ACI Field Engineer Implementation

This four-day ILT course is designed to take Field Engineers and System Architects with no ACI-specific experience and prepare them to design and build an ACI fabric. Students will learn what they need to know to take Cisco switches from the loading dock and build an operational, functioning ACI fabric that includes servers, virtual machines, external networks and service devices.


Specific topics addressed in this course are ACI configuration and basic operations, including rack-and-stack initial installation, application profile configuration, ACI under-the-hood, VMware & other hypervisor integration, external connectivity, layer 4-7 service device integration, operations and troubleshooting. There are detailed labs for each step of the course.

The curriculum is delivered as Just-In-Time learning, designed to provide Engineers just what they need to know, just when they need to know it. Students are not given training that they are not able to apply immediately. With this production-focused training, the student will be ready for the technical requirements of today. With the included library of curated references, the student is also poised to meet the requirements of the future.

The course provides insight from subject matter experts and over 100 production installations. These subject matter experts have insight because they've been in the students' shoes.


  • Cisco Nexus and Data Center Layer 2/3 Concepts
  • Basic Cisco UCS B Series Networking
  • Basic VMware administration and networking
  • Firewall and Load Balancer Principles
  • Basic Management and Security Protocols
  • Basic Linux System administration


Upon completion of the course, students will be familiar with:

  • Understand ACI architecture and concepts needed to get an ACI fabric into production
  • Describe the hardware that makes up ACI
  • Install and bring up an ACI Fabric
  • Configure foundational Access Policies
  • Configure Application Profiles
  • Describe ACI fabric operations
  • Integrate VMware and other hypervisors with ACI
  • Configure Layer 2 and 3 outside connectivity to the ACI Fabric
  • Integrate Layer 4-7 service devices with ACI
  • Provide fundamental Day 2 fabric support
  • Quickly find information on more advanced or detailed ACI features
  • Familiarize themselves with the whole of ACI to formulate any next steps in their ACI training needs to support their company's business goals

Target Audience

This course is for Engineers and Solution Architects who need to quickly learn how to design and implement more complex ACI fabrics. This can be customer engineers who support a production fabric with multiple hypervisor vendors, Partner engineers who need to design and build a customer fabric with firewalls and load balancers, or any engineer who needs comprehensive, hands-on, production-focused ACI training.


4 Days


Interactive Instructor Led Training

Course Type

  • Lecture + Hands-on Lab
  • Live onsite (register below)
  • Live online

Course Outline

Module 0 Agenda / Intro / Logistics

Module 1 ACI Overview

SDN/Overlay Networking Primer
Cisco ACI Overview and Terminology
Logical Model Overview
Concrete Model Overview

Module 2 ACI Fabric Switches

Nexus 9000 Overview
Nexus 9000 Models
Hardware Installation

Module 3 APIC Overview

APIC Introduction
APIC Overview
APIC Installation

Lab 1a ACI Fabric Discovery

Module 4 Initial Fabric Configuration

ACI Initial Configuration Overview
OOB Configuration
Network Time Protocol
Access Policies
External-facing Interface Configuration
ACI Pools
ACI Domains
Attachable Access Entity Profile (AAEP)
VPC Configuration in ACI Fabric
Simplified Interface & Policy Configuration
Troubleshooting Access Policy

Lab 1b Fabric Policy Configuration
Lab 2 Configuring ACI Policies and Pools

Module 5 ACI Connectivity Policies

ACI Logical Model
Bridge Domain
End Points Groups (EPG)
Application Profiles (AP) and Contracts
ACI Quality of Service

Lab 3 Configuring ACI Forwarding Constructs

Module 6 Application Modeling and Deployment

Designing an AP
Lab: AP
RESTful API Review
Lab: Using Postman
Learning Network Programmability
ACI Toolkit

Lab 4 Configuring Application Profiles via GUI
Lab 5 Configuring Application Profiles via Python/Postman

