The Cisco ACI Simulator enables you to simulate the Cisco ACI fabric, including the Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches supported in a leaf-and-spine topology, to take full advantage of an automated, policy-based, systems management approach. Specifically, the ACI simulator environment comprises 2 ACI spines, 2 ACI leafs, and 3 APIC controllers.
The Cisco ACI Simulator includes simulated switches, so you cannot validate the data path. However, some of the simulated switch ports are mapped to the front-panel server ports which allows you to connect external management entities such as VMware ESX servers, VMware vCenter, VMware vShield, and bare-metal servers; Layer 4 through 7 services; authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) systems; and other physical and virtual service appliances. In addition, the Cisco ACI Simulator allows simulation of faults and alerts to facilitate testing and demonstrate features.
The ACI simulator provides a variety of features and benefits, key ones summarized in the table below.
|Fabric Management||Topology view, Fabric discovery|
|Creation of network constructs||Build a tenant, private layer 3 network, bridged domain|
|Specify Cisco ACI policy constructs||Create Filters, Contracts|
|Application deployment||create Application Network Profiles, End-point groups|
|Virtualization Integration||VMware ESXi, vCenter, vshield|
|L4-L7 services integration||Cisco ASA/ASAv, Citrix NetScaler and F5 BIG-IP|
|Monitoring and troubleshooting||View faults, events, managed objects etc through GUI|
|Programmability with Northbound API clients||Python, REST APIS with JSON & XML bindings, PowerShell etc|