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Cisco ACI Virtual Simulator Lab

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Solution Overview
Today's networks can be complex, have limited functionality and be resistant to change. Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is a network architecture that changes how we design, manage and operate the entire data center network. 

With this lab you will be able to experience building out the various constructs ACI offers, explore the ability to create application profiles, Layer 2/3 connectivity to ACI, and much more.  This environment also allows for Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) integration such as with VMware vCenter allowing the provisioning of the Distributed Virtual Switch (DVS) on the Hypervisors.  The ACI Simulator does not have a data-plane, so traffic will not pass, but this will give the opportunity for users to experience the WebGUI.

The ACI Virtual Simulator also allows for you to use automation tools such as Ansible or Postman to programmatically define every aspect of an ACI fabric.  

This lab allows the user to experience the initial configuration of the APIC controller, then provide fabric discovery and configuration.  Once complete you will be able to configure any feature available in Cisco ACI.  Explore the ability to create multiple tenants, and application profiles within those environments. 

Due to data plane limitations, the lab does not include any VM's or physical hosts to test the data plane or policies that you have created.  

Goals & Objectives

The goal of this lab is to familiarize users with how to build the logical application and network constructs of ACI.  In this lab you will learn how to perform:

  • Initial configuration of the APIC controller
  • APIC Fabric Discovery
  • APIC GUI Discovery
  • Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) Networking

Hardware & Software

The current ACI Virtual Simulator is based on APIC Release 3.0(1k).  The simulator then emulates a pair of Cisco Nexus 9396PX Leaf switches and a Cisco Nexus 9508 Spine.

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