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Automating an ACI / APIC Tenant Backup

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As the Software-Defined Discipline lead at World Wide Technology (WWT), one of my areas of focus is training and educating network engineers on new technology and  the skills they need to effectively deploy and manage the latest technology, like Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure, or ACI.

The Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) is the central controller, providing automation and management of the ACI fabric.  While the APIC GUI provides an effective tool, the real value of ACI is the ability to programmatically automate tasks by integrating applications with the ACI fabric.

At WWT, we use QualiSystems TestShell (www.qualisystems.com) as our lab resource management and automation application. We are developing customer training labs for ACI, and we want to demonstrate how the ACI fabric can be orchestrated from TestShell, illustrating a use case network engineers are familiar with – backing up a configuration.

In this video, I demonstrate tools and techniques to create the XML files we will integrate with TestShell to programmatically backup the tenant configuration for each student in the training lab.  As the networking environment evolves, network engineers will need to increase their knowledge of Python programming and REST interfaces to a northbound API. 

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