ACI > Contructs

Tenant VDC
Context VRF
Bridge domain Subnet / SVI
EPG Broadcast domain / VLAN
Contract ACL
L2 External EPG 802.1Q trunk
L3 External EPG L3 Routed link


  • Open and Secure
  • Apps and Infrastructure
  • Physical and Virtual
  • On-Site and Cloud

Bringing up the Fabric:

  • Physical requirements
    • Power
    • Cabling + mgmt0
    • Rack and Stack
  • Power on/Connect to APICs
    • How many APICs
    • Fabric Name
    • Admin Password
    • Setup Fabric Network ( IP & VLAN)
  • Log into the APIC (HTTP out of band)
    • NTP
    • Route Reflectors
    • MGMT IP Fabric
    • Leaf and Spine Name/#

Fabric Discovery

  • Zero touch fabric, the controller does everything
  • APIC uses LLDP to get information about the leaf switches it’s connected to
  • First the leaf is dicovered and will be named (101)
  • Then the Spine is connected and named  (201)
  • Then the leafs are discovered (103,104)

ACI > Contracts

  • Contracts functions as ACL
  • Contracts control how one group can interact with another group within the ACI fabric
  • Contracts can be between EPG’s, or between L3out and EPG’s.
  • Contracts control who can see what routes between VRF’s

ACI > Contexts and Bridge domains

  • The Bridge Domain is a layer 2 domain built with VXLAN overlays
  • The Bridge Domain is always associated with a VRF even if it’s not doing any routing
  • The Bridge Domain is carved in Endpoint Groups to which physical servers and virtual machines attach

Adding switches via the APIC

APIC > Firmware Upgrade

  • Download firmware from Cisco
    • Controller software
    • Switch image
  • Check firmware repository
  • Controller firmware upgrade
  • Firmware group
  • Maintenance group
    • Best practice to create a maintenance group so you don’t upgrade all switches at once
    • maintenancegroup: 0dd switches
    • maintenancegroup: even switches


APIC > System settings

  • NTP
  • Route Reflectors
  • MGMT IP Fabric
  • Leaf and Spine Name/#

APIC > Admin > Config rollbacks

  • Make snapshots
  • Backup the fabric
  • Backup tenant
  • Schedule snapshots

APIC > Policy model


APIC > Network Centric Mode

  • Create a Tenant
    • Create a VRF for the tenant
      • Create a VLAN 10 (bridge domain 10)
        • Create a Group 10 EPG
          • Put the servers in the Group
      • Create a VLAN 20 (bridge domain 20)
        • Create a Group 20 EPG
          • Put the servers in the Group

APIC > Application Centric Mode

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