Cisco ACI Review

We have seen time improvement using the product

What is our primary use case?

We want to automate some of the operational tasks of our team. We have many configurations and switches. In the future, we want to deploy a solution where we can configure all our switches in one place. This is why we are looking to use Cisco ACI in the future.

How has it helped my organization?

  • A lot of our tasks in cloud projects are now done faster than before. 
  • We can implement customer requirements more quickly. 
  • Our quality has improved because we have faster visibility into when faults occurs in the network.

What is most valuable?

The valuable feature is its configuration policy. We can configure it because the policy is used for all the switches. We do not have to implement all the configuration on every switch. 

Also, it fully integrates with most of our other tools, like Infoblox or vCenter, as its very powerful.

What needs improvement?

In the new version of 4.0, the management groups for updating the software is not the best way to do it. It was better in 3.2. There was a better overview of all the management groups with integrated switches. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. The updates for Cisco ACI have been consistent with no failures.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is another point for our cloud project. We use Cisco ACI, because when we expand the network another 10 to 20 switches more, the switches are easier to implement now. We  connect the new switches to the spine infrastructure, then they are the switches are ready to configure.

How are customer service and technical support?

Cisco technical support has been great over the last five to six years that I have worked with them. We have two open cases with them now. All issues are solved in a timely fashion. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were previously using the Nexus 7000. We upgraded from the Catalyst environment to the Nexus environment. Now, we want to use ACI for automation and integration of third-party hardware.

We switched to Cisco ACI because of it improvements to our operations and integrations with third-parties.

How was the initial setup?

At the beginning, the initial setup was complex because it was another way of networking. After the first installation, the second and third installation with ACI Fabric was a bit easier to configure.

To install the complete ACI Fabric with all 10 to 12 switches, it takes one to two days, then it's finished. Once you configure the application, it runs. 

What about the implementation team?

We deployed it in-house.

What was our ROI?

We have seen time improvement using the product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not consider any other vendors. Because in the network environment, we can only buy Cisco or Juniper. However, Juniper does not have a solution for us.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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