Cisco ACI Review

A scalable solution that provides consistency and redundancy in our data centers

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution in our data centers. It is for connecting servers and increasing our bandwidth and resiliency.

How has it helped my organization?

Historically, we had four different computer rooms, and they were all configured differently.  When we went through the refresh and started using ACI, it was the first time that we had a consistent setup in all of our computer rooms.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the ease of setup for redundancy, as well as centralized control.

What needs improvement?

The ability for us to figure out the traffic flows, to enable some of the more segmentation parts of it, is really tough with what is built into ACI. It would be nice if it were part of it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of this solution is great. We love it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not hit the limit, so it's been very scalable for us. Redundancy has been great.

How are customer service and technical support?

We hired an employee who used to work for Cisco technical support, and this person has been much more useful than the Cisco tech, itself. Technical support has not always been what we had hoped for.

However, we've had a lot of on-site support with our advanced services, and they've been great.

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

We work on state budget cycles, and several years went by without any kind of refresh. What we had were disparate solutions that were failing, and didn't have the same kind of redundancy or configuration. As such, the users were having a terrible experience so we had to do something. We then looked at ACI and Cisco and positioned it such that it made a lot of sense for us.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is pretty straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented this solution in-house.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered Cisco, Juniper, and VMware. Cisco rose to the top because of the support. It wasn't just the sale; they were going to be around afterward. We have a relationship there, that we trust.

What other advice do I have?

Cisco is there for the long haul. It's been built by network people who understand the resiliency needs for network infrastructure. It's been reliable for us, as well as scalable. It can do our one-gig, ten-gig, forty-gig, hundred-gig, it can do it all, no matter if it's legacy or new.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

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