Cisco ACI Review

You can push scripts that you are writing now to set up connections in less than five to ten minutes

What is our primary use case?

We use Cisco ACI within our four data centers, and it has been deployed in all four. They are the backbone within our data centers.

How has it helped my organization?

We have an old switches and catalysts. This product makes things easier. Once everything is on Fabric, their routes are bounced around within the Fabric, so you don't have to configure new switchboards or parts. It does makes it that much easier.

What is most valuable?

Its programmability: You can do stuff to policies to make them more flexible, allowing you to connect devices in new ways. 

What needs improvement?

I would like Cisco to simplify the interaction of the controller. 

I would also like them to simplify the way you configure the Fabric. The process is quite complex. This can be a barrier to entry. For anything, where it should take two or three steps, you have ten steps.

It took quite a bit of time to learn how to use it. The learning curve is very steep.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Since I joined, we have had about two or three outages. Sometimes the controller to the device interaction can be problematic, but otherwise, it has been quite stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable and easy to add new devices on, which is very good.

How is customer service and technical support?

It is possible because we have a contract with them, they are always available. Whenever I have had to talk to them, they are very responsive. When issues have happened, there have been about four or five issues, they were able to have them solved within a day or two.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex since these are brand new data centers. The topology for the network was different in the way it was set up.

What about the implementation team?

Cisco did the integration. They are still adding new things and deploying. They are doing a very good job.

What was our ROI?

You can push scripts that you are writing now to set up connections in less than five to ten minutes.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated IBM.

With the Cisco ACI technology, the programmability enables interaction. The other solutions are not really built for programmability. They don't interact with their databases directly, where Cisco ACI makes this possible. This is one of the many reasons that our organization selected it.

What other advice do I have?

It is a fantastic product, but train up first. In the first six months before you deploy, if you can get your hands on a demo and attend some classes or do some studies, get yourself to a place of being competent before you start.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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