Thank you to everyone who joined SDxCentral for its latest DemoFriday featuring Cisco and F5 Networks. Attendees got to see an exciting demo on deployment options, troubleshooting methods, monitoring tricks, and customer use cases for Cisco ACI environments using BIG-IP and BIG-IQ. After the demo, F5 and Cisco were nice enough to take some questions from the attendees. Read the whole Q&A below!
If you missed the live DemoFriday, you can see the recorded assets here.
I understand that all the configuration is done using the APIC controller. Does that mean one does not need to go into F5 devices specially for any specific configuration?
Cisco: Correct for the BIG-IP functions that have been modeled in the device package for Cisco APIC controller.
Where do I get the F5 device package?
F5: The device package can be downloaded from F5.com at no cost here.
What version of code is running on the APIC?
Cisco: Integration works with any version of APIC, starting from the first GA version 1.0(1e). All other APIC versions can be found here.
In redundancy mode, does F5 devices work in A-A mode or it will remain in A-P mode?
F5: Currently the F5 device package and APIC support Active-Standby.
What are the differentiators of Cisco ACI and F5 Synthesis?
F5/Cisco: Cisco ACI and F5 Synthesis deliver industry-first integration with BIG-IP appliances (physical and virtual model) and the BIG-IQ orchestration system. Cisco ACI and F5 joint solutions offer customers a choice depending on their preferences, operational models, and business needs.
Can customers easily migrate workloads from traditional to ACI networks? How does F5 help with migration?
F5/Cisco: Yes, we addressed this design question in a white paper called “Workload Migration from Traditional to ACI Network using F5.” We understand many customers like to migrate workloads to ACI, but without disruption. F5 has two ways to handle this: one using LTM, and the second using GTM.
What are the prominent deployment models with Cisco ACI and F5?
F5/Cisco: F5 can be deployed with Nexus 9K stand-alone and Cisco ACI. Within Cisco ACI, some customers are deploying F5 utilizing service graphs on APIC. In a few other deployments, F5 is attaching to ACI as end point group (EPG). There are also models where F5 can attach to ACI and some tenants are managed by APIC and some are managed directly on BIG IP. This is called mixed mode. Customers like the flexibility of F5 deployments in the journey to ACI.
How is the market receiving the Cisco ACI + F5 joint solution?
F5/Cisco: The market is providing very positive feedback on our joint solution. We already have early adopters who are already enjoying tangible benefits when it comes to deploy applications faster, with security and multi-tenancy.
Is APIC available in VM Version, or only appliance version is available?
Cisco: There is no VM version for APIC. We have an APIC simulator appliance that simulates the entire ACI.