Cisco ACI Review

The initial setup is straightforward, as it has a network-centric approach

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case was to implement SDN in the data center to bring new technology for the application team.

How has it helped my organization?

We had different networks and combined them with ACI so we could have the control of one controller-based network. Also, everything is combined now.

What is most valuable?

We have the flexibility to bring an application from wherever it is located from one end of application to the other. It has overlay at the end.

What needs improvement?

I don't like the idea that Cisco is bringing in different machines or dashboards. This does not allow us to have one solution. We are viewing the DNA Center, ACI, and Meraki. A link from another system may have you end up in the Meraki dashboard, that's not what I expect. I want to have one single pane of glass where I can see and do the changes on every thing.

I would like to be able to test the upgrades in a simulation before implementing them in production because not everyone has a lab.

For how long have I used the solution?

1,5 years

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the beginning, the stability was not that good. However, the code now seems to be stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We like its scalability because we have use its paths to bring all the networks into ACI. Therefore, we need to be able to scale.

How are customer service and technical support?

I like the technical support. It is great. We have a good team on the other end of the line. We also have good support from our sales engineer (SE).

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We started with Cisco solutions and are now switching to ACI, which is the new solution. If it doesn't work how I expect, I will consider exchanging it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward, as it has a network-centric approach.

What about the implementation team?

I joined the team after they did the integration, but I know that they bought the starter kit from Cisco. Our company had a lot of issues with the starter kit.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Once you sign for the start kit implementation, you have to go all the way through to the implementation, even if you are experiences issues.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I do not know who was on the shortlist.

For me, Cisco is the best solution.

What other advice do I have?

I would tell someone considering this solution to talk to an account manager from Cisco and some technical people. Then, go to a Cisco conference and discuss the product with people, e.g., ask them how they did the implementation. 

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