The UCS and ACI Better Together tool (B2G) is a Cisco UCS tool that enables the use of Cisco UCS Manager and the Cisco Application Programmable Infrastructure Controller in a coordinated fashion. The B2G provides a method to interconnect the physical UCS server domain with an ACI fabric and optimize many day-to-day functions. This tool also supports emulated environments, where you can have the UCSPE alongside the APIC simulator appliance, or to a real APIC system with no real UCS system. There are discreet workflows included to show how having a deeply programmatic environment on each of these architectures, contributes to a far greater value when brought together. This tool also offers a great level of detail around methods to programmatically interact with both the UCS XML API, and the APIC JSON API – to enable the knowledge to expand and customize or bring into other toolsets as a training aid.
This is a multithreaded php program that provides an over the top tool which enhances the overall user experience between UCS computing platforms and ACI fabrics. The program bridges the 2 data management engines (DME) between the UCS and ACI to help streamline some of the common operational use cases. When a user completes a configuration task on one system, through event notifications the tool will execute a set of API calls to the peered system to complete the configuration task at hand.
The tool is currently limited to a single UCS managed system and it also works with multiple C-series servers in standalone (CIMC) mode. The tool is a work in process, and can be further enhanced to meet ones needs.
The current use cases that this tool covers are:
- Auto formation of a vPC between the UCS domain and the peer ACI leaf nodes
- VMM (Vmware) domain encompassing ESX hosts within a UCSM domain – VLAN or VXLAN backed with vShield
- UCSM blade server bare metal installation
- Auto matching of the UCS SPAN destination, to the ACI leaf SPAN source instance
- Auto formation of linkages from standalone CIMC managed UCS rack servers – connected to ACI leafs
NOTE: This is in its early stages and is being actively worked. However it does provide a good tool to show case the power of the programmability for UCS and ACI.