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Leveraging ACI native load-balancing

Antonio Macia
Level 3
Level 3


In the same way that ACI, when integrated with Kubernetes can load balance outside requests to a particular exposed service, is it possible to manually configure ACI for basic L3/L4 load-balancing of regular of servers, announcing the /32 IP to the outside from ACI and setting the end servers manually


3 Replies 3

Ali Aghababaei
Level 1
Level 1

Hi @Antonio Macia 

Cisco ACI does not inherently offer native load-balancing features like a dedicated load-balancer appliance. However, you can leverage several features and integrations within ACI to achieve load-balancing functionalities.

Options for Load Balancing in Cisco ACI:

1. Service Graphs and L4-L7 Service Insertion:
- Cisco ACI allows for the insertion of Layer 4 to Layer 7 services into the traffic path using service graphs. These graphs can be configured to include external load balancers such as F5 or AVI Networks devices, providing sophisticated load-balancing capabilities.
- Service graphs enable you to define the flow of traffic through these service devices, ensuring that your load-balancing policies are enforced effectively.

2. Policy-Based Redirect (PBR):
- PBR can be configured to direct specific traffic flows to load-balancing devices. This allows you to apply granular policies to direct traffic based on source or destination IP addresses, protocols, and more.

3. Cloud ACI Integration:
- For environments that extend into the cloud, Cloud ACI automates the creation and management of native cloud load balancers. This integration simplifies the deployment and scaling of applications behind load balancers in cloud environments like AWS and Azure.



Hi @Antonio Macia ,

OMG - Another answer by @Ali Aghababaei that has the slippery feel of an AI engine. ITD with ACI??? Seriously? @Ali Aghababaei , I welcome you to the conversation, but if you don't know the answer, please check the answer that your AI assistant gives you before you make a fool of yourself. Your answer has some good information and some crap. The effective way to use AI is to check every point and sort the good from the bad.

So @Antonio Macia let's just answer your question, 

... is it possible to manually configure ACI for basic L3/L4 load-balancing of regular of servers, announcing the /32 IP to the outside from ACI and setting the end servers manually.

TBH, I haven't tested this in the real world, but you should be able to do this using PBR - from memory it involves mapping a MAC to an IP, although this may have been overcome in later ACI versions.  The challenge for ACI is that if an IP address (i.e a VIP) exists in more than one place, ACI gets a little confused.

Check out this rather old white paper - there may be a newer version around.

RedNectar aka Chris Welsh.
Forum Tips: 1. Paste images inline - don't attach. 2. Always mark helpful and correct answers, it helps others find what they need.

OMG @RedNectar 

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