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Which SDN solution is the right one for me?

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This is a question I've been getting A LOT in the last few years, and even though it sounds rather simple, somehow it gets really complex to convince all the parties (Developers, Systems/Virtualization and Network engineers and the CEO/CTO) why the solution you're proposing is a perfect fit. There are 2 simple explanations for this:

A so-called "language barrier" between the different departments.SDN vendors being way too aggressive pushing their solution in the environments where it doesn't fit [understandable when you consider how much money they've invested in SDN, and with how much fear and hesitation the new clients are considering the migration of their production network to SDN].
What I want to try to do in this post is help you get a more objetive a non vendor-bias picture of the SDN solutions out there, and the environments each of them should be considered for.
*If you're not sure you understand the difference between Underlay and Overlay please …

Cisco ACI and OpenStack Integration: RedHat vs Mirantis

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Note: This post requires basic knowledge of Cisco ACI architecture and ACI logical elements, as well as understanding of what OpenStack is, what the OpenStack elements (Projects) do, and the principles of what OVS and Neutron are and how they work. If you wish to get more information about these technologies, check out the Cisco ACI  and OpenStack Section within the "SNArchs.COM Blog Map".

Let's get one thing clear about OpenStack before we even start:
“OpenStack is a collection of open source technologies delivering a massively scalable cloud operating system” openstack.org.Open source and open APIs allows the customer to avoid being locked in to a single vendor.One thing to have in mind is that OpenStack is made for the applications specifically made for the Cloud, you should not even consider moving all your Virtual Loads to the OpenStack.Everyone who got a bit deeper into the concept of a Private Cloud and OpenStack, how they operate and the basic use cases, understan…

Cisco ACI Service Graph (L4-7), ADC: F5 vs NetScaler

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Note: This post requires basic knowledge of Cisco ACI architecture and ACI logical elements, as well as understanding of what ADC is, and the basic principles of Load Balancing and SSL. If you wish to get more information about these technologies, check out the Cisco ACI Section within the "SNArchs.COM Blog Map".

I will not go all "Security is super important" on you, I assume that if you are reading this post - you already know that. Let's just skip that part then, and go directly to the facts we have so far:

ACI does not permit the flows we do not explicitly allow. ACI is therefore a stateless FW itself.ACI Filters allow the basic L3-L4 FW rules. All additional L4-L7 "features" can be deployed in a form of a Service Graph.Service Graph is directly attached to a Contract between 2 EPGs (End Point Groups).Cisco ACI integrates with all the big L4-7 Services vendors using the "Device Package". A Device Package is a plugin that is deployed direc…

Cisco ACI Guide for Humans, Part 2: Upgrade Cisco ACI

First time we “unpack” ACI, we will find a certain number of potential Spine and potential Leaf switches, and hopefully 3 (or 5) APIC Controllers. We will rack the entire fabric, interconnect every Spine to every Leaf with a single 40G cable, and connect every APIC to 2 Leaf Switches. We would power on the devices, and before we even start configuring the APIC Cluster, we need to console to each Switch and verify if its running ACI mode or a NX-OS mode by executing the “show version” command. These are the details of the Fabric we used in our Lab:

Software
  BIOS: version 07.17
  NXOS: version 6.1(2)I3(3a)
  BIOS compile time:  09/10/2014
  NXOS image file is: bootflash:///n9000-dk9.6.1.2.I3.3a.bin
  NXOS compile time:  1/26/2015 11:00:00 [01/26/2015 19:45:44]

Hardware
  cisco Nexus9000 C9372PX chassis
  Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-3227U C with 16402544 kB of memory.
  Processor Board ID SAL1935N8A2

  Device name: switch
  bootflash:   51496280 kB
Kernel uptime is 0 day(s), 0 hour(s), 7 minute(s), 0 seco…

Cisco ACI Guide for Humans, Part 1: Physical Connectivity

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First of all, I need to explain why I decided to write such a post. It's quite simple to everyone who ever tried to Deploy/Configure/Understand how Cisco ACI works using the official Cisco Documentation. Cisco ACI is a very powerful architecture, and once you learn it - you start loving it. My assumption is that for some reason, Cisco seems to have hired the App Development experts to develop the ACI GUI and the ACI design and configuration guides, and the final product turned out to be hard to digest to both, DevOps and Networking professionals. That is why I feel there is a need to explain the concepts in a way more easy to understand for us, humans.

TIP: APIC maintains an audit log for all configuration changes to the system. This means that all the changes can be easily reverted.
Before the ACI installation starts, we need to connect every ACI controller (APIC) to 2 Leafs. There should be 3 or 5 APICs, for high availability, and a standard procedure, once the cabling is done, s…