Cisco ACI Initial APIC configuration

There are a lot of blog posts around about the Cisco ACI technology and design tips and tricks. If you want to know more about ACI, please read the Cisco ACI Fundamentials 

This post describes your first steps to create and installation of a ACI fabric. Our example design will look like this:

ACI network layout

Our network will exist in only one datacenter with two spine switches, two leaf switches and two  APIC controllers. The spine and leaf switches are connected with 40Gb/s, the APIC controllers are multihomed with 1Gb/s links.

First, rack and stack all the devices and make sure all cables are plugged in correctly. After spinning up all the switches and APIC controllers, give it a while to boot up. At least 15 minutes for the APIC controllers.

First things first.. It is a good idea to change the default BIOS password of the APIC controllers. The default password is “password”. The APICs are part of your datacenter core network, so security should be a good thing to think about. Changing your BIOS password should be the first thing to do.

Now, grab your good old console cable (or your fancy Airconsole, they are awesome!). This is the only time you need a console connection, so please.. enjoy it (or not).

When you console into the APIC, a wizard appears with the following questions:

  • Enter fabric name
  • Enter the number of APIC controllers
  • Enter this controller ID
  • Enter this controller name
  • Enter address pool for TEP addresses –> stick with the default 10.0.0.0/16
  • Enter VLAN ID for infra network –> make this a high number if you plan using AVS
  • Enter address pool voor BD Multicast addresses –> use the default 225.0.0.0/16
  • Out of band IP address
  • Out of band gateway
  • Out of band Speed/duplux
  • Strong passwords for local admin account
  • Enter admin password

After completing this wizard, it will NOT be possible to change the TEP of BD Multicast address ranges!

The APIC controller will reboot now and give it some time to boot. If the boot process is finished, you can start your browser en browse to the out of band IP address on a device connect to the out of band interface of the APIC.

That’s it for now!