Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure Power Workshop (ACI-PW5)

Course Overview 

This ACI Power Workshop is a technical delivery that provides essential skills to personnel involved in deploying a base ACI environment. It covers key topics areas relevant to common deployment scenarios and is accompanied by a series of step-by-step labs. Each student is allocated four bare metal hosts, a router, two external hosts, two ESXi servers and fours VMs that they configure for ACI, including: 

  • Access Policies 
  • A Tenant, VRF and Bridge Domains 
  • An Application Profile and EPGs 
  • Filters and Contracts 
  • External L3 connectivity (L3Out) 
  • Virtual Machine Manager (vSphere) integration 

Housley will make the lab resources available 24/7 for the duration of the course.  

  • Ratio of 60% hands on to 40% theory 


  • Participants will have base understanding of ACI concepts. 


All attendees have working knowledge of  

  • Layer 2 operation 
  • TCP/IP layer 3 and 4 concepts 
  • OSPF and BGP Routing Protocols 


  • 5 days 



  • ACI Overview 
  • ACI Design Fundamentals 
  • ACI Access Policy model 
  • ACI Tenant Model 
  • Connecting ACI to Existing L2 Infrastructure 
  • Connecting to Existing L3 Infrastructure 
  • ACI Fabric Operation and Forwarding 
  • ACI Hypervisor Integration 
  • ACI L4-7 Integration 
  • ACI Management 
  • ACI Mulisite Overview (Nexus Dashboard Orchestrator)  

Day 1 

  • ACI Overview 
  • What is ACI? And why use it? 
  • ACI Configuration 
  • ACI Design Fundamentals 
  • ACI Component Overview 
  • APIC Introduction 
  • ACI Initial Setup Overview 
  • Management Access 
  • Access Policy Model 
  • Access Policies 
  • Interface Policy Groups/Interface Policies 
  • Attachable Access Entity Profiles 
  • Physical Domains  
  • VLAN Pools 


  • Discover the ACI GUI and CLI User Interfaces 
  • Validate ACI Discovery 
  • Create Access Policies for Bare Metal hosts. 

Day 2 

  • Lab Review from Day 1 
  • Tenant Policies 
  • ACI Logical Model 
  • VRFs/Bridge Domains/EPGs 
  • Design Options 
  • Enforcing Policies 
  • Filters & Contracts 
  • Strategies for allowing full communication between EPGs 
  • Connecting ACI to Existing L2 Infrastructure 
  • vPC Configuration in ACI Fabric 
  • L2 Design Considerations 
  • MisCabling Protocol (MCP) 


  • Discover the ACI GUI and CLI User Interfaces 
  • Validate ACI Discovery 
  • Create Access Policies for Bare Metal hosts 
  • Create a Tenant and Network Model 
  • Deploy Two-Tier Application Profile 
  • Build Contracts between EPGs 
  • Verify VPCs and Configure External L2 

Day 3 

  • Lab Review from Day 2 
  • Connecting to Existing L3 Infrastructure 
  • L3 Operations 
  • L3 Outs 
  • External EPGs (L3 EPGs) 
  • Configuration Tips 
  • OSPF Validation 
  • ACI Fabric Operation and Forwarding 
  • Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) Basics 
  • Endpoint Learning & Lookup 
  • Fabric Forwarding 


  • Configuring External Layer 3 Connections 
  • Configure BGP 

Day 4 

  • Lab Review from Day 3 
  • ACI Hypervisor Integration 
  • ACI Hypervisor Integration Overview 
  • Integration with VMware VDS 
  • ACI L4-7 Integration 
  • Service Appliance Insertion Without ACI L4-L7 Service Graph 
  • Service Appliance Insertion via ACI L4-L7 Service Graph 
  • Service Graph Policy Based Redirect (PBR) Introduction 


  • Prepare VMware ESXi Hosts and vCenter for ACI 
  • Register a VMM Domain with vCenter 
  • Add ESXi Hosts and VMs to vCenter 
  • Configure Service Graph PBR 
  • Configure BGP 

Day 5 

  • Lab Review from Day 4 
  • ACI Management 
  • Out-of-Band Management 
  • In-band Management 
  • Configuration Backup 
  • Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting 
  • Role-Based Access Control 
  • Cisco ACI Upgrade 
  • ACI Multisite Overview (Nexus Dashboard Orchestrator)  
  • Multi-Site Overview 
  • ISN and Routing 
  • Spine Addressing and Routing 
  • EVPN and EP Advertising 
  • Traffic forwarding 
  • Nexus Dashboard User Interface 


  • In-band Management 
  • RBAC 
  • Challenge lab – rebuild Tenant (from ACI or NDO)