How to accelerate a Cisco ACI deployment

In our previous blogs in this series we have taken a look at the value and benefits you should be looking for from a Software-Defined Data Centre, and we have also explored the common challenges that are faced when making the migration.

In this blog, we focus on what we believe, based on our experience, is the best approach to accelerate your deployment of a Cisco ACI based Software-Defined Data Centre.

The Need For A Methodical Approach

You are not looking to build an ACI fabric in isolation. The true value comes from deploying the production services on this fabric to closer align with and serve the needs of the business.

You are likely to have an existing Data Centre infrastructure in place hosting your business applications. You not only need to design and install a new data centre fabric but integrate this into the existing network, and then here’s the tricky part, you need to migrate end hosts and services from the old to the new whilst minimising the risk to your lines of business.

At HighPoint we have developed an ‘Accelerator’ approach for the deployment of Cisco ACI which is specifically designed to help you migrate to Cisco ACI, gaining the full benefits faster while gaining the assurance that business critical applications and services will not be impacted by the migration.


Let us connect you with one of our ACI Specialists. They will walk you through some of the key points you should be considering and share our Accelerator approach that significantly reduces deployment time while reducing disruption of your business-critical applications.


The steps and components of our approach are as follows:

1. Obtaining Full Visibility of Current Infrastructure

Our approach is to utilise proprietary tooling to aggregate multiple, disparate data sources. We then combine this with our extensive experience of top-down and bottom-up network analysis to create a single authoritative and correlated reporting database which provides the basis for effective migration planning.

2. Fabric Design

We take a workshop approach to fabric design. Led by our senior ACI specialists we walk you through all of the possible design and implementation options related to your use case. This includes fully understanding the base line data and identifying any gaps. Making critical design decisions relating to your ACI deployment including physical design consideration and service mapping toolsets. The output of this process is a comprehensive Data Centre ACI Design document.

3. Automated Configuration Creation & Deployment

This is where we minimise the possibility of human error by automating the configuration required to convert current state to the ACI network centric mode.

4. Full Staging & Logistics

By staging and testing each of the components of your fabric before deployment we minimise risk of issues such as DOA being discovered at a critical time and are able to pre-configure components to reduce deployment time.

5. Fabric Deployment & Integration

We can either lead the process or provide supporting expertise in deploying and integrating the fabric at each of your datacentres. Fabric is installed to site standards and integrated into your existing infrastructure in line with design to the point where migrations can commence.

6. Migration Support

We support you in full migration planning, formulating the approach, detailing migration tasks, identifying dependencies and creating a full plan and schedule. We then support you through the migration process ensuring you have the skills to perform a risk-mitigated migration of all services.

The ultimate goal of this approach is to ensure that your Cisco ACI solution is brought into production quickly, configured optimally to meet your specific requirements, and that your teams are equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to confidently support and manage the newly deployed SD-Data Centre environment.

Armed with this knowledge and confidence, your teams can continue with the migration of applications and systems into the new ACI environments and start delivering the benefits of a software driven Data Centre back to your business.

If you are currently exploring a software-define data centre or expanding your multi-cloud environment and want to understand what is possible, why not join us on the 3rd of March at our Breakfast Briefing in London at the Cisco City office. For further details and to register your place, please see below:

Written by Neil Dearman, Head of Technology, HighPoint