Cisco ACI APIC cluster Initial Setup Example [Parameters Explained]

APIC Initial setup Dialog Interface

When the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (Cisco APIC) is started for the first time, the Cisco APIC console Interface will ask for some initial setup parameters in order to build the ACI Fabric:

Cluster configuration ...
  Enter the fabric name [ACI Fabric1]: LD Fabric1
  Enter the fabric ID (1-128) [1]: 1
  Enter the number of active controllers in the fabric (1-9) [3]: 3
  Enter the POD ID (1-9) [1]: 1
  Is this a standby controller? [NO]: YES
  Enter the controller ID (1-3) [1]: 1
  Enter the controller name [apic1]: APIC1
  Enter address pool for TEP addresses []:
  Note: The infra VLAN ID should not be used elsewhere in your environment
        and should not overlap with any other reserved VLANs on other platforms.
  Enter the VLAN ID for infra network (2-4094): 3967
  Enter address pool for BD multicast addresses (GIPO) []:

Out-of-band management configuration ...
  Enable IPv6 for Out of Band Mgmt Interface? [N]:
  Enter the IPv4 address []:
  Enter the IPv4 address of the default gateway [None]:
  Enter the interface speed/duplex mode [auto]:

admin user configuration ...
  Enable strong passwords? [Y]:
  Enter the password for admin:

  Reenter the password for admin:

admin user configuration ...
  Strong Passwords: Y
  User name: admin
  Password: ********

The above configuration will be applied ...

Warning: TEP address pool, Infra VLAN ID and Multicast address pool
         cannot be changed later, these are permanent until the
         fabric is wiped.

Would you like to edit the configuration? (y/n) [n]: n

The Above Initial setup should be repeated for the whole Cluster (3 APIC or 5).

  • The fabric Parametres will be the same:
    – The Fabric name,
    – Fabric ID,
    – Pod id,
    – The number of the active controllers in Fabric.
    – The Infra VLAN
    – GIPO address
    – The TEP pool address.
  • The APIC specific parameters will change from one APIC to another:
    – The APIC Controller id
    – The APIC name
    – OOB management IP address.

Note: The Initial setup of the APIC cluster will not ask for the password of the second and third APIC node (id= 2 and 3), the login and the password are the same for all APIC nodes in the cluster.

APIC Initial Setup Parameters Explained

Here are some considerations to take care of during the APIC Cluster Initial setup:

IP address pool for tunnel endpoint addresses:

This value is for the infrastructure virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) only.

  • Default value:
  • The minimum supported subnet: for a 3 Cisco APIC cluster is /23. If you are using Release 2.0(1) the minimum is /22.

This subnet should not overlap with any other routed subnets in your network. If this subnet does overlap with another subnet, change this subnet to a different /16 subnet.

The subnet is not supported for the infra TEP pool due to a conflict of address space with the docker0 interface.

If you must use the subnet for the infra TEP pool, you must manually configure the docker0 IP address to be in a different address space in each Cisco APIC before you attempt to put the Cisco APICs in a cluster.

VLAN ID for infrastructure network (Infra VLAN):

Infrastructure VLAN for Cisco APIC-to-switch communication including virtual switches.

You must reserve this VLAN for Cisco APIC use only. The infrastructure VLAN ID must not overlap with any other reserved VLANs on other platforms.

The recommended Infrastructure from Cisco documentation is VLAN id is 3967 (of course, if not already used in your environment).

IP address pool for bridge domain multicast address (GIPo):

IP addresses used for fabric multicast. For Cisco APIC in a Cisco ACI Multi-Site topology, this GIPo address can be the same across sites.

  • Default value:
  • Valid range: to, prefixlen must be 15

IPv4/IPv6 addresses for the out-of-band management:

IP address for OOB (Out of Band) access to the APIC through the GUI, CLI, or API. It could be in the same subnet/VLAN as the CIMC.

Management interface speed/duplex mode

Interface speed and duplex mode for the out-of-band management interface.

Default value: auto

Supported values :

  • auto
  • 10baseT/Half
  • 10baseT/Full
  • 100baseT/Half
  • 100baseT/Full
  • 1000baseT/Full

Standalone APIC Cluster:

This parameter is used If the Cisco APIC cluster not directly connected to the Fabric, but connected by a layer 3 inter-pod network (IPN). This feature is available only on Cisco APIC release 5.2(1) and later.


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