With customers deploying ACI with service insertion, people are constantly asking both design and implementation related questions such as:

  • When should I use 1 ARM vs 2 ARM topology for services?
  • Can I use BIG-IP in HA mode?
  • Can I use/share my existing BIG-IP with ACI?
  • My services and networking teams are separate, how can I maintain that business separation while using ACI?
  • How are elastic workloads addressed with BIG-IP and ACI?

We have had discussions with various customers and helped them deploy ACI with F5 service integration based on their network designs and topologies. From these discussions F5 and Cisco have boiled down the topics into a brief design guide.

F5 BIG-IP LTM Service Insertion with Cisco ACI (Design Guide)

Our design guide starts with an introduction of ACI and the benefits of using service insertion.We then go into the F5 device package features and supported functions. With the reader having a baseline understanding of ACI and F5 integration we discuss the design considerations for service insertion.

To help further your knowledge on F5 BIG-IP and Cisco ACI, the following references are also recommended:

F5 and Cisco Technology Alliance webpage

Cisco Live Presentation – Real world design and deployments with Cisco ACI and F5 LTM service insertion

We are also going to be presenting ACI sessions at F5 Agility in Washington DC (August 4th to August 6th). Please come and join us for the following breakout sessions

  • F5 and Cisco ACI integration update
    • Gain an understanding of the F5 Device Package, and how BIG-IP and BIG-IQ bring L4–7 services into the ACI policy model.
  • Design/deploy with Cisco ACI using F5 LTM service insertion
    • Learn from Cisco and F5 experts about the Cisco ACI and BIG-IP LTM architectures, topologies, and use cases.