DCACIF-v2.0 – Data Center Application Centric Infrastructure Fundamentals


Duration: 5 days

DCACIF (Data Center Application Centric Infrastructure Fundamentals) is a 5-day Instructor-led training course that is designed for systems & field engineers who install & implement the Cisco Nexus 9000 Switches in ACI mode using the updated 2.0(x) version & updated Cisco Nexus 9000 hardware platform. The course covers the key components & procedures you need to know to understand, configure, manage Cisco Nexus 9000 Switches in ACI mode utilizing the updated 2.0(x) version, & how to connect the ACI Fabric to external networks & services.

This course is for systems engineers, technical architects, & product specialists in data center technical sales roles. Students include those who need to gain experience with understanding, configuring, & designing the data center networking environment with Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches.

Cisco ACI Release 2.0(x) offers many new features. The main new features introduced with the 2.0 version are:

  • ACI vCenter Plugin for VMware vSphere Web Client
  • AVS Health Status
  • Contact Permit Logging
  • COOP Authentication
  • Digital Optical Monitoring
  • Layer 3 Multicast Support
  • Added OSPF Inbound Route Controls
  • Policy-Based Redirect for Provisions Service Appliances
  • EPG Deployment Through AEP
  • FCoE N-Port Virtualization Support
  • Layer 3 EVPN Services Over WAN Fabric
  • Port-Security
  • Support for Multiple vCenters per Fabric

All lab exercises included in this training course will utilize Cisco ACI Release 2.0(x) version. The lab does not necessarily show all new feature uses.

Upon completing this course, the learner will be able to meet these overall objectives:
(Using Cisco ACI Release 2.0(x) OS Version)

  • Describe the Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switch ACI
  • Describe the ACI fabric
  • Describe the Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switch hardware
  • Describe the Cisco Nexus 9300-EX Series Switch hardware
  • Configure the ACI controller (APIC)
  • Understand the Cisco Cloud Based APIC
  • Describe VXLAN Bridging, Gateway and Routing
  • Configure VDS and ADS microsegmentation
  • Configure ACI L4L7 service integration
  • Integrate the APIC hypervisor
  • Understand the programmability & orchestration of the ACI network
  • Discuss ACI connectivity to outside networks
  • Implement ACI management


This course is designed for systems engineers, technical architects, & product specialists in data center technical sales roles.

  • Students should be familiar with Cisco Ethernet switching products.
  • Students should understand Cisco data center architecture.
  • Students should be familiar with virtualization.
  • Good understanding of networking protocols, routing, & switching:
  • Recommended CCNA Certification
  • Recommended attendance of Cisco IP Routing Class (ROUTE)
  • Recommended attendance of Cisco Switching Class (SWITCH)

During the course of instruction, the learner will be exposed to the configuration of advanced technologies, such as BGP, OSPF, & IS-IS. The learner wil not be required to have experience with these technologies in order successfully complete the class.

What’s included?

  • Authorized Courseware
  • Intensive Hands on Skills Development with an Experienced Subject Matter Expert
  • Hands-on practice on real Servers and extended lab support 1.800.482.3172
  • Examination Vouchers & Onsite Certification Testing- (excluding Adobe and PMP Boot Camps)
  • Academy Code of Honor: Test Pass Guarantee
  • Optional: Package for Hotel Accommodations, Lunch and Transportation

With several convenient training delivery methods offered, The Academy makes getting the training you need easy. Whether you prefer to learn in a classroom or an online live learning virtual environment, training videos hosted online, and private group classes hosted at your site. We offer expert instruction to individuals, government agencies, non-profits, and corporations. Our live classes, on-sites, and online training videos all feature certified instructors who teach a detailed curriculum and share their expertise and insights with trainees. No matter how you prefer to receive the training, you can count on The Academy for an engaging and effective learning experience.


  • Instructor Led (the best training format we offer)
  • Live Online Classroom – Online Instructor Led
  • Self-Paced Video

Speak to an Admissions Representative for complete details

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Module 1: Cisco ACI Overview
Lesson 1: What problems are we trying to fix?

The 3-Tier Application
Application Flow
Three Tier Application with Networking
What are VLAN’s for?
Applying a Logical Model to Physical Model
Maintenance of Large Infrastructure is Complex
Problem: Micromanagement of Infrastructure
Example: Configure Network on A New Server
Imperative Control Systems
Goal: Capture a& Preserve User Intent
The ACI Solution
Unified Ports
Unified Fabric
What is ACI?
Logical Networking Provisioning of Stateless Hardware
What is the APIC?
ACI Design and Philosophy
Solution: Declarative Control

Lesson 2: Hardware Overview
The Cisco Nexus 9000 Solution
The Cisco Nexus 9300-EX Solution
The Cisco Cloud Scaled ASIC
Common Hardware Platform: Two Modes
Modular Switch Overview
Modular Switch Chassis
Modular Switch Components
Modular Line Cards
Fixed Switch Platforms (Spine)
Fixed Switch Platforms (Leaf)
Fabric Extenders
40G/10G Breakout
Cisco Nexus 9000 Hardware Differentiators
Going Beyond SDN
Describing the Cisco APIC
Centralized Automation & Fabric Management
Algorithmically Sharded Cluster
APIC Controller is Attached In-Band
Spine & Leaf Topology
Why Spine/Leaf?
ISIS Fabric Infrastructure Routing
Decoupled Identity, Location, & Policy Multi-Hypervisor Normalization

