#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists hosted by Amy Lewis (@CommsNinja). This week we’re talking about ACI Updates with Cisco Product Management Director, Thomas Scheibe.

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Subject Matter Expert
Thomas Scheibe @thomas0002, Director, Product Management

Cisco Champions
Rick Vanover @RickVanover, Product Strategy Specialist
Hal Rottenberg @halr9000, Practice Manager

The real benefits of ACI
Who orchestrates the policies around ACI
What problems does ACI solve
What’s the smallest infrastructure that would benefit from ACI
What ACI will mean to Network Administrators

ACI Overview
ACI Overview Video
OpFlex Overview

halr9000 so is this ACI 101 or not?
CommsNinja Yes Hal, plus updates. Ask all the questions.
RickVanover Question for Thomas at the end of this thought
@gallifreyan For the longest time, I heard “insieme” and thought they were saying “NCME” and misnaming NVME.
halr9000 Let’s use a convention that I find helpful in my podcast: please use “##” in front of your message if it’s a question for the guest
halr9000 ## like so
laurenmalhoit You can also put an asterisk on either side to make it bold
halr9000 oh
halr9000 ## yes do that too
CiscoServerGeek Good overview of AVI – 5mins – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZWwjNAiUpI
@gallifreyan And if you precede it with your password, it makes the text blink.
crajohnson It’s a bold move.
halr9000 lol
CommsNinja LOL.
@gallifreyan hamster3000 This is blinking!
laurenmalhoit well played Robert
crajohnson hunter2 is my password
halr9000 thx ciscoservergeek, everyone feel free to add links for show notes
crajohnson APIC for ACI is NOT the same as APIC-EM
CommsNinja Type in your questions Champions!
CommsNinja (and your helpful commentary!)
halr9000 IKR crajohnson?
halr9000 i hate that
RickVanover ASIC or APIC?
RoutingNinja Helpful.. that rules out my commentary
@gallifreyan or ACPI
CiscoServerGeek What’s driving the need to do things this way? What problem are we solving?
CommsNinja I chose words carefully RoutingNinja
CommsNinja We will unmute people at the end of the call!
@gallifreyan I’m guessing the policy stuff will enable you to implement new tech without respinning silicon, among other things.
Josh_Atwell Skip me when you start unmuting. I deserve it
halr9000 josh!
RickVanover ## Follow on question
CommsNinja Josh is double muted.
laurenmalhoit I hear a lot of complaining about having to replace hardware specifically re: ACI. Not sure if anyone can comment on that
halr9000 I’ll ask that laurenmalhoit
laurenmalhoit Thanks Hal
halr9000 #amnotcisco
halr9000 mu ha ha ha
CommsNinja #IamGoogle oh wait . . .
RickVanover @LaurenMalhoit – like need to be a newer than x model? Or it breaks stuff?
CiscoServerGeek So I no longer have a need to login to individual top of rack switches and do configuration? The APIC controls the switches? … so on that…
CiscoServerGeek … Which “stuff” can it control?
laurenmalhoit I’ve heard complaints about replacing it now and then again in a couple years. I don’t really know if any of that is true
crajohnson Opflex model is important
halr9000 good stuff
laurenmalhoit You covered it Rick
RickVanover The whole this blue and this blue/grey clearly says I’m not a netwrok guy  LOL
RickVanover Server guy
halr9000 me neither. we are gonna have fun asking dumb questions!
RickVanover first tattoo will be “I HEART UCS”
@gallifreyan I hear that’s day 2 of orientation, Rick
Fish14 Nice one, Robert
@gallifreyan “very very attractive price” three fiddy?
halr9000 a bargain at half the price!
RoutingNinja they’ll make it “feel” free
RickVanover Attractive price
williamcaban “attractive price”… attractive for whom?
@gallifreyan My price is too sexy for your budget, too sexy for your budget…
RoutingNinja my Cisco sales rep has a $300k boat.. I’ll let you take a guess who the price is attractive for.
CiscoServerGeek LOL
CiscoServerGeek PowerShell FTW
halr9000 woot
@gallifreyan My sales rep left for Hortonworks. YMMV
RickVanover ## I have a follow on
halr9000 i was about to talk
halr9000 glad you typed that rick
halr9000 I want #ACIforLinksys
