Part 1: 10 Basic interview questions on Cisco ACI

Let’s start with ACI interview questions and answers without further delay.
  • Question 1 – What hardware lineup does Application Centric Infrastructure utilize? …
  • Question 2 – What operating modes do switches in the Nexus 9000 series have? …
  • Question 3 – What is ACI Spine-Leaf Architecture or CLOS Architecture?

What is Cisco ACI? High Level Whiteboard Overview of the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure

Q1: What fundamental elements comprise the ACI architecture?
Spine, Leaf, APIC

Q2 : What model of switches have you used to deploy ACI architecture? 
Nexus 9300  and Nexus 9500

Q3: What is the purpose of IS-IS ? 
Advertise VTEP addresses
Compute multicast trees

Q4: What Cisco ACI policy object is similar to a VLAN  ?
Bridge Domain

Q5: What is used to regulate the way that EPGs communicate with one another?

Q6: What table on the switch does the mac address live ?
Local Switch table (LST)

Q7: Where does the mac address live in the spine switch ? 
GST ( Global Station Table )

Q8: What procedure is employed in order to extract mac addresses from spines?
COOP  protocol

Q9: What is the purpose of the border leaf’s  ?
Connects devices like routers to the Branches

Q10: What is an ANP and what provide polices that make up the fabric policy ?
Application Network Profile.  They are a group of EPGs and the policies that define the communication between them

Order Answers to these Nexus ACI Interview Questions from the above link!

Upon purchasing you will receive Answers of all above Nexus ACI Interview questions in easy to understand PDF Format explained with relevant Diagrams (where required) for better ease of understanding.

Yes, I am familiar with how to build a Cisco ACI fabric. The process involves creating a Tenant, an Application Profile, and a Bridge Domain. The Tenant defines the logical isolation between different groups of users or applications, while the Application Profile contains the configuration settings for the applications that will be running on the ACI fabric. The Bridge Domain provides the layer 2 connectivity between the different components of the ACI fabric.

Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is a software-defined networking solution that helps simplify data center network management. ACI uses a centralized policy model to enable application agility and flexibility, while also reducing operational costs. If you’re interviewing for a position that involves Cisco ACI, it’s important to be prepared to answer questions about your experience and knowledge of the platform. In this article, we’ll review some common Cisco ACI interview questions and provide guidance on how to answer them.

Cisco ACI is a data center networking solution that offers a centralized, policy-based approach to managing network resources. It is designed to simplify network administration and improve network performance. ACI uses a software-defined networking (SDN) approach to networking, which allows network administrators to centrally configure and manage network resources using a single platform.

The main components of Cisco ACI are the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), the leaf switches, and the spine switches. The APIC is the brains of the operation, and it is responsible for configuring and managing the network. The leaf switches are the workhorses of the network, and they provide connectivity between the devices on the network. The spine switches provide high-speed connectivity between the leaf switches.

Yes, it is possible to integrate Cisco ACI with both AWS and Azure cloud platforms. In order to do so, you would need to use the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) to provision and manage the ACI fabric. The APIC provides a REST API that can be used to interface with both AWS and Azure.

Lets start with the first part of interview questions in Cisco ACI. we will come up with another round of questions in ACI.

Q1: What table on the switch does the mac address live ? Local Switch table (LST)

Q2: What are the main components that make up the ACI architecture ? Spine, Leaf, APIC

Q3: Where does the mac address live in the spine switch ? GST ( Global Station Table )

Q4 : What model of switches have you used to deploy ACI architecture? Nexus 9300 and Nexus 9500

All the signs show that Cisco is rallying behind ACI as its flagship SDN product. But we must remember that Cisco also has Dynamic Fabric Automation, the OpenFlow-based Extensible Network Controller, and the Cisco ONE strategy for third-party software integration. At the same time, VMware NSX, Nuage Networks, Midokura, and Big Switch, to name a few, also have products that compete directly — many offering similar benefits for lower costs.

When discussing Cisco ACI with anyone, the most common question I hear is, “How does it compare to VMware NSX?” Its a fair question, but one that should never be asked. Cisco owns 70% or more of the networking market, dominates network standards bodies, and has a proven history of customer satisfaction. Yet everyone sees VMware NSX as an obvious competitor. Last year, VMware was not a networking company; this year it competes with Cisco. Ouch.

Cisco will need to convince customers that the ACI strategy of integrated and hardware software is the right choice. The VMware NSX story of software independence has real power and will make sense to a large audience. Importantly, NSX has been deployed for more than four years in large companies, and the new version is available today.

