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Simple Dashboard for Cisco ACI, is a graphic User Interface (GUI) that takes the complex day to day tasks in ACI and brings them down to a few easy to use clicks on a single dashboard.

Simple Dashboard is an ACI App, which means there is no additional hardware to install, and no complicated install process.

You simple upload it to your APIC and you can begin using it right away.

Simple Dashboard Features Include:

  • Ability to Configure entire fabric by filling out an Excel Spreadsheet
  • Automatic check for EOS, EOL status of Hardware
  •  Automatic Check for whether you are running the newest version of software
  •  Ability to configure multiple static epg bindings with a few clicks
  •  Ability to see all device interfaces in a table view
  •  Interface status, port-channel name, LLDP neighbors etc are included in table view.
  •  show ip route for each vrf provisioned on a leaf or spine.
  •  Search on config changes to Fabric
  •  Search on fabric events.
  •  Ability to download each table as an excel document
  • Ability to switch between dark mode and light mode

Features in Detail.

Summary Device Info

We see value in showing a summary page with device  and other system info. Much of the info is available by clicking around in ACI’s regular GUI, but Simple Dashboard present the information we think would be interesting to an Operations Engineer here, on a single page.

In addition, the summary page contains info about the EOL and EOS status of the hardware in your ACI Fabric, as well as a comparison of your installed firmware, with the latest published firmware.

 

Interface Information

Simple Dashboard presents what we like to think of as a “show interface brief” , where on a single screen you can see information for all ports on a switch for things like:

  • packets in/out
  • SFP
  • up/down status
  • LLDP neighbors
  • configured vlans
  • ..And more

Statically Assign EPGs to Interfaces, Port Channels or VPCs

It usually takes around 7 clicks to assign an epg to an interface in ACI. If you imagine an environment with 100 vlans/epgs, thats 700 clicks to assign all epgs to a single port. If each click averages about 10 seconds, that exercise would take you nearly 2 hours. Now imagine doing that for 50 different ports on your network.

Simple Dashboard reduces the number of clicks to 4, regardless of the number of epgs you are assigning to a port. Using the vlan to epg mapping table, you can represent the epg you ned to assign to a port/pc/vpc by its vlan id, and you can add/delete a comma separated list of vlans with no more than 4 clicks involved.

 

Show IP Route

Easily see the ip routes for each switch in the fabric for each vrf on the switch.

Search Recent Events

There is no functionality in the ACI GUI to search on events. Simple Dashboard allows you to do a free form search on recent events. This means the word or phrase you are searching for can belong in any field of the particular event record

Search Recent Config changes

 

Search Recent Config Changes

The ACI GUI will not let you search on recent changes, but Simple Dashboard will. Like the events search, this one too is freeform and any text or phrase search looks in all fields of the change record

 

 

VLAN To EPG Mapping

In just about every ACI deployment we have been involved in, during the migration period from traditional network to ACI, someone creates an excel document listing all the existing VLANs and then mapping them to a unique epg in ACI for the purposes of the migration. Most people end up keeping this document as reference in their day to day operations of ACI.

The vlan to epg mapping table acts as a reference for Simple Dashboard when you are trying to add/delete epgs to ports, port channels or vpcs. Things work best when there is a strict mapping of a single vlan id to a unique Tenant/AP/epg.

As an example if you were to map vlan 10 to an epg named web in AP dev-ap and tenant Dev, then every time you assign vlan 10 to an interface/pc/vpc , what actually happens is that Simple Dashboard creates a static binding of epg-web to that interface with a vlan encapsulation of vlan-10.

The vlan to epg mapping table allows you to keep thinking with your traditional networking hat on, while Simple Dashboard does the ACI heavy lifting for you.

 

Create VLAN To EPG Mapping

When you create a vlan to epg mapping, simple Dashboard creates a new tenant, ap, bd and epg they don’t already exist, and then creates an entry in its own internal database pointing the newly created epg to the vlan value you supplied. If any of the tenant, ap, bd or epg already exists in ACI, Simple Dashboard only creates the items that do not exist and still creates an entry in its internal database.

 

Delete VLAN To EPG Mapping

When you delete a vlan to epg mapping, the only thing that gets delleted in ACI is the epg. Simple Dashboard also deletes the mapping in its internal database. If you wish to delete the Tenant, AP or bridge domain associated with the epg, you will have to do that manually.

 

Configure New Fabric

Download our excel template for configuring a new fabric, fill it out and upload to Simple Dashboard, for a complete first time configuration of your ACI fabric.

Download Dashboard

 

Support and Other Info

Please reach out to us at nnanna@bluesodium.com if you have any questions

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