I apologize, but I'm trying to get my head wrapped around Cisco ACI. I have APIC-EM figured out and have done many of the learning labs calling it's REST API, etc.
Now, there is this ACI thing out there. What is that exactly and how does it relate to APIC-EM, if at all?
Cisco ACI is primarily focused around the data center, while the APIC-EM is for the campus and branch offices. They are both a software controller and have similar features, (access via REST api's, etc) but the main focus is different.
Hope this helps clarify.
To add to what Doug stated, ACI offers two key features which are to support the spine/leaf network data center architecture for efficient data management/transfer in the network and Application Network Profiles (ANP) to manage/monitor applications on the network. For more information on the second and ACI please see the blog: Why ACI ?
Hi Adam, the Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is a virtual fabric interface, this virtual fabric interface makes the Core, distribution and the access layer of the Data center look like a single fabric interface.but keep in mind that with the nexus 9k on the data center, we have the spine and leaf design not the core, distribution and access layer as in the campus network. The ACI has it own manager/controller call the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), this manager software is like the UCS manager but the UCS manage each devices individual while the APIC sees all the devices as one . As Brett rightly said the APIC-EM is also a controller just like APIC used in campus network for centralize management