Deploying Cisco ACI and VMware NSX

A podcast by packetpushers

Posted by     Alexander Goller on Saturday, October 12, 2019

One of my favourite networking podcasts, PacketPushers has a great episode on integrating Cisco ACI and VMware NSX at the same time.

I really enjoyed listening to this episode, one reason for sure was that Derek Wilson seems to be a really nice and knowledgeable person, but the other is that he shared some valuable insights into deploying ACI and its uses for big companies.

My key takeaways from the episode are:

  • Cisco ACI can take away huge operational efforts in setting up new pods, compartments or zones in data centers
  • There is a very steep learning curve, even if you are a big Cisco customer and have knowledgeable Cisco engineers in your team
  • ACI is a great way to speed up the processes in your networking
  • Spine-Leaf is the way to go
  • It is very hard to use ACI as a security layer and do real L3/L4 enforcement for finer granular segmentation
  • VMware NSX also has a very steep learning curve
  • VMware NSX seems to be a better fit for the security segmentation
  • You definitely need to automate this, there is no way to go to the full potential of a network underlay like ACI without doing so
  • If you lab the solutions, make notes or videos so you can get back to it when you need it again after the selection process
  • Although both solutions claim they solve all the problems, each of them is better suited for only solving parts of the problem

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