Cisco ACI Troubleshooting and Operations Workshop (ACI-TSO3)

Modern networking trends towards software defined solutions such as Cisco ACI have challenged the way organisations operate and troubleshoot their networks. The introduction of a new suite of ACI specific tools has made trouble shooting and operating more flexible and powerful. Integrating a new and comprehensive system into an array of differing customer environments potentially leads to operational challenges. An extended set of skills is needed to ensure these challenges are addressed and the ACI deployment is a success.

The Cisco ACI Troubleshooting and Operations Workshop (ACI-TSO3) provides network engineers with the skills and insight into how best to troubleshoot and manage a new or existing ACI environment. 

The workshop is an intensive set of lab exercises that force the student to configure, operate, and troubleshoot the ACI environment, backed by instructor lab review and demonstrations. Most of the time is hands-on and includes the use of the Housley developed orchestrator that builds trouble tickets for the students to explore and solve. 

This is not a course for beginners or anyone without a at least a medium level of competency working with ACI. 



  • Review ACI Architecture and Concepts
  • Review common task needed to manage an ACI environment
  • Detail the tools available in ACI environment that are available to the Network Engineer
  • Detail how to interrogate ACI for existing and potential issues
  • Look at common issues and solutions
  • Look into external tools that enhance ACI operations

Suggested Pre-requisites

Before commencing this class, you should have a thorough understanding of ACI.

Attendees will gain the most form the workshop if they have attended one of the following

  • ACI Power Workshop class, ACI Deployment workshop, DCACI, DCCOR
  • or equivalent knowledge

Those with no ACI knowledge are advised not to attend the class


3 days


Day 1: ACI and Policy review

  • Review the policy and object model of ACI
  • Provide a configuration refresher


    • Build Environment

Day 2: Validating ACI

  • Review the GUI and CLI environment and identify where relevant information is obtained
  • GUI messages and indicator
  • Command line overview
  • Health Scores
  • Error/faults and logs
  • Statistics
  • Use tools to identify targeted information

ACI Visibility Tools

  • Identify and explore key ACI Visibility tools
  • Operations Tab – Visibility and Troubleshooting
  • Using SPAN


  • Explore Operations Tab
  • Configure SPAN session

Day 3: Tenant Validation and Trouble shooting

  • Identify key issues and configuration error in Tenant configuration
  • Introduction
  • Information Sources
  • Invalid underlay mapping
  • Policy Enforcement Contracts and Filters Validation
  • VRF Policy Enforcement
  • Network Validation
  • Bridge Domains
  • Traffic Flooding
  • Connectivity Testing


  • Explore and solve Trouble tickets

Access Policy Validation and Trouble shooting

  • Identify key issues and configuration error in Access Policy configuration
  • Underlay /Access Policies review
  • Interface and Leaf Policy Considerations
  • VPC and PC Considerations
  • Interface and VLAN Considerations
  • Interface Operations


  • Explore and solve Trouble tickets

Optional Add-on Modules

Option #1: External Connectivity Considerations (One day)

Layer 2 & Layer 3 Connectivity

  • Connectivity beyond ACI at both Layer 2 and Layer 3
  • Multi-site environments
  • Focus is to explore common connectivity issues
  • L2 External Operations
  • Spanning Tree Considerations
  • L3 Operations Overview
  • External Routed Networks (L3 Outs)
  • L3 Network EPG
  • Advertising Routes Externally


  • Explore and solve Trouble tickets

VMware Integration Considerations

  • Connectivity options to VMware


  • Explore and solve Trouble tickets

Option #2: Management and Automation (One Day)

ACI Fabric Considerations

  • Detail information on Fabric infrastructure
  • initial setup and configuration tasks
  • APIC information and Health
  • Fabric Node details and information

System Management

  • Relevant topics need management and own an ACI system
  • Mgmt interfaces
  • Pod Policies
  • SMNP, NTP, DNS, Syslog
  • Configuration Management
  • Upgrading OS
  • Hardware Information and diagnostics Overview


  • Configuring ACI using Ansible
  • Extracting ACI information using icurl and jq
  • Configuring SNMP, NTP, DNS & Syslog