizations to automate service insertion and eliminate the challenge of managing the complex techniques of traditional service insertion.

Diagram-1: ACI – F5 Big IP Integration architecture


As depicted in diagram-1 above, F5 BIG –IP integrates with Cisco APIC through well established and open APIs (Simple Object Access Protocol [SOAP] or Representation State Transfer [REST]).  The result of the integration is a device package, which is currently available on F5’s software download website.  With the device package from F5 loaded on Cisco APIC, customers can achieve automated network and service provisioning across the F5 services fabric, providing end-to-end telemetry and visibility of applications and tenants. Cisco APIC acts as a central point of configuration management and automation for Layer 4 through 7 services and tightly coordinates service delivery, serving as the controller for network automation.

With Cisco ACI -F5 BIG-IP joint solution, customers can preserve richness of F5 Synthesis offering through policy abstraction, offering investment protection, application deployment agility, scale and secure multi tenancy and achieve great operational cost benefits.  Existing F5 Physical hardware or virtual editions can be deployed with Cisco ACI. Moreover, in this model, application policy based provisioning of workflows allows for efficient and faster roll out of application across multiple tenants while maintaining operational best practices across L2-L7 teams within an IT organization.

With Cisco ACI and F5, you can overcome your biggest IT agility and cost management challenges, ensuring responsiveness to customers and employees and a more competitive posture. As a result, rather than being a perceived barrier to success, your IT organization can drive innovation and agility to meet business objectives.

To learn more, please register for the technical webinar Cisco and F5 are hosting on Aug 26

Click here to Register


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Ravi Balakrishnan

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Datacenter Solutions