RickVanover Followng the rulez
CiscoServerGeek I want ACI for Meraki
@gallifreyan WRT1900ACI
cnickl now that i want
halr9000 does it run openwrt?
CiscoServerGeek ohhh wait, Meraki sort of already does that
williamcaban @halr9000 you can write your own OPFLEX for ti
halr9000 i don’t know that word actually
halr9000 opflex?
williamcaban OPFlex is the new protocol for integrating with ACI
halr9000 …hmm wonder if i know it by a diff name
halr9000 now i have a reading assignment. thx william
RoutingNinja The problems I have with something like ACI in my environment are more political than technical.
williamcaban http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/data-center-virtualization/application-centric-infrastructure/white-paper-c11-731304.html
RickVanover @RoutingNinja interesting
RickVanover there are 3 barriers, technical win, price win and political win
RickVanover I see a lot of these strategies in storage
RickVanover the proverbial policy for storage
RickVanover ## Have follow up question
halr9000 k
RoutingNinja We couldn’t even get UCS into our environment because the “server” guys are so anti-Cisco
halr9000 me too
halr9000 @routingninja that’s a shame!
RoutingNinja yeah, very much so
halr9000 you guys have any more questions?
@gallifreyan UCS can be poorly sold into environments… btdt.
Erik Bussink @RoutingNinja Honestly… its really their loss
Fish14 btdt?
Fish14 great…. something new I have to google
RoutingNinja been there done that
Fish14 ah… thanks… saved me a trip
RoutingNinja hehe
halr9000 ahhh ssdd
@gallifreyan yeah, been there done that. aka btdtgtt… also known as been there done that got the tee-shirt
halr9000 haha he said UCS
halr9000 so now I have a follow on
halr9000 ##
CiscoServerGeek Hell yeah he did!
halr9000 it’s a trap!!
@gallifreyan img src=akbar.jpg
CommsNinja By the way, follow Thomas @thomas0002!
cnickl idk about investing in ACI just to do switch maintenance and installs… The application-centric argument makes sense.
halr9000 centralizing the mgmt
cnickl i get the point, but there are existing products to do that
CiscoServerGeek Just like I don’t go into servers and change BIOS settings with UCS … I do it with a POLICY .. policies rock!
RickVanover @Scott = Real benefit there
cnickl now that i can get behind,
RickVanover you don’t need to get bogged down with details that way
RoutingNinja getting from point A to point B sounds painful.. we have like 1,000 applications, many of them custom.
@gallifreyan It gets more useful at scale.
RickVanover lets not even start with applications!
CiscoServerGeek UCS users get it …. server/network people doing it the same way they’ve done in the 90/00’s don’t get it
cnickl i guess that’s like setting up UCS, takes a bunch of upfront work and for tiny shops may not be worth it, but down the road it becomes idiot easy
halr9000 nod
jordanmartin I don’t know that’s always true @gallifreyan – UCS benefits can be seen even on smaller deployments
RickVanover So then UCS Manager vs. ACI
RickVanover do they hook in or overlap ?
halr9000 yes cnick1! most work up front. less later
RickVanover WOn’t ask it out loud
@gallifreyan CSG: actually those server people love it, because they can blame anything on Cisco.
halr9000 or even…zero later
@gallifreyan Jordan: They can be seen, but are they worth the investment? If you have 5 rackmounts and no blades, is it worth two 62xx FIs?
CiscoServerGeek I’ve got TONs of 1 chassis shops that see the benefit …. it’s not about INITIAL DEPLOYMENT and SETUP, it’s about the ongoing changes/updates
@gallifreyan CiscoServerGeek: Yeah, chassis it makes a lot of sense too
cnickl i agree on the 1 chassis installs
@gallifreyan gotta remember, I’m a C-Series guy, and I would not push the platform for half a dozen boxes.
CommsNinja anyone dialed in and wanting to use their out loud voice?
halr9000 @rick: thomas is an advanced guest watches the chat!
@gallifreyan And this is coming from the guy with the second largest C-Series integrated environment in the world.
RickVanover indeed
CiscoServerGeek It takes a lot of work to make things simple … the upfront investment pays off down the road
