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This Cisco ACI Implementation course is designed to take Field Engineers and System Architects with no ACI-specific experience and prepare them to design and build an ACI fabric. Students will learn what they need to know to take Cisco switches from the loading dock and build an operational, functioning ACI fabric that includes servers, virtual machines, external networks and service devices.

Cisco ACI implementation training

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Specific topics addressed in this course are ACI configuration and basic operations, including rack-and-stack initial installation, application profile configuration, ACI under-the-hood, VMware & other hypervisor integration, external connectivity, layer 4-7 service device integration, operations and troubleshooting. There are detailed labs for each step of the course.

The curriculum is delivered as Just-In-Time learning, designed to provide Engineers just what they need to know, just when they need to know it. Students are not given training that they are not able to apply immediately. With this production-focused training, the student will be ready for the technical requirements of today. With the included library of curated references, the student is also poised to meet the requirements of the future.

The course provides insight from subject matter experts and over 100 production installations. These subject matter experts have insight because they've been in the students' shoes.


  • Cisco Nexus and Data Center Layer 2/3 Concepts
  • Basic Cisco UCS B Series Networking
  • Basic VMware administration and networking
  • Firewall and Load Balancer Principles
  • Basic Management and Security Protocols
  • Basic Linux System administration




  • Understand ACI architecture
  • Grasp concepts needed to get an ACI fabric into production

  • Describe the hardware that makes up ACI
  • Install and bring up an ACI Fabric
  • Configure foundational Access Policies
  • Configure Application Profiles
  • Describe ACI fabric operations
  • Integrate VMware and other hypervisors with ACI
  • Configure Layer 2 and 3 outside connectivity to the ACI Fabric
  • Integrate Layer 4-7 service devices with ACI
  • Provide fundamental Day 2 fabric support
  • Quickly find information on more advanced ACI features
  • Familiarize themselves with the whole of ACI to formulate any next steps in their ACI training needs to support their company's business goals




This course is for Engineers and Solution Architects who need to quickly learn how to design and implement more complex ACI fabrics. This can be customer engineers who support a production fabric with multiple hypervisor vendors, Partner engineers who need to design and build a customer fabric with firewalls and load balancers, or any engineer who needs comprehensive, hands-on, production-focused ACI training.

Delivery: Interactive Instructor Led Training

Type: Lecture + Hands-On Lab, In-Person Delivery, Live via WebEx 


Module 0: Agenda/Intro/Logistics

Module 1: ACI Overview

  • ACI Architectural Overview
  • ACI Fabric Fundamentals
  • ACI Fabric Packet Flow

Module 2: APIC Initial Setup

  • APIC Overview
  • APIC Installation
  • APIC Initial Setup and Fabric Discovery
  • ACI OOB and NTP Configuration
  • APIC Login Settings and Search Features
  • Naming Conventions
  • Lab Connect to Remote Lab site
  • Lab APIC-SIM Initial Setup

Module 3: ACI Port Configuration

  • Fabric Access Policies
  • ACI Pools, Domains, AEPs
  • VPC Configuration in ACI Fabric
  • Lab APIC-SIM_VPC Config

Module 4: ACI Tenant Configuration

  • ACI Logical Model - What is a Tenant?
  • Tenant Configuration
  • Contracts / Subjects / Filters
  • Application Profiles and End Points Groups
  • Additional Contract Options
  • Lab Tenant Configuration
  • Appendix: Additional Features
    • Endpoint Security Groups
    • Microsegmentation
    • ACI Quality of Service

Module 5: Hypervisor Integration

  • Virtualization Primer
  • ACI VMM Integration
  • Virtual Endpoint Discovery
  • VMM Policy Coordination
  • Lab vCenter Integration
  • VMM Supplement:
    • ACI vCenter plugin
    • OpFlex
    • Cisco ACI Virtual Edge (AVE)
    • VMware NSX
    • ACI Integration with Microsoft
    • ACI Integration with OpenStack
    • ACI Integration with Containers

Module 6: Configuring VLAN Trunking

  • Creating a Physical Domain
  • Design Considerations
  • Lab External L2 Phydom

Module 7: Configuring L3Out

  • L3 Integration Overview
  • L3 Integration & Configuration
  • Shared L3Out
  • Lab L3out OSPF

Module 8: Operating ACI

  • APIC Management Access
  • Viewing Events
  • Monitoring Ports
  • Firmware Upgrades
  • ACI Smart Licensing
  • Backup & Restore ACI Configuration
  • Lab ACI Backup

Module 9: Troubleshooting ACI

  • Troubleshooting Tools
  • SPAN in ACI
  • Lab Tenant SPAN
  • APIC Troubleshooting
  • Faults and Audit Log in ACI
  • Troubleshooting Endpoint Connectivity
  • Verification Commands
  • Fabric Node Recovery
  • Troubleshooting Challenge Exercise

Module 10: ACI L4-L7 Service Graphs

  • Policy-Based Redirect (PBR)
  • ASAv Deployment with ACI
  • Lab L4-L7 ASAv PBR

Module 11: ACI Automation

  • Designing an Application Profile
  • RESTful API Review
  • Learning Network Programmability
  • ACI Toolkit
  • Lab Postman/Runner Tool