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ACI-TSO: Cisco ACI Troubleshooting and Operations Workshop

With the advent of ACI and a new approach to software based network deployment, the approach today to day operations and troubleshooting needs to be extended. The introduction in ACI of a new suite of tools has made trouble shooting and operating more flexible and powerful. Implementing a new and comprehensive system into an array of differing customer environments potentially leads to operational challenges. A new set of skills is needed to ensure these challenges are addressed and the ACI deployment is a success.

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

The workshop is a combination of theory and lab exercises that configure, operate and troubleshoot the ACI environment.

The power of automated tools and programming will be explored to help stream line deployment, reporting and troubleshooting


   Objective

At the completion of the class students should be able to:  
    • 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
    • Explore the ACI API to determine the capabilities made possible due to programmability
    • Look into external tools that enhance ACI operations
    • Know that there is more to learn

    Target Audience

    • Operations and support Engineers
    • Field Engineers
    • Network Engineers responsible for supporting ACI
    • Presales engineers would also gain from the extended knowledge.

    Suggested Pre-requisites

    • ACI
    • Attendees will gain the most form the workshop if they have attended on of the following
             ACI FE or SE class, ACI Deployment workshop, DCAC9K
             or equivalent knowledge
    • Those with no ACI knowledge are advised not to attend the class

    Duration

5 days

   Workshop Content

ACI and Policy review
• Review the policy and object model of ACI
• Provide a configuration refresher
• Labs
     Build Environment

Operations and troubleshooting approach in ACI Environment
• Review the GUI and CLI environment and identify were relevant information is obtained
• Detail how to systematically explore the environment to trace issues

MIT Object Model
• Explore Management Information Tree and Classes/Objects that form ACI structure and API

Monitoring and Faults
• Detail how the various tools with ACI environment are beneficial and how they are used and configured
• Topics include
        Dashboards
         GUI messages and indicator
         Monitoring tools and options overview
         Health Scores
         Error/faults and logs
         Monitoring policies
         Span and Contract copy
         Key CLI tools
         Integration into other NMS systems – SNMP
• Labs
         use of tools

Policy and Configuration errors
• Give the interrelationship of objects in the ACI environment it is possible to miss a “step in the process”
• Discuss common areas of misconfiguration
         E.g. missing links, overlap in interfaces, VLAN mismatch etc
• Labs
         Exercise will be performed that will require the attendee to find injected errors – trouble tickets

Connectivity issues
• Connectivity within and beyond ACI can add another dimension to challenges in operations and troubleshooting.
• Focus is to explore common connectivity issues
• Topics Include
         External L2 SPT Issues
         Ext L3 Connectivity
         Fabric Connectivity and Forwarding/Routing/Failover
         Inter-VRF Route Leaking
         Unmanaged L4-7 Integration
• Labs
         identify and correct issues

Introduction to Cisco tools
• A review of other tools and software available from Cisco that are relevant to ACI
• These include
         CloudCenter
         Tetration
         UCSD
• Labs
         Attendees will run and explore preconfigured environment
         TBD

System management
• Configuration Management
• Software Management
• Labs
         Configuration backup/exporting and restoration

Hardware Replacement
• Review steps required for administration tasks including the replacement and insertion of new APIC and Nodes

Course Review

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