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Cisco ACI + Nutanix + New vCenter – Its Complicated or Is it ?

Before I start, its been a while since my last post, mainly because I have been really busy with work and family. Now hopefully I will make it habit to post something useful once every few weeks.

Disclaimer: This is not the **official** recommendation from Nutanix on Cisco ACI. This is just something that I worked on for a client of ours and thought would be useful for anyone who might end up deploying Nutanix + Cisco ACI + new vCenter on Nutanix NDFS :)..

Problem Statement: Cisco ACI requires OOB access to vCenter to deploy the Cisco ACI networks as Portgroups in vCenter. Build vCenter on NDFS. NDFS needs 10 Gb fabric (ideally) from each node. All the uplinks in the leaf switch are controlled by Cisco ACI. But ACI needs vCenter to push out Management and VM Network VLANs. 

Some of you might see this and go uh oh, but let me assure you, this also becomes a problem in non Nutanix environments as well; especially anyone using IP based storage and only have 2 x 10Gb adapters.

There are 2 ways in which we can take care of this.

Option 1: Deploy a vCenter in a management only cluster, which doesn’t depend on the Cisco ACI for Networking. (Needs seperate physical infrastructure for networking and for management cluster)

Option 2: Add another dual 10Gb Nic to each of the nodes. (becomes a lot more expensive when you think of tens of nodes x 4 10Gb adapters).

Both the above options are quite costly, be it from a networking physical infrastructure point of view or a management only cluster point of view.

So how do we go about solving this?

(more…)

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