Tag: cisco

Cisco ACI – API Calls vs JSON POST

API Calls method

The fancy way of configuring Cisco ACI Fabric is by using Python script for generating API calls. Those API calls are then used to configure Cisco ACI by pushing those calls to APIC controller using POSTMAN (or similar tool). Configuration changes done this way are those that you are doing often and without much chance of making mistakes.

You write a Python script and that script will take your configuration variables and generate API call that will configure the system quickly and correctly every time.

The thing is that you need to take the API call example and use Python to write a script that will recreate that API calls with your variables of configuration and do that correctly. You need to know to code in Python and you will need a certain amount of time to write that script.

POST JSON file method

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Setting up Cisco ACI From Scratch

This Cisco ACI article describes the first few things you will do when getting ACI Fabric components in your datacenter.

So let’s see what we have here:

Get Your Gear

In this one, we will get three APIC controllers, four Leafs and two Spines to build simple ACI and few 2060 switches for OOB management:

  • 3x APICs APIC-CLUSTER-M2 – APIC Controller Medium Configuration (Up to 1000 Edge Ports)
  • 2x Spines N9K-C9364C – Nexus 9K ACI & NX-OS Spine, 64p 40/100G QSFP28
  • 2x SFP Leafs N9K-C93180YC-EX – Nexus 9300 with 48p 10/25G SFP+ and 6p 100G QSFP28
  • 2x Copper Leafs N9K-C9348GC-FXP – Nexus 9300 with 48p 100M/1GT, 4p 10/25G & 2p 40/100G QSFP28
  • 2x Catalyst 2960 OOB management switches

You need to cable Leaf and Spines in-between properly to form CLOS topology from the image below with 40G or 100G optics. Each Spine, Leaf and APIC controller needs to be connected to non-ACI OOB management network. You need then to connect redundantly APIC controllers to two Leafs with 10G optics and start the APIC initialization and fabric discovery.

Cable The Thing

Spines are all ports 40G/100G so you Choose your ports as you like, and for Leafs, each of them has last 6 ports 40G/100G so use one of those to connect to each Spine and you have your Leaf’n’Spine.

ACI Fabric with APIC

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CLOS Topology

Edson Erwin invented this highly scalable and optimized way of connecting network nodes in the 1930s and Charles Clos made the telephone nodes interconnection design using that solution. It was even before we had IP networks. He invented it in order to optimize the architecture of telephony network systems back then.

It was not used in IP based network for last few decades but it experienced a big comeback with new datacenter design in the last few years. It was first invented only for scalability requirements that it solved beautifully. In new datacenter design, CLOS topology of interconnecting network devices scalability is also the first requirement that gets solved, but it also greatly helps with improving resiliency and performance.

In today’s datacenters, CLOS topology is used to create Leaf’n’Spine system of interconnecting Leaf switches (datacenter access switches or ToR switches) together through Spine switches. It is created in a way that each Leaf switch is redundantly connected to all Spine switches directly.

As it is shown in the picture below, in this way, using CLOS topology, we are interconnecting Leaf switches in a way that they always have only two hops between each other and this done redundantly as two hops through each Spine switch. Spines are not directly connected and Leafs are also not directly connected.

CLOS

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Cisco Champion for 2019

Again I made it to the list of Cisco Champions, making this the second year in a row!

Cisco Champion 2019

I am so glad that my effort to give back to the community and to all my networking fellows out there paid off again in the shape of this recognition from Cisco. This badge is only a small thing, relating to all the community connections and sharing that my involvement with networking community via social media and this blog, made possible. It only pushes me to get even more done in the future.

In 2018 I was involved in a few very challenging new projects, working with Cisco ACI and VMware NSX, and basically studying and researching continuously in order to get to know the products as much as it was possible, it resulted in not being so active on my blog or twitter this year.

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I Became Cisco Champion for 2018

UPDATE on 12 Mar 2019:
Yep, It happened again this year so there is a newer article about getting to the 2019 Cisco Champion list <:

I just received an e-mail from Cisco with the notice that I was elected Cisco Champion for 2018.

As Cisco says:

Cisco Champions are a group of highly influential technical experts who generously enjoy sharing their knowledge, expertise, and thoughts on the social web and with Cisco. The Cisco Champion program encompasses a diverse set of areas such as Data Center, Internet of Things, Enterprise Networks, Collaboration, and Security. Cisco Champions are located all over the world.”

I must say that last 7 years of writing this blog was the primary reason why one should pick me for this flattering badge.

I’m following some of the most active Cisco Champions on Twitter for years.

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