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aci equipment for PoC

Hey guys,

I need to carry out a PoC for using Cisco ACI in both of our datacenters.

Can you tell me if there is kind of a cisco aci lab that doesn't cost that much?

Or can you tell me cheap switches where I could run ACI with?


Thank you very much!



You have 3 options:

- Buy minimum ACI fabric: 1 APIC server, 1 leaf, 1 SPINE or whatever is your case.

- Use ACI simulator which simulates an ACI fabric with APICs, it is useful to get familiar with the UI, test the APIs or integrations like VMM etc.. however you can't test the data-plane since it's a simulated fabric.

- Use Dcloud demos

Claudia de Luna
Rising star

Hi @as00001111,


I've struggled with this myself.  The least expensive option is an ACI Mini bundle if you have to perform the PoC on premise but I suspect even that is is far too expensive for what you would like to do.


My suggestion would be to rent an ACI lab and test what you can.  The biggest problem here is if you are trying to test out things like MultiSite and MultiPod.  Its not perfect but it could get you further along.


Good Luck!

@t.houmaiza @Claudia de Luna 

thank you for your replies!


Since I would like to do it on premise, I need hardware.

Do you know if I need licenses to run ACI? It's not supposed to be a productive ACI.

Just a test lab. And I don't need Multi Pod.

You will need to purchase ACI hardware (controllers, leafs and spines which will come with the ACI software you need to run it).  

In a lab environment you can get away with one controller, one spine (don't recommend that if you want to test failover) and two leafs (if you want to test vPCs etc).


The ACI Mini is a physical controller and two VMS and there are small bundles and even lab bundles that may be available.  Check with your Cisco Partner or SE for specifics as I'm not sure what is available today.


From what I can see there is still an ACI Lab bundle but it notes "Limited Availability" so you will absolutely need to check with your partner/SE.