5-Day Cisco ACI for Network Engineers


Offering Formats

This course is offered in the following formats:

  • Live, Instructor-Led Training (schedule)

Course Overview

In this 5-day Cisco ACI for Network Engineers course, you will become fully adept at deploying, provisioning and maintaining a Cisco® Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), including the planning, design, and implementation of ACI.

It is designed for network and data center Cloud Systems Architects, as well as server Administrators Application developers and security engineers as well as virtualization administrators, Architects, Systems Engineers and Field Engineers who are selling, implementing and/or managing Cisco ACI. The course dives deep into each of the key concepts behind ACI’s application-centric infrastructure and policy-based architecture. You will spend each day listening to lecture, then configuring most every aspect of the ACI solution, including configuring tenants, application network profiles (ANP), contracts, endpoints, VMM integration and how to connect the ACI Fabric to an external L2 and L3 networks, along with L4-L7 services. Migration strategies for existing applications to an ACI fabric will be discussed and automation of APIC REST API through scripting (JSON/XML). You will become familiar with using Postman to configure the ACI Fabric, Visore, and API Inspector. The course will include intense hands-on labs on real physical hardware of all of the key functions of ACI. You will not share with other students during the labs. You will be provided with your own ACI Tenant, Vcenter Server, ESXi Hosts and numerous virtual machines.

The course will include intense hands-on labs on real physical hardware of all of the key functions of ACI. You will not share with other students during the labs. You will be provided with your own ACI Tenant, Vcenter Server, ESXi Hosts and numerous virtual machines.

Upon completion of the course, students will be familiar with:

  • Pre-Deployment Interview/Information gathering process
  • Out of the box setup and configuration of an ACI fabric
  • Scenario driven configuration principals for:
    • Multi-Tenancy/Tenant Configurations
    • Application Profiles
    • Endpoint Groups
    • Security - Built-in Stateful Firewall, Contracts
    • Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) Integration
    • Connecting the ACI fabric to external L2 and L3 networks
    • Connecting fabric to L4 – L7 services (ASA, F5, etc….)

Course Specifics

  • This course has a high degree of labs (40:60 ratio lab:lecture), and is intended to engage and challenge the student into performing the most common but also complex scenarios when migrating to Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) Fabric
  • Hands on lab environments. Each student will have:
    • Dedicated ACI tenant with 4 ESXi hosts and 9 VM’s
    • Dedicated vCenter Appliance
    • Dedicated L2/L3 outside connections
  • Class size will be restricted to 16 students to facilitate more hands on lab time.
  • Each student will have a dedicated Tenant and dedicated ports both on the ACI Leafs and on the external Nexus 5K/6Ks, dedicated 4 ESXi servers, vCenter server and VMs.
  • Students do not share or “partner-up” to perform tasks. Each student independently performs all tasks.

Who Should Participate?

  • Solution Architects
  • System Integrators
  • Cloud Architects
  • Network Administrators
  • System Engineers

Recommended Prerequisites

  • Basic understanding of networking
  • Basic knowledge of VMware virtualization technology would be beneficial

Live Instructor Led Training Schedule

Minimum class size is required for course to be held. Final determination will be made 2 weeks prior to scheduled class. In the event of class cancelation all registered learners will receive email notification of the cancelation and refund of all charges. Refund is limited to only the course registration fees. Lumos is not liable for any other costs that may have been incurred, including, but, not limited to transportation, lodging, VISAs.

US Dates and Locations Running Price Registration
24 Apr - 28 Apr

Pleasanton, CA, US

$4995 Register Now


International Dates and Locations Running Price Registration
TBD, please contact registration@lumoscloud.com for details

