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Introducing Easy ACI 1.0 – CLI Tool for Deploying and Managing Cisco ACI

If you have deployed an ACI fabric more than one time, it is more than likely that you have a set of scripts of some kind that you have used to automate at least a part of the job. ACI and programmability are a natural fit, so there is a variety of ways to program the fabric. I have personally  used ruby, python, Javascript ,  Ansible and Postman at various times to automate ACI.

 

 

The one shortcoming that these all have where I am concerned , is that I can’t simply pass these scripts on to someone and have them instantly use the scripts unless they have the environment setup just right. For Python, that would mean having the right version of Python, as well as downloading the aci python library.

Thats usually not too big a deal, if you already know how to program or are trying to learn how to program. If however, your goal is just to get stuff done on your ACI fabric, I imagine all the extra steps can be a pain in the behind.

A Different Approach

Easy ACI (easy-aci) is a command line tool to help you with deploying and managing Cisco ACI. Its packaged as an executable that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. All you need to be use the tool, is the downloaded executable and an excel file for data input.

There is no environment to setup, no libraries to download, no yaml file to edit, nothing.

In this first version of the software, we have focused on generating configuration to help in deploying ACI. The software generates json configuration, which you can then upload to your ACI fabric. You can also test out these configs in a simulator or lab , before you post to your live ACI environment.

 

A screenshot of the easy-aci CLI

 

 

Getting Started

 

To get started, please download the appropriate executable for your environment below. Each zip file contains an executable for the indicated platform, as well   as the easy_aci.xlsx template. Place both  extracted files in the same folder/directory. You’ll need to edit the excel template to include details of the fabric you want to generate configs for. You can runt he app with the included dummy data initially to see how things work.

 

If you are running this on a Mac, you may have to do do something like chmod +x to make the easy-aci file executable. Windows should work as-is.

 

Available Commands:

 

easy-aci create fabric-config - Generates json to configure basic fabric policies

easy-aci create switch-config - Generates json to configure switch profiles

eas-aci create tenant-config - Generates json to configure Tenants, Bridge Domains and EPGs

easy-aci create l3out-config - Generates json to configure basic L3Out policies

The json generated is displayed on your screen, but you can easily pipe the output to a text file, which you then upload (post) to your ACI . To send the output for Tenant configuration to a text file named tenants.json, you would use the following syntax:

eas-aci create tenant-config  > tenants.json

 

 

The app does not do a lot of error checking on the excel file, beyond checking for its existence, so at least for now, you’ll have to be careful to fill the document out as completely as possible. If you run into any issues, do feel free to contact us.

 

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