Recent DFA and ACI Links

Peter Welcher
Architect, Operations Technical Advisor

20140307-fig01Here in the Baltimore-DC area, we can’t wait for Spring to end all the cold snowy weather we’ve been having. We don’t quite see the signs yet. We need a new groundhog! Anybody want a used one?

In contrast, things are really heating up and getting exciting with DFA and ACI. Real documentation is appearing for Cisco DFA (Dynamic Fabric Automation). And the pace of new content about ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) is picking up. In addition, there are growing hints as to how big a role ACI may play for Cisco going forward. The purpose of this blog is to share some relevant links with you.

Without further ado, here are the links:

One hour talk, Design and Deploy Dynamic Fabric Automation (video, BrightTalk registration required): Gentle introduction to key aspects of DFA. It also talks about FabricPath and DFA co-existence. I.e. integrating Nexus 5500, which will lack DFA L3 and segment ID capability. .

Dynamic Fabric Automation Migration Guide, how to get started doing DFA:

Dynamic Fabric Automation Solution Guide

Gary Kinghorn Is ACI Really SDN? One Point of View to Clarify the Conversation: (This link is a little older, I like the contrast to the constant message “we all must learn programming” — SDN for the rest of us?)

Two quite readable blogs about ACI principles:

ACI Design Principles: The role of SDN Overlays in Application Centric Deployments – Part 2:

ACI Design Principles: The role of SDN Overlays in Application Centric Deployments – Part 2:

Inside Cisco’s Private Cloud (Network World): What particularly interested me about this was the hints of plans Cisco has to use ACI internally.

Cisco Revamps Enterprise Product Pricing (Network World): This may not sound related, but take a look.It talks about Cisco considering levels of ACI licensing. And quotes Rob Lloyd (Cisco President): “We have a bunch of products. We’ll turn those products into licenses – a data center suite, a WAN suite, an access suite – for the enterprise. We’ll allow the customer to consume the full capabilities in a domain or across the full enterprise. It’ll be simpler and cost-effective to buy whole suites. The APIC controller is fundamental to every domain.” I’d say that amounts to some pretty ambitious plans for ACI / APIC!

A recent SDN Central article commented on the plethora of Cisco SDN controller offerings, and how the story is now changing to APIC for various functions (datacenter, access), with XNC / OpenDaylight positioned for multi-vendor settings. The story also mentions the turnkey product emphasis. See Cisco Slims Its SDN Story Down to ONE Controller

Hashtags: #DFA #ACI #SDN

Twitter: @pjwelcher

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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.