Why Packetheads Need Not Fear Cisco ACI
There seems to be much mystique and confusion over Cisco’s ACI and how we as network analysts will troubleshoot in this new network environment. It’s an architecture to which few seem to have completed the move, but many are planning to do so in the near future. Now is the time to architect with visibility in mind.
With Cisco ACI there has been some misunderstanding based on early claims of ‘not needing packets anymore’ to discussions on ’how the heck are we going to do this?’ Eager to confirm my beliefs about ACI, I attended many sessions at the Cisco Live conference this year. There was a lot of clarification and confirmation of how to best instrument new networks for full visibility.
The Short Answer: Not much has changed as far as building a visibility fabric. If you have familiarity with building such a fabric in the VMware Nexus ‘Top of the Rack’ design, you will have no issue capturing in an ACI environment. Wherein the Nexus model, to get east-west traffic, you would simply tap the uplinks between the top of the rack and the aggregation layer, in an ACI environment you tap between the spine and leaf switches to obtain traffic.