Lesson 3: Software Overview
Networking Concepts
Bridge Domain
Application Profiles
End Point Groups
EPG’s, Subnets, & Policy
External Connectivity Options
L4-L7 Services
Security Policies
ACI Contracts
Building ContractsSoft
The Provider & Consumer Relationship
Defining Provider & Consumer Relationships
Supported Deployment Models
Network Centric (Example VLAN=BD=EPG)
Application Centric (Example)
Hybrid (Example)
Inter-Tenant Communication
Inter-Tenant Contracts

Lesson 4: Fabric Transport
ACI Fabric Integrated Overlay
Virtual Extensible LAN
VNID as a Private Network Identifier
VNID as a Bridge Domain Identifier
VNID as an Endpoint Identifier
Network Services Header Extends the VXLAN Data Plane
Decoupled Identity, Location, & Policy
Multi-hypervisor Normalization
Normalization of Ingress Encapsulation
Overview of ACI Fabric Unicast Forwarding
Overview of ACI Fabric Policy Mechanisms

Module 2: Cisco ACI-Configuring Basic Concepts
Lesson 1: GUI & CLI Overview
Graphical User Interface
Login Screen
Menu Bar/Submenu Bar
Navigation/Work Pane
VM Networking
L4-L7 Services
Command Line Interface
Logging into NXOS-CLI
Modes of Operation
Configuring Out OF Band (OOB) Management Example

Lesson 2: Configuring Tenants & Contracts
Configuring a Tenant
Configuring a Tenant
Configuring a Private Network (VRF)
Configuring a Bridge Domain
CLI Option- Tenant, VRF & BD
Configuring an Application Profile
Configuring an EPG
CLI Option- Application Profiles & EPG’s
Configuring Contracts
Configuring a Filter
Configuring a Contract
Configuring a Contract (Cont…)
CLI Option- Contracts & Filters
Providing Contracts
Consuming Contracts
CLI Option- Providing a Contract
CLI Option- Consuming a Contract

Module 3: Cisco ACI External Connectivity, Management, & Migration
Lesson 1: Policy Coordination with VM Managers
VMM Domains
VMM VLANs (Dynamic)
Leveraging the Native vSwitch
Cisco Nexus AVS Integration Overview
EPG Spanning Across VMM Domains
Recommended Practices for VLAN Networks
Concept Map
Port Groups Extend to Both Physical & Virtual & Across Virtualized Servers

Lesson 2: Hypervisors & Bare Metal
Hypervisor Integration
Management Networks
ACI Fabric & VMWare DVC Integration
Endpoint Identification
Cisco ACI & Microsoft Integration
Integration with Microsoft Hyper-V
Cisco Integration with Redhat Linux
Bare Metal
Bare Metal Connectivity
Port Encapsulation

Lesson 3: Vmm Domains
Configuring Vmm Domains
Fabric Access Policies
Interface Policies –CDP/LLDP Policy
Interface Policies-Access Port Policy Group
Interface Policies- Interface Profile / Access Port Selector
Switch Profile
Attachable Access Entity Profile (AAEP)
VLAN Pools
Creating VMM Domain
Attaching the EPG to the VMM Domain
Verifying the DVS Creation
ESXI Configuration
Attach the Guest
CLI Option- VMM Creation-VLANS
CLI Option- VMM Creation- Interface Profiles & APPG
CLI Option- VMM Creation – Switch Profile
CLI Option- VMM Creation – VMM Domain
CLI Option- VMM Creation- Attaching EPG

Lesson 4: Microsegmentation in the New Data Center
Virtual Distribution Switch
Integrating Cisco ACI with VMware
Configuration Integration with VMware
Endpoint Identification
Cisco ACI Hypervisor Integration – VMware VDS
Create a VMM Domain
Create a vCenter Domain
Create a VLAN Namespace
Create a vCenter Controller Association
ACI VMware Integration – Create a VMM Domain
Associate EPG to VMM
Create a VLAN Namespace
Configuration Integration with Microsoft SCVM
Integration with Microsoft Hyper-V
Comparing AVS to Hypervisor-Based Virtual Switches
Cisco AVS Key Features

Module 4: Cisco ACI – Configuring ACI Connectivity to Outside Networks
Lesson 1: Overview of External Connectivity
Use Cases
What is a Network on APIC?
Component Relationships
Policy View
Important Concepts- Inside Outside
Internal EPG to External EPG
External EPG to Internal EPG
SVI Connection
ACI Layer 3 Outside Connection IP Multicast Traffic
Extended Layer 2 Domain Out of ACI
STP Interaction
BPDU Flooding
ACI Layer 2 External Connections STP TCN Snooping
Local Loop Detection