CommsNinja Thomas is definitely doing a great job! So anyone else?
halr9000 ## i have a follow on
@gallifreyan Yeah, it gets more useful as your scale gets bigger.
@gallifreyan I’m not saying it’s useless with one server or one switch… just the financial play is harder to justify at that scale.
@gallifreyan open to anyone who disagrees
williamcaban Is ACI considered a “very large Enterprises” only solution? or how does it benefit SMBs?
halr9000 i think it would be silly at very low scale
CiscoServerGeek not everything is a fit for everything … 1 server mehhh
halr9000 maybe something else can tackle the small capex problem area
RickVanover @Williamcaban but if my small infrastructure is launching missles or saving lives, it may be worth it. All infrastructures are not created equal!
cnickl while the larger enterprises make it a better financial play, i can see SMB adopting it quicker. Big businesses can be slow to react on new tech
RickVanover true nick
halr9000 yeah
@gallifreyan I think there’s also a wide range of definitions for “SMB”
@gallifreyan a lot of vendors forget what the S stands for.
halr9000 well the definition is now “TWO RACKS”
cnickl not referring to the pizza shop
halr9000 nope, not
halr9000 @amy time?
halr9000 Anyone want to ask a question live?
CommsNinja I’m here to save the day as needed
@gallifreyan not pizza shop, but what about a 10 person startup using on-premises gear for some reason… they might not have a MLB budget.
RickVanover @Robert – likely they aren’t a fit
@gallifreyan Yeah. But they’re still SMB.
RickVanover they’d rather not ride a bike to the coffee shop, they’d rather woak
Erik Bussink Stupid questions, is there a ACI simulator or Walktrough ?
halr9000 no great question
halr9000 not sure he’ll know but about to find out
RickVanover Erik – DevNet likely has one
halr9000 ## i’ll ask 1 more q
halr9000 rick let’s get that on air tho
halr9000 (I already knew the answer, just wanted it out loud)
Erik Bussink Woot… there is an ACI emulator
@gallifreyan yay
jordanmartin That’s excellent
cnickl WIN
@gallifreyan ACIPE.
cnickl yes please!
Erik Bussink Link a UCS Emulator with a Wks/Fusion vESXi install  #WishfulDreaming
halr9000 RESTful API, python SDK
halr9000 puppet stuff
Josh_Atwell wow, these guys halr9000 and RickVanover sound like they’ve podcasted before
halr9000 dude i was SOOO NERVUS
Josh_Atwell Yea Erik, i’ve been asking that for a while
Erik Bussink Thanks guys !
@gallifreyan Erik: I’ve heard some inquiries about that on the communities site. Emulating B/C series hosts would be difficult but it is desirable
CommsNinja Unmuting everyone!
Fish14 gotta run
Fish14 hugs to all
Fish14 nice session
@gallifreyan bai fish
Erik Bussink I have 4 UCS C series, but can’t get a proper FI to lab with
@gallifreyan Erik: You can get them for $1k on eBay
@gallifreyan I have a search for 6120-6296
halr9000 UCSPE
halr9000 just do it
@gallifreyan licensing may be an issue tho
GideonTam ACI Emulator with Fusion on MBP is good enough for me.
@gallifreyan halr9000: UCSPE can’t talk to physical C-Series boxes
halr9000 oh i did not know that
@gallifreyan it’s a self-contained FI simulator.
@gallifreyan you can build an inventory, and simulate firmware upgrades with the stripped bundles, but there’s no current way to emulate the hosts (i.e. kvm, host
halr9000 @rachel here’s the aci overview video rick mentioned earlier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZWwjNAiUpI
Erik Bussink You need a C-Series M3 to connect it to a FI. M2 are not supported as the firmware is stuck at 1.4.3
@gallifreyan Erik: Either you’re talking about something else, or I’ll make you a bet on that.
CommsNinja cisco.com/go/aci
Erik Bussink @Gallifreyan I’m not going to bet  rather speend my $ on a old FI 6120
@gallifreyan Erik: You need a certain level to do single connect…
Erik Bussink @gallifreyan Are you using Nexus 2000 between the FI and the C M2 series for the mgmt ?
Erik Bussink Yeah, Single connect once you have a VIC1225
halr9000 later all
@gallifreyan 2322pp as I recall. About a hundred of them.


Rachel Bakker

Social Media Advocacy Manager

Digital and Social