08 Apr

Cool Tech? UNPHAT.

Next time you find yourself Googling some cool new technology to (re)build your architecture around, I urge you to stop and follow UNPHAT instead:
  1. Don’t even start considering solutions until you Understand the problem. Your goal should be to “solve” the problem mostly within the problem domain, not the solution domain.
  2. eNumerate multiple candidate solutions. Don’t just start prodding at your favorite!
  3. Consider a candidate solution, then read the Paper if there is one.
  4. Determine the Historical context in which the candidate solution was designed or developed.
  5. Weigh Advantages against disadvantages. Determine what was de-prioritized to achieve what was prioritized.
  6. Think! Soberly and humbly ponder how well this solution fits your problem. What fact would need to be different for you to change your mind?
As described here 🙂
08 Apr

Cisco ACI training materials

My notes from the past:

As always the first step shall be the Cisco Live 365 (and it is Free 🙂 )

https://www.ciscolive.com/online/connect/search.ww#loadSearch-searchPhrase=BRKACI&searchType=session&tc=0&sortBy=&p=
  • BRKACI-2000 – Introduction to Application Centric Infrastructure (2014 San Francisco)
  • BRKACI-2003 – Cisco ACI MultiPod/MultiSite Deployment Options (2016 Berlin)
  • BRKACI-2003 – Deployment Options for Interconnecting Multiple ACI Fabrics (2016 Las Vegas)
  • BRKACI-1002 – Introduction to ACI for Network Admins (2016 Melbourne)
  • BRKACI-2250 – Cisco End-to-End Datacenter Security Architecture (2016 Las Vegas)
  • BRKACI-2345 – Intermediate – ACI: What We Have Learnt from Early Deployments (2015 Milan)
  • BRKACI-1789 – Introductory – How to Perform Common Tasks in ACI (2016 Berlin)
  • BRKACI-1025 – Intermediate – Migration from Classic Design to ACI (2015 Milan)
  • BRKACI-2601 – Real World ACI Deployment and Migration (2015 San Diego)
  • BRKACI-2410 – Management and Automation of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) with Cisco UCS Director (2014 San Francisco)

Cisco dCloud LAB, where one can find ACI specific labs. (CCO account required)

Books:

  • Policy Driven Data Center with ACI, The: Architecture, Concepts, and Methodology
  • Programming and Automating Cisco Networks: A guide to network programmability and automation in the data center, campus, and WAN

CLI:

Coding:

Use this learning track to create and link network elements in ACI. You will learn the different APIC interfaces, create API requests, write simple Python scripts, and work with the Cobra SDK, Arya development tool, and ACI toolkit. Example project to use Ansible with ACI

Blogs, others:

I would first start with the Cisco Live videos, and the dCloud Lab. The next step will really depend on the customer request and environment.
26 Mar
Listed are some of the initial questions to ask your customers at the onset of a new network design project: Source:unleashing-ccde.
In reality the customer usually is not aware of the answers or the customer is not a single person but an organization. However, these questions are still good reference points.
  1. Business objectives, pain points and perceived constraints
  • Who are the key stakeholders, sponsors, end users?
  • Why is there a project in the first place? What are the drivers for the redesign of your existing network?
  • What are the current pain points?
  • Which business outcomes the customer expects to achieve?
  • What is the business growth plan 3-5 years, capacity planning, scaling requirements?
  • Are there any regulatory constraints such as HIPAA, PCI, Fed, and Local Government that affect the organization and industry? Other known constraints?
  • Is there specific equipment, vendors, or protocols preferred or are absolutely out of the question?
  • What are the implementation timelines and milestones?
  • What are the key success factors? Are there known barriers to success?
  • What is the customer tolerance to risk? Conservative or bleeding edge?
  1. Desired characteristics and capabilities
  • What is the current state of the network (baseline), to compare after the implementation of the new design?
  • Are there any documentation available, features in use, versions, is standardization consistent?
  • What is the financial investment (cost/budget, cost-benefit analysis) x desired business, operational, and innovation outcomes, followed by a technical translation of these needs/goals to a technology environment?
  • What are the desired characteristics of the new network: redundancy/resiliency/convergence, speed, security, cost, application performance, simplicity, manageability, capabilities? Load balancing, load sharing?
  • Public, private or hybrid cloud?
  1. Footprint, policies, method of access and traffic patterns
  • What is the geographical distribution, connectivity options/capabilities on the branches?
  • Where do the servers reside in the network, their known vulnerabilities and how the services align with the security policies?
  • What are the current and future traffic patterns, north-south, east-west, or both?
  • What are the current and future applications’ requirements and tolerance to delay, packet drop, and jitter?
  • What is the company security, infrastructure policies? Do you have specific design/architecture principles to adhere to? Any project management methodology or tools? Network management?
  • What are the established SLA’s if any, and the level of success achieved for these SLA’s?
  • Does the network support the business, the network is the business, or both?
  • Are there best practices?
  • Will there be a test lab or group, a prototype, a development area?