Lesson 2 Layer 3 Outside Connectivity & Configuration
L3 Outside Connectivity
Layer 3 Connection Options
Route Redistribution
OPSFv3 Peering Considerations
Route Redistribution with OSFPv2
ACI as a Layer 3 Stub Network
EIGRP Peering Considerations
IBGP Peering Considerations
EBGP Considerations
Configuring L3 Outside
Route-Reflector Configuration
Route Reflector Configuration-Pod Policy Group
Route Reflector Configuration –Applying Pod Policy
Verifying Route Reflector Configuration
CLI-Option BGP Route-Reflector
Preparing the Fabric for L3 Out
Tenant- External Routed Out
Tenant- External Node
Tenant- Interface Profile
Tenant- Example – SVI Interface
Tenant- External EPG
Verifying the L3 External Out Configuration- OSPF
Verifying the L3 External Out Configuration- EIGRP
Verifying the L3 External Out Configuration- BGP
Configuring Layer 2 Outside
L2 Bridged Outside Concept
Tenant-External Bridged Out
Tenant-L2 EPG Profile
Verifying the L2 External Out Configuration

Module 5: Cisco ACI – L4-L7 Services
Lesson 1 Service Insertion Concepts
Device Packages
Device Cluster
Programming Options
Device Packages
Developing Device Specifications
Opflex is a Flexible, Extensible Policy Protocol
Opflex Uses a Declarative Model
Service Insertion
Service Insertion
Redirection to Multiple Services
Service Graphs
Where are Service Graphs Helpful
Service Graph Parameters
Service Graph Rendering

Lesson 2 Configuring L4-L7 Devices
Configuring the Concrete Device
Configuring the Functional Profile
Configuring a Service Graph

Module 6: Cisco ACI – Administration & Troubleshooting Tools
Lesson 1 Administration & Troubleshooting Tools
Security Domains
Applying Security Domains & Roles
Prior to Upgrading
Uploading Code to the APIC
Firmware Repository
Upgrading the Controller
Firmware Groups
Maintenance Groups
Upgrading the Nodes
Defining Remote Locations
Snapshot Feature
Configuration Rollback

Lesson 2 Troubleshooting, Faults & Monitoring
Troubleshooting Philosophy
Troubleshooting Example
Possible places to begin-Operations Tab
Possible Fix Points
Fault Overview
Fault Properties
Isolating Faults through Health Checks
Isolating Faults through Health Checks(Cont.)
Isolating Faults through Health Checks(Cont.)
Isolating Faults through Health Checks(Cont.)
Isolating Faults through Health Checks(Cont.)
Isolating Faults through Health Checks(Cont.)
Isolating Faults through Health Checks(Cont.)
Other Troubleshooting Tools

Module 7: Cisco ACI – Demonstrating ACI Network Programmability & Orchestration
Lesson 1 Need for Programming
The Business Need for Network Programmability
ACI Programmability
ACI Open APIs & Ecosystem
API Protocols
How is REST Used?

Lesson 2 JSON & XML
What is XML?
What is JSON?
Evaluating XML & JSON
Northbound: REST API, Python, Puppet, Chef, Openstack
Southbound: Layer 4 to Layer 7 Scripting API
Cisco DevNet- New Developer Program from Cisco
Community Code Development

Lesson 3 Programmability with REST API
What is REST?
Configuration & the RESTful API
What is RPC used for?
The ACI APIC Object-Based Tree
APIC REST API Operations
APIC REST API Message Format
dMIT Queries

Lesson 4 Orchestration
Opflex is a Flexible, Extensible Policy Protocol
Opening the ACI Policy Engine with OpFlex
How OpFlex Works-Simplified
Opflex Protocol
Opflex Protocol Messages
Example OpFLex Plus Open vSwitch
Opflex-Declarative Models
OpenStack-Enabling the Cloud
Two Option from OpenStack API’s
Neutron API
Group Policy API
Group-Based Policy in OpenStack
Group Policy Model
OpenStack ACI Integration
Group-Based Policy Workflow
OpenStack APIC Plug-in Details
OpenStack Group Policy Details
OpenStack Group Policy Plus OpFlex
Application Policy in OpenDaylight
Open Policy Exposed Through OSS Tools

Module 8: Cisco ACI – Practical Review
Lesson 1 Attaching Appliances to the Fabric
How the Network Look Today
Common Physical Design
Virtual Design
Physical Server
Network Design
Spine & Leaf
New Hardware Approach
Attaching the Virtual Appliances
Physical Server
L4-L7 Services

Lesson 2 Policy & Application Mapping
Planning the Application EPG Connectivity
Identify the Endpoints
Who talks with whom?
Network Centric Model
Application Centric Model
Planning Filters
Assigning Filters to Contracts
Assigning Contracts
Bridged & Routed Outside
Identify the Connection Type
Basic Layout- No Security
Service Insertion
Service Insertion Considerations
Service Insertion Internal
Service Insertion External to Fabric