Another issue is the level of Ciscos commitment to open standards. In the last decade, Cisco has managed to turn many open protocols into proprietary features that either provide customer value or create technology lock-in, depending on your point of view. More recently, Cisco has joined open initiatives such as OpenStack and OpenDaylight and been a strong participant. However the company sends mixed signals with actions like forking the OpenStack code to make their own distribution and railroading its favorite protocols like LISP and PCEP into the OpenDaylight controller.

Customers are keen to mitigate the risk of transitioning to SDN, and their apprehension seems to polarize into debates around standards and openness. Cisco claims that ACI is open to communicating and integrating with other products, but this “openness” may well turn out to be more like Apple and its iPhone apps than the IETF/IEEE model of openness.

With so many products in the mix, its reasonable to question Ciscos commitment to support any or all of them over the long term. In the decade from 1998 to 2008, Cisco had only one data center switch: the venerable Catalyst 6500. Today, Cisco has five product families in the data center with significant feature and function overlaps. With the addition of ACI, its a confusing morass of products that customers and resellers will struggle to make clear decisions about, add delays to the purchasing cycle. More delays may occur while customers pause on network upgrades while deciding which strategy to follow.

Cisco has made a significant push in marketing its capability to build and consume its own silicon. This year it used its UADP ASICs in many small and mid-sized products like the C3850 and 5500 series wireless controllers. And the nPower ASIC was announced for service providers platforms. The Nexus 9000 family, however, is made from Broadcom silicon like the Nexus 3000. These products compete directly with the existing Nexus 7K/6K/5K/2K product families built from Ciscos own silicon.

Silicon aside, there are more than 30 current Ethernet switch models in the Nexus lineup that share 90% of their features and capabilities. Specifically, the Nexus 9000 overlaps enormously with many of Ciscos other data center products. The Nexus 6000 would seem to be at serious risk as a Layer 3 ECMP scale-out switching platform at price multiples of the Nexus 9000. Customers using Nexus 7000 products for data center core also may be questioning its longevity. The Nexus 7700 was recently refreshed, and it remains a kitchen sink for features including MPLS, OTV, and LISP, but lacks orchestration or automation for SDN applications.

Customers who are hoping to see Cisco ACI come to the Nexus 7000 family in the form of NX-OS Plus software should be cautious. NX-OS has a long history of late delivery with poor code quality and complex upgrades. Even if NX-OS Plus ships in years ahead, its reasonable to expect to purchase new line cards to get ACI integration based on past experience.

Cisco customers expect certainty and clarity from Cisco on the future of networking technology. In the case of data center networks, Cisco is giving them every possible choice and letting them decide. This could easily lead to lack of consumer confidence. While Cisco is a diversified business, a large percentage of profits come from routing and switching product lines, and any delay in the purchasing pipeline could have a significant impact in the companys stability.

With limited profits coming in from the new low-cost Nexus 9000 added to the expense of buying Insieme back for $863 million, Cisco could face a revenue problem. If customers switch to Cisco ACI and Nexus 9000 hardware, common sense suggests that the software will be expensive. It is highly unlikely that customers will be replacing expensive Nexus 7700 switches and actually getting cheaper products.

Cisco will no doubt push the ACI message hard. But the companys hold on the data center is less than it used to be. Its well known that many public cloud companies have very little Cisco equipment in their data centers, and options are growing. The OpenCompute project is close to completing an open hardware switch, and Cumulus Networks and Big Switch Networks are demonstrating that small companies can build a switch operating system.

The SDN market is a crowded place with many motivated startups and competitors who have real products to demonstrate and sell. It seems reasonable to assume that ACI will be widely available in 2015 once the software is stable and the hardware starts to ship in volume. Until then, questions must be asked.


What is ACI interview questions?

Cisco ACI Interview Questions and Answers
  • What are the benefits of Nexus ACI compared to traditional network solution/architecture? …
  • What happens if all the APIC Controllers go down in the network? …
  • What is the difference between network-centric and application-centric in ACI? …
  • What is the Bridge Domain?

What are the three main components of Cisco ACI?

The three core components of Cisco ACI architecture:
  • APIC: APIC is considered the brain of the ACI architecture. …
  • ANP: …
  • Cisco ACI Fabric: Cisco Nexus Portfolio.

What is Cisco ACI used for?

Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is a software-defined networking (SDN) solution designed for data centers. Cisco ACI allows network infrastructure to be defined based upon network policies – simplifying, optimizing, and accelerating the application deployment lifecycle.

Does Cisco ACI use Spanning Tree?

ACI switches do not actively participate in Spanning Tree Protocol (STP). ACI switches forward spanning tree Bridge Protocol Data Units (BPDUs) across EPGs on which they are received. The spanning tree links are peer-to-peer (P2P), which does not cause loops until ACI acts as a hub for BPDUs.

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