Compare Cisco ACI vs. VMware NSX

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Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ACI vs. VMware NSX and other solutions. Updated: January 2021.
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Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

"There are many features which are useful, like the automatic completion of the VXLAN.""One area where it has an advantage... is that you're able to reuse a specific integration. If you add another server, you can use a specific integration and assign it to another port.""The best part of ACI is that it can integrate with a lot of virtual environments like VMware, Hyper-V, and KVM.""The most valuable features include microsegmentation, L3 Out features, and the common tenant and tenancy model.""We are doing automation from ACI and we have integration with Azure. With the Azure stack integration we can have total automation. We can configure the EPGs from there, and we can configure load balancing functionalities from there as well. The most useful feature is that you don't need to configure anything on ACI itself. You can configure on Azure and it will provision your application.""It is a complete re-write of everything that you've ever thought of from a networking standpoint.""Cisco ACI can separate networks with a buoy interface. That is the most valuable feature.""In a very general way, the ease of access, ease of use, and ease of connecting the system is a valuable feature in itself. The solution doesn't really increase detection rates as that is not what it was created for. Threat prevention comes in from other devices that might be connected into the Cisco ACI that monitors external traffic. It maintains what end-of-life products would be doing and offers other opportunities to unify solutions."

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"It has reduced the number of people on the network team along with the system engineer involved in the security process. So, it is valuable.""From a distributed firewall perspective, it's a solid solution.""The most valuable feature is the ability to create, develop, and deploy servers in minutes to hours, rather than days.""The most valuable features for us at this early stage are the interface and the integration with existing VMware solutions.""The most valuable features are security and dynamic routing.""This is the most scalable product of its type.""From a security standpoint, the customer was able to better secure critical workloads while routing L2/L3 worked normally, giving them more confidence that they would be ready for any potential security incident mitigation or outage (DR).""The most valuable features are stability and low cost."

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"They should improve the GUI, make it simpler. They also need to improve its integration with other automation tools.""One of the things that makes it a lot more complicated is the way contracts are handled in ACI. Contracts are like their own access lists. They can improve the setting up of contracts between devices a lot. It can be simplified.""Better troubleshooting features would be helpful. In ACI, it can be a big mess, a real headache to troubleshoot a single issue... The troubleshooting part, and the information that ACI gives you, sometimes don't give you a proper, inside picture of what's going on within the fabric.""For Multipod we need Layer 3 devices that support multicast. Customers ask: "Why can't ACI do that? Why do we need a dedicated Layer 3 device for this?" If they go for Multi-Site there is no need for that, ACI can do it. So Cisco needs to increase the Multipod features in ACI.""Where there is room for improvement from ACI is for Layer 2 and Layer 7 packages. Normally, when you're updating your ACI fabric or you're introducing new Layer 4 to Layer 7 devices, there are some constraints, there are some limitations... When you are doing device packages you will not have the functionality of ASM. It's like WAF, web application firewalls. So you need to configure it manually.""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.""I wish that if I had to open up an additional tab, I wouldn't have to log in every single time.""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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"We would to have a reverse proxy. This would add great value to the solution.""We would like better integration with the standards on the market. For example, with OSPF, their integration in NSX is very low. It's not a full OSPF integration. It is too thin from a protocol perspective.""It could be cheaper!""Everybody needs a network to connect to, and VMware doesn't readily provide one.""I would like to see automation capabilities in the deployment process.""The training costs a minimum of $3,000, which is expensive and should be reduced.""Traffic flow introspection topology visibility is definitely needed because at the moment, NSX-T lacks in this area.""There are always issues integrating with Cisco."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
"If you compare the licensing and total cost of ACI, it's cheaper than NSX because of the licensing fees. If you are going for full NSX features it will be too expensive, especially the next-generation firewalling feature.""This is an expensive solution.""I don't believe there is any licensing required.""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."

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"We can't go without NSX, so it's invaluable from this perspective.""The solution is very expensive.""The licensing fees are expensive and we pay on a yearly basis.""It is an expensive product, but cheaper than some competing solutions.""The price of this product is too high."

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Also Known As
VMware Nicira
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Cisco Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI) reduces TCO, automates IT tasks, and accelerates data center application deployments. It accomplishes this using a business-relevant Software Defined Networking (SDN) policy model across networks, servers, storage, security, and services.
VMware NSX is the network virtualization platform for the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). By bringing the operational model of a virtual machine to your data center network, you can transform the economics of network and security operations. NSX lets you treat your physical network as a pool of transport capacity, with network and security services attached to VMs with a policy-driven approach.
Learn more about Cisco ACI
Learn more about VMware NSX
Sample Customers
Bowling Green State University, du, Qatar University
City of Avondale, Lumeta, Kroll Ontrack, Heartland Payment Systems, Baystate Heallth, Exostar, Tribune Media, iGATE, NTT Communications, Synergent, California Natural Resources Agency, Bloomington Public Schools, Columbia Sportswear, Join Experience S.A, Schuberg Philis
Top Industries
Comms Service Provider21%
Financial Services Firm18%
Energy/Utilities Company6%
Comms Service Provider38%
Computer Software Company25%
Financial Services Firm5%
Manufacturing Company13%
Financial Services Firm13%
Comms Service Provider13%
Comms Service Provider30%
Computer Software Company29%
Company Size
Small Business14%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise73%
Small Business11%
Midsize Enterprise9%
Large Enterprise79%
Small Business25%
Midsize Enterprise18%
Large Enterprise58%
Small Business18%
Midsize Enterprise11%
Large Enterprise71%
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ACI vs. VMware NSX and other solutions. Updated: January 2021.
464,655 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Cisco ACI is ranked 2nd in Network Virtualization with 28 reviews while VMware NSX is ranked 1st in Network Virtualization with 11 reviews. Cisco ACI is rated 8.0, while VMware NSX is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Cisco ACI writes "Provides integration with VMM domains and their L4 and L7 devices, like device packages for F5, Palo Alto, and ASA". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware NSX writes "Allows for seamless micro-segmentation and the support is exceptional". Cisco ACI is most compared with Nuage Networks and Cisco Elastic Services Controller, whereas VMware NSX is most compared with Nutanix Flow, Cisco Secure Workload, Cisco SD-WAN, Guardicore Centra and Juniper Contrail Networking. See our Cisco ACI vs. VMware NSX report.

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We monitor all Network Virtualization reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.