Module 7 Fabric Operation and Forwarding

Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) Basics
ACI Fabric Fundamentals
Fabric Forwarding
Endpoint Learning & Lookup
Fabric Innovations

Module 8 Hypervisor Integration

Virtualization Primer
ACI Hypervisor Integration Overview
ACI Hypervisor Integration with VMware
Integration with VMware VDS
ACI VMware Configuration
ACI Integration with Microsoft
ACI Integration with OpenStack
Application Virtual Switch
Design Considerations
Virtualization Integration Summary

Lab 6 Configuring VMM Integration with VMware DVS

Module 9 Connecting to Existing L2 Infrastructure

L2 Extension Overview
Option A: Extend EPG
Option B: Extend BD
Design Considerations

Lab 7 Configuring External Layer 2 Connection

Module 10 Connecting to Existing L3 Infrastructure

L3 Integration Overview
L3 Integration & Configuration
Shared L3Out
Multi-Site ACI

Lab 8 Configuring External Layer 3 Connection

Module 11 Integrating L4-7 Services with ACI

Service Graphs
Device Packages
Service Insertion Overview
L4-7 Services Configuration
Unmanaged Mode
Network Services Placement

Lab 9 Configuring Layer 4-7 Services

Module 12 Operating ACI

APIC Management Access
Naming Conventions
Operations Tools
Firmware Upgrades
Backing Up

Lab 10 Configuration Export

Module 13 Troubleshooting ACI

APIC Troubleshooting
APIC Troubleshooting Tools
Health Scores
Troubleshooting Wizard
Atomic Counters
Digital Optical Monitoring
Switchport Analyzer (SPAN)
Visore - The APIC Object Store Browser
Troubleshooting via the CLI
Removing Unwanted _ui_ Objects
Fabric Recovery
ACI Backup

Lab 11 Troubleshooting

Module 14 ACI Integration with Existing DC Networks

DC Architecture Review
ACI Insertion Options
ACI Services Block Strategy

Module 99 ACI FE Implementation Review

The content was engaging and the instructor was an expert in the technology.

Outstanding instructor, fantastic venue, rock-solid lab with great exercises! All-around top-notch training experience - good job, everyone.

The instructor was excellent. Field experience showed and real-world example and problems are most useful.

Great training! Very worthy. The instructor has an excellent balance between experience and teaching skills. LABs worked perfectly.

One of the best course I've taken.

The Instructor was amazing and will see him again soon!

Dan is an expert instructor. He knows the technology and makes it easy to understand.

Dan was an amazing presenter, and VERY thoroughly knew the subject material. I want to be like Dan when I grow up!

Great class, I learned more than I thought I would coming in!

I was very impressed on his knowledge of ACI, very impressive.

I thought the instructor was very knowledgeable and took the time to work with the individuals.

The presenter had a good detailed knowledge around ACI and could reference several deployments.

The instructor was excellent - his knowledge was superb and he has been a very good mentor throughout the course and definitely went the extra mile.

I found Jon Torrez absolutely first class, hugely Knowlable, very good teacher/instructor, experienced with ACI.

The instructor knows his stuff and presents it well.

Great teaching! ACI complexity simplified!

Online worked very well

It was effective because it was video so we could see the whiteboard and instructor. That helped more than just a regular webex.

The ACI FEI class was great! I love Dan's style of teaching. I also appreciated his experience in the field along with the teaching. He was able to give us some real-world examples of the concepts, rather than just teaching from a book.

BTA is the Gold Standard in ACI training.

Talking with BTA about ACI is like finding someone who speaks your language in a foreign country.

Upcoming Classes






ACI Field Engineer Implementation


Mar 9-12, 2020


Atlanta, GA


ACI Field Engineer Implementation


Jun 15-18, 2020


Atlanta, GA


ACI Field Engineer Implementation


Sep 14-17, 2020


Atlanta, GA


ACI Field Engineer Implementation


Dec 7-10, 2020


Atlanta, GA


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Alpharetta, GA 30009

678 - 951 - 8980

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