Cisco Cloud ACI – Cisco Describing Cisco ACI

Cisco Cloud ACI

Cisco Cloud Application-Centric Infrastructure (Cisco Cloud ACI) is a comprehensive solution for simplified operations, automated network connectivity, consistent policy management, and visibility for multiple on-premises data centers and public clouds or multicloud environments. The solution captures business and user intents and translates them into native policy constructs for applications deployed across various cloud environments. It uses a holistic approach to enable application availability and segmentation for bare-metal, virtualized, containerized, or microservices-based applications deployed across multiple cloud domains. The common policy and operating model drastically reduce the cost and complexity of managing multicloud deployments. Cisco Cloud ACI provides a single management console to configure, monitor, and operate multiple disjoint environments spread across multiple clouds. It allows you to securely connect and segment workloads, not only in the public cloud, but also across public clouds. Cisco Cloud ACI is available on AWS and Microsoft Azure; future availability for Google Cloud has been announced at the time of this writing.

Cisco Cloud ACI has following components:

  • Cisco Cloud APIC: Manage multiple cloud regions and the Cisco Cloud Services Routers (CSR) 1000v Series from a single instance of Cisco Cloud APIC and enable consistent policy, security, and operations through secure interconnect for a multicloud environment.
  • Cisco Nexus Dashboard Orchestrator: Responsible for provisioning, health monitoring, and managing the full lifecycle of Cisco ACI networking policies and stretched tenant policies across Cisco ACI sites around the world, both on-premises and in the cloud. It is the single source of truth for policies.
  • Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000v Series: Cloud ACI uses the Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000v Series as the cloud router for connectivity between on-premises and cloud environments.

Cisco ACI Physical Remote Leaf

With Cisco ACI Physical Remote Leaf, a regular leaf switch is placed in a remote/satellite location and connected back to the spine switch in the main (on-premises) location and, in turn, extends Cisco ACI policy into the remote/satellite location, as shown in Figure 8-11.


Figure 8-11 Cisco ACI Physical Remote Leaf

Cisco ACI vPod

Cisco ACI Virtual Pod (vPod) extends the policy-driven automation to multiple data centers, including satellite data centers with smaller footprints, and extends a common fabric all the way to public clouds that support bare-metal provisioning. The Cisco ACI vPod solution is a software-only extension to the on-premises data center and leverages the common Cisco APIC management to provide centralized policy and management of the data center fabric. A virtual pod consists of virtual spines (vSpines), virtual leafs (vLeafs), and ACI virtual edges (AVEs) that are deployed on a hypervisor infrastructure, as shown in Figure 8-12. Cisco ACI vSpine and vLeaf are deployed in a virtual form factor and emulate the control-plane functionalities of the physical spine and leaf. Packet forwarding, policy enforcement, and all data-plane management are taken care by the Cisco ACI virtual edge running on each host in the Cisco ACI vPod.


Figure 8-12 Cisco ACI vPod

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