Monday, October 16, 2017

Adding FEX Static Ports to Cisco ACI with Cobra SDK (Network-Centric Approach)

OK, now lets really get going. Lets talk about how you could possibly start migrating FEXs to ACI.

Firstly, we need to discuss the basics of the application-centric approach and the network-centric approach. In the network centric model, you can connect ACI to a legacy network that is still running significant vlans. This is a decent strategy if you don't want to re-ip as you move to ACI and have a significant 7k-5k-2k deployment today.

Read more HERE

Although ACI is capable of handling this type of infrastructure, it was obviously not designed to maintain a deployment this way from the GUI so we will need to compensate with a significant amount of scripting.

This example was actually created to support some B22 migrations. For each of these migrations every one of the ports was configured identically and as a trunk.

I created a .txt file that I could read from for the vlans that needed to get added to the trunk. You can create your own with a "show vlan b | i active" on an existing 5k/7k that you are migrating from. I will include an example of what that looks like after the script.

Getting Started with the Cisco Cobra SDK and ACI

We should talk about Cisco ACI and the Python Cobra SDK. Cisco's ACI platform is one of those hot new topics and we are always looking for fresh new examples of how to automate basic tasks inside the ACI platform.

I will not provide examples of how to install the Cobra SDK or any of the Python modules you need. There are plenty of other places on the internet that you can get those instructions from.

First off, lets start off with the absolute basics. Authentication is obviously the first step as we begin out discussion of Cisco ACI.

I have provided a basic auth module that can be imported into any Python SDK program. Its not really all that useful, but it will be easier for me to include code later as these posts will build on each other.