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


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. 


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 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 
  • Summary

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 QSFP BiDi
  • 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
  • Summary

Lesson 3: Software Overview
  • Networking Concepts
    • Tenants
    • Contexts
    • Bridge Domain 
    • Application Profiles
    • End Point Groups
    • EPG's, Subnets, & Policy
    • External Connectivity Options
    • L4-L7 Services
  • Security Policies
    • Contracts
    • ACI Contracts 
    • Subjects
    • Filters
    • Building ContractsSoft
    • Taboos
    • 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
  • Summary

Lesson 4: Fabric Transport
  • ACI Fabric Integrated Overlay
  • Virtual Extensible LAN
  • ACI VXLAN Header
  • 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
  • Summary

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

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
  • Summary

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
  • Summary

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
  • Summary

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
  • Options
  • What is a Network on APIC?
  • Component Relationships
  • Policy View
  • Important Concepts- Inside Outside
  • Internal EPG to External EPG
  • External EPG to Internal EPG
  • Scaling
  • 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
  • Summary

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
  • Summary

Module 5: Cisco ACI - L4-L7 Services
Lesson 1 Service Insertion Concepts
  • Device Packages
    • Device Cluster
    • Programmability
    • 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
  • Summary

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

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

Lesson 2 Troubleshooting, Faults & Monitoring
  • Troubleshooting
    • Troubleshooting Philosophy
    • Troubleshooting Example
    • Possible places to begin-Operations Tab
    • Possible Fix Points
  • Faults
    • 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
  • Monitoring
  • Summary

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?
  • Summary

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
  • Summary

Lesson 3 Programmability with REST API
  • What is REST?
  • REST API’s
  • 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
  • Summary

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
  • Summary

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
  • Storage
  • Spine & Leaf
    • New Hardware Approach
    • Attaching the Virtual Appliances
    • Physical Server
    • L4-L7 Services
    • Storage

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
  • Summary

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 1-day Adobe, 1-day MS Office and PMP Boot Camps) 
  • Academy Code of Honor: Test Pass Guarantee
  • Optional: Package for Hotel Accommodations, Lunch and Transportation

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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.


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