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Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) in 4 Hours

Frank Dagenhardt

Data center networks have changed significantly over the years. The word data center is now synonymous with public and private cloud. Organizations require the ability to support bare metal, virtualized, and container-based workloads in both public and private cloud. Application Centric Infrastructure is Cisco’s data center software defined network platform that addresses all of these requirements and more. In this 4-hour course you'll learn the basics about ACI. After attending this lesson, you'll be ready to start exploring ACI on your own.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

  • Understand what Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is used for
  • Understanding ACI architecture: private, public, and multiple data centers
  • Basic ACI Installation and Configuration
  • Understanding ACI Networking Constructs
  • ACI Policy Basics
  • Common Admin Tasks

This training course is for you because...

  • The target audience is engineers in organizations who want to incorporate Cisco data center technologies into their businesses. More specifically, candidates that want to learn about Cisco’s “SDN” like architecture, or next generation data center fabrics and how Cisco is addressing this trend in the market.
  • Additionally, candidates studying for the CCNA data center.


  • Basic networking skills
  • Knowledge of common devices found in a data center
  • Basic knowledge of the cloud
  • A computer

Course Set-up:

  • None

Recommended Preparation:

Recommended Follow-up:

About your instructor

  • Frank Dagenhardt, CCIE No. 42081, is a Technical Solutions Architect for Cisco focusing primarily on Data Center architectures. Frank has over 24 years in Information Technology. A Cisco veteran of over 14 years he works with customers daily designing, implementing and supporting end-to-end architectures and solutions. Frank has worked on and continues to be involved in publications about Cisco products. He frequently presents on Data Center topics at Cisco Live US. When not thinking about Data Center topics, Frank can be found backpacking, kayaking or at home with his wife and three children.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Segment 1: What is ACI (25 minutes)

  • Students will learn why ACI is an important part of modern-day private and public cloud environments.

Segment 2: Understanding ACI architecture (25 minutes)

  • Students will learn what is required to run ACI in their environment.
  • Break: 10 minutes

Segment 3: ACI Multisite (25 minutes)

  • Students will learn how ACI addresses multiple data centers.

Segment 4: ACI Anywhere (25 minutes)

  • Students will learn about the capabilities of ACI in public cloud environments.
  • Break: 10 minutes

Segment 5: Basic ACI Installation and Configuration (25 minutes) - I will walk students through the basic installation of ACI.

Segment 6: Understanding ACI Network Constructs (25 minutes)

  • Students will learn how to provide for network connectivity in ACI.
  • Break: 10 minutes

Segment 7: Understanding ACI Application Policy (25 minutes)

  • Students will learn the basics of working with groups and contracts in ACI.

Segment 8: Common Administrative Tasks (25 minutes)

  • Students will learn how to upgrade, backup, restore and find troubleshooting tools.

Course wrap-up and next steps