Labels, Filters, and Subjects – Cisco Describing Cisco ACI

Labels, Filters, and Subjects

Label, filter, and subject managed objects enable mixing and matching among EPGs and contracts so as to satisfy various applications or service delivery requirements. Contracts can contain multiple communication rules, and multiple EPGs can both consume and provide multiple contracts.

Labels control which rules apply when communicating between a specific pair of EPGs. Labels are managed objects with only one property: a name. Labels enable classifying which objects can and cannot communicate with one another. Label matching is done first. If the labels do not match, no other contract or filter information is processed. The label match attribute can be one of these values: at least one (the default), all, none, or exactly one. Labels can be applied to a variety of provider and consumer managed objects, including EPGs, contracts, bridge domains, and so on. Labels do not apply across object types; a label on an application EPG has no relevance to a label on a bridge domain.

Filters are Layer 2 to Layer 4 fields, TCP/IP header fields such as Layer 3 protocol type, Layer 4 ports, and so forth. According to its related contract, an EPG provider dictates the protocols and ports in both the in and out directions. Contract subjects contain associations to the filters (and their directions) that are applied between EPGs that produce and consume the contract.

Subjects are contained in contracts. One or more subjects within a contract use filters to specify the type of traffic that can be communicated and how it occurs. For example, for HTTPS messages, the subject specifies the direction and the filters that specify the IP address type (for example, IPv4), the HTTP protocol, and the ports allowed. Subjects determine if filters are unidirectional or bidirectional.

Outside Networks

Outside network policies control connectivity to the outside. A tenant can contain multiple outside network objects. Outside network policies specify the relevant Layer 2 or Layer 3 properties that control communications between an outside public or private network and the ACI fabric. External devices, such as routers that connect to the WAN and enterprise core, or existing Layer 2 switches, connect to the front panel interface of a leaf switch. The leaf switch that provides such connectivity is known as a border leaf. The border leaf switch interface that connects to an external device can be configured as either a bridged or routed interface. In the case of a routed interface, static or dynamic routing can be used. The border leaf switch can also perform all the functions of a normal leaf switch.

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