Course Agenda

Day 1
09:00 – 10:00 ACI Overview
Evolution of the modern Data Center. From the traditional 3-Tier architecture to the Spine-Leaf Architecture. Why the industry moving to VxLAN and to the Policy driven Data Center.
10:00 – 10:15 Break
10:15 – 11:15 Cisco’s Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC)
How the Cisco APIC provides fabric configuration and Application Network Policy creation and deployment. in addition to providing resiliency, redundancy, scalability and monitoring.
11:15 – 12:15 APIC Fabric Discovery and Configuration
Understand how Cisco ACI provides almost zero touch fabric discovery and configuration.
12:15 – 01:15 LUNCH
01:15 – 02:00 ACI Polices and Resource Pools
How to create and use ACI policies and resource pools. These objects are used to building a scalable switch fabric.
02:00 – 02:30 Lab
Initial Configuration of ACI Polices and Pools.
02:30 – 02:45 Break
02:45 – 03:30 ACI Fabric Access Polices
Configuration of fabric/switch/interface polices/settings. Reusable objects for fabric wide configuration.
03:30 – 04:00 Lab
Configuring ACI fabric access polices.
04:00 – 05:00 Fabric Operation and Forwarding
How does the fabric operate. Go under the covers and see how packets are learned and forwarded inside the fabric. How ACI can connect to bare metal servers or hypervisors running VLAN, VxLAN, NVGRE and forward packets seamlessly between any of these protocols.
Day 2
09:00 – 09:30 Review
Questions and Answers
09:30 – 10:15 Application Network Profile creation
ACI networking foundation, Tenants, VRFs, Bridge Domains, subnets, End Points, End Point groups.
10:15 – 10:45 Lab
Create tenants, VRFs, Application Network Profiles, Bridge Domains, subnets.
10:45 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 11:45 Hypervisor Integration with ACI
Virtual Machine Management (VMM) Various methods to integrate industry standard Hypervisors (ESXi, KVM, Hyper-V). Relationship to ACI networking and Hypervisor networking.
11:45 – 12:15 Lab
Configure VMM and confirm end point learning.
12:15 – 01:15 LUNCH
01:15 – 01:45 End Point Group communication
ACI Filters, Subject and Contracts. Understand relationship between contracts and VRF route leaking.
01:45 – 02:15 Lab
Create ACI Contracts and apply them to VMs. Validate End Point Group connectivity using contracts.
02:15 – 02:45 ACI Switches
ACI portfolio and capabilities.
02:45 – 03:00 Break
03:00 – 03:45 Connecting to external L3
Policies and concepts to connect to external L3
03:45 – 04:30 Lab
L3 Connectivity and EPG
Day 3
09:00 – 09:30 Review
Questions and Answers
09:30 – 10:15 Connecting to external L2
Policies and concepts to connect to external L2.
10:15 – 10:45 Advanced Communication Using Contracts
In this lab, the student will create specific Protocol filters. Create contacts. Configure communication between external Users and EPG VMs
10:45 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 11:30 Layer 2 External Connectivity and ERSPAN
In this lab, we will configure L2 static path binding. Create a SPAN application. Create an ERSPAN session and capture packets
11:30 – 11:45 Lab
Configure the ACI fabric to export the configuration and configure access through RBAC/AAA
11:45 – 12:45 LUNCH
12:45 – 01:00 Integrating L4-7 with ACI
Understanding how to integrate layer 4 – 7 services like firewall and load balancers. Discussions of supported vendors and implementation of the services to the EPGs
01:00 – 01:45 Lab
L4-7 Service Insertion
01:45 – 02:30 Integrating ACI with Existing Environments
Discussion of how to migrate existing environment into an ACI fabric
02:30 – 02:45 Break
02:45 – 03:00 ACI Fabric Extension
Connecting DC’s using Stretch Fabric, multi-pod, multi-fabric
03:00 – 04:00 ACI Switches
ACI portfolio and capabilities
Day 4
09:00 – 10:15 ACI Programmability Concepts
VISORE, OpFlex, APIs, Python, XML, JSON, Rest overview
10:15 – 10:30 Break
10:30 – 12:00 ACI Programming
How to use the API Inspector to create POST files. Use POST with PostMan to automate tasks
12:00 – 01:00 LUNCH
01:00 – 04:00 Lab
Programming labs
04:00 – 05:00 Real World Design Scenarios
MultiPod, Stretched Fabric, Service Insertion, Tenant Design, Migration theory
Day 5
09:00 – 10:00 ACI Operation and Troubleshooting
Lecture and Demo
10:00 – 10:45 Fabric Housekeeping
Standalone to ACI Fabric conversion, APIC Image management (upgrades)
10:45 – 11:15 Buildout of Fabric
log files. Endpoint learning. VLANs, Portgroups, endpoint details, COOP (spine and leaf) FD/BD per-port VLAN concepts. Epm-trace/epmc-trace logs. Advanced unicast flow in spines/leafs bridged and routed packets
11:15 – 12:15 Lab
Endpoint Tracking and verification
12:15 – 01:15 LUNCH
01:15 – 02:00 Lab
Contracts and route leaking packet walks and verification
02:00 – 02:45 Lab
VLAN creation and validation packet walk
02:30 – 02:45 Break
02:45 – 03:30 Faults. Logs, System Health
Fault lifecycles, health scores and common APIC log files
03:30 – 04:30 Lab
L3 Out troubleshooting
04:30 – 05:00 Lab
Fabric Access Policy troubleshooting and validation