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Five APIC-EM API to improve network engineer productivity – part 4

Cisco Employee

Welcome to part 4 of the "APIC-EM API productivity series" for network engineers getting started in API and scripting.

Earlier blogs on APIC-EM covered

  1. /network-device – all attributes of network-devices (blog1)
  2. /interface/network-device – all interfaces  (and hosts) on a network-device e.g. a switch (blog2)
  3. /license-info - all licencing information for a network-device (blog3)

By this stage of the blog series, I am going to assume you are familiar with swagger (API documentation tool) and the location of the github repository where I have shared the code samples.

#4 find my host

As mentioned earlier, the controller has a table of all hosts that are connected to network-devices. This information is kept updated when link up/down traps are enabled on switches and wireless Lan controllers (WLC). See the configuration guide for the commands to enable this on the network-devices.

This means that I can use the controller as an accurate source of information about hosts connected to the network and locate them.  This example allows a search by host mac address or ip address.


Navigate to the "/host" URL as in blog#2.  In this case you are going to use the "hostIp" parameter.   From blog #2, you know there is a host with IP address of "".  Enter this in, along with scope.


You will get the following output, showing the network-device and the interface this host is connected to.


You can also do a lookup by MAC address.  Use the "hostMac" parameter and set it to "e8:9a:8f:7a:22:99".  You will get the same output as before.



The script "" allows a search for a host via either MAC address or IP address. The three examples below illustrate the ways this can be done:

  1. 1) This example shows a lookup by MAC address.  You can see the host IP|MAC as well as the ip address of the network-device ( and the interface (GigabitEthernet1/0/47) and the vlan (200)
  2. 2) The second example is the same as the first, just a lookup by hostip.  As expected it shows the same information as the previous call.
  3. 3) This example is for a wireless client.  It shows the Controller the host is connected to as well (along with model and software version) as well as the AP the host is connected to.

$ ./ --mac e8:9a:8f:7a:22:99|e8:9a:8f:7a:22:99 wired ->|GigabitEthernet1/0/47 vlan:200

$ ./ --ip|e8:9a:8f:7a:22:99 wired ->|GigabitEthernet1/0/47 vlan:200

$ ./ --mac 00:24:d7:43:59:d8|00:24:d7:43:59:d8 wireless -> Campus-WLC-5508 AIR-CT5508-K9( ->  AP7081.059f.19ca vlan:600

Looking at the code

There are three API calls used in this code.

  1. "host?hostIp=%s" which does a lookup by hostIp address.  This is used when an IP address is supplied
  2. "host?hostMac=%s" which is a lookup by MAC address
  3. "network-device/%s" we have seen before.  This is looking up a network-device by UUID, in this case to get some extra information about the Wireless LAN Controller the host is connected to.

def get_host(ip=None, mac=None):
     if ip is not None:
          url = "host?hostIp=%s" % ip
     elif mac is not None:
          url = "host?hostMac=%s" % mac
      return get_url(url)

def get_wlc(id):
      return get_url("network-device/%s" % id)

The other concept this code shows is the use of argument parsing to allow the "—mac" and "—ip" options to be used.  Argparse is a python package for argument parsing ( ).

parser = ArgumentParser(description='Select options.')
parser.add_argument('--ip', type=str,help="ip address")
parser.add_argument('--mac', type=str,help="mac address")
parser.add_argument('-v', action='store_true',help="verbose")
args = parser.parse_args()

This is a very simple tool you can use for troubleshooting.  Some improvements could include:

  • Change the script so that it takes a single argument that is either a MAC or IP address and intelligently (based on syntax of the argument) determine if a MAC search or IP search is required.
  • Embed this into a python web framework like Flask to turn this into a web page. Happy to provide an example of this, if people are interested.
  • Provide a "refresh" option where the script will refresh the location every 5mins to track a host connectivity status.

What Next?

This blog covered the forth of the useful API /host . The final blog in the series will look /flow-analysis, an API to do a path trace between hosts on the network.  It also provides stats on interfaces, QoS, Perfmon and ACL trace.

In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about APIC-EM, you could visit Cisco Devnet.  All of the code samples can be found in this Github repository.

Thanks for reading


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