Cisco ACI Room for Improvement

Data Center Implementation Engineer at a consultancy with 1-10 employees

There has not been a single implementation we have done where the client wants to use all the features that are in the product currently. Contemplating new features seems out of order. Every product can benefit from new features as long as they are desired and add functionality that is useful. Most of the features that are there now are good and Cisco is doing a really good job at staying ahead of the curve with their competition. They are implementing new features before companies are even ready to use them or know that there might be a need for them.

Figuring out how to implement the product for clients is the area we struggle with the most every day. Perhaps an enhancement would be artificially intelligent solutions, but that would be further down the road.

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Systems Network Manager at a non-tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees

ACI is not simple, by any stretch of the imagination.

We are not following the application-centric approach, but a network-centric approach instead. It would be nice if I could specify network-centric in my design, and the system would organize and set itself up in that way. Essentially, once you go into the GUI for the first time it would prompt you, and it would build out the infrastructure to accommodate your choice.

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Mark Hayden
Lead Network Engineer at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees

I don't have any new features that I need in Cisco ACI yet because we're still learning and making it work in our environment today. I don't have anything new. 

The one big challenge with it is Cisco going from a perpetual license model to a licensing model that is renewed every year. You pay a large fee to use stuff like this. That to me is one of our challenges.

Making training more available for all of our employees and not even at a cost would help. If you want this to be deployed to all the data centers everywhere it's got to be something that everyone can sit down and get training on. 

If you're going to try and operationalize it amongst existing staff members and even up-coming ones, it's not a simple thing to sit down and learn. 

I've been doing this for thirty-five years now. It's one of the most difficult things I've had to sit down and learn myself.

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Learn what your peers think about Cisco ACI. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: May 2021.
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Senior Network Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees

In terms of improvement, I would like to see some sort of way to baseline the system in a network-centric fashion. The way ACI works is that it is very application-centric but I think that a lot of people who I have spoken to that use it don't need all that application-centric focus. Cisco says you can do a network-centric approach but I want to do network-centric in my design and then have the system organize and set itself that way. That would be cool. I would like to see that. If you as the customer want a network-centric design, after you build that initial configuration and you go into the GUI for the first time and you decide which direction you want it to go in and you point it in a certain direction, then it builds out the infrastructure to accommodate that, that would be beautiful.

They are selling the system as application-centric. I think a lot of people, ourselves included, are not ready to approach it in that way. It's too many knobs to turn. It's great overall architecture, scalability-wise, has an easy configuration, central configuration, but there are too many knobs to turn.

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Byron Hooper
Senior Network Engineer at a insurance company with 201-500 employees

I think there are a lot of additional features that we haven't had a chance to look at yet, but I would like to see a simpler interface where it is easy to find endpoints and get information about them. Making it more user-friendly would be wonderful. That is my main concern. 

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Dinesh Thathanath
Sr Manager at Cognizant

The additional features I would like to see included in the next releases are support for our policy-based routing. There are endpoint issues that are there now in the code. Hopefully, these will get fixed in the future code. 

In terms of scriptings, there are a lot of APIs available but there's a big gap with networking and the application. That's a gap that we're trying to bridge to understand how to do scripting. 

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Network Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees

I haven't been using the product long enough to really be looking for additional features as I haven't exhausted learning about the features that are available.

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Director of Network and Security at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees

I would like to see a lot more integrations with the rest of the Cisco portfolio. I would like to have ACI embedded into HyperFlex, as an example.

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Director Engineering at Freudenberg IT GmbH & Co. KG

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.

Nexus Dashboard could bring us a hugh step forward to become more felxible and agile.

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Assistant Director IT at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees

I would like to see integration with Tetration. You should be able to use Tetration to manage your scripts and push into ACI without having to export, manually manipulate, script it, and then re-import back in ACI. It needs automation there.

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Network Manager at a university with 501-1,000 employees

I would like to see simpler contract building, engineering, and architecture.

There should be an alternative "ACI Light" solution for smaller-sized enterprises.

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John Sweet
Network Manager at California Department of Corrections

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.

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Infrastructure Engineer at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees

I wish that if I had to open up an additional tab, I wouldn't have to log in every single time. That would be a feature I would like.

For the licensing model of the system, I still have not gotten another update after eight months. It's telling me I'm not licensed even though I'm told I am by my reseller.

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Technology Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

Training for this product is available from institutions but it is not available online where you can get users trained easily. It would be better if the training for our users was easier to get.

Cisco ACI should have better integration with a hypervisor such as VMware, Hyper-V, or KVM. This would give us a one-window solution for our networking, compute, and storage.

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IT Networker Engineer at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees

Cisco ACI needs to add more analytics and automation. 

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Network Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees

They should make it easier for the network people to do automated solutions. 

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Principal Engineer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees

I would like to see a smoother transition from existing systems. The configuration from what we had earlier, compared to ACI, is completely different. 

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Senior Network Engineer at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees

From my point of view, troubleshooting issues relating to ACI can be a little bit complicated to perform.

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Network Engineer at a hospitality company with 10,001+ employees

I recommend to customers that they meet a knowledgeable vendor to help them with it.

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Senior Network Security Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees

I would like to see more troubleshooting apps.

There should be more and better SNMP monitoring.

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Sr. IT System Administration at a government with 10,001+ employees

Technical support needs improvement. I can get stuck with a rep who will just have me scan the logs to look for the problem. I think that technical support tickets should be escalated sooner. 

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Sr. Voice Engineer at SGWS

The CLI needs to be improved.

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Learn what your peers think about Cisco ACI. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: May 2021.
479,763 professionals have used our research since 2012.