Data ONTAP ACI Toolkit

Dear NetApp community

Today, I announce the availability of Data ONTAP ACI toolkit that enables users to use clustered Data ONTAP and manageability products and FlexPod solutions with more ease in the Cisco ACI network. You can download this toolkit from here.


From the offspring of a common vision by our CTO, Jay Kidd, we have come a long way in making a number of well-defined ACI solutions for FlexPod. Together with Cisco, we have published Cisco Validated Designs for FlexPod with ACI including:


Design Guides

                FlexPod Datacenter with ACI and vSphere 5.5u1

                FlexPod Datacenter with ACI and vSphere 5.5u2

                FlexPod Datacenter with ACI and Exchange 2013

                FlexPod Datacenter with ACI and Sharepoint 2013


Deployment Guides

                FlexPod Datacenter with ACI and vSphere 5.5u2

                FlexPod Datacenter with ACI and SharePoint 2013


What’s in is this toolkit?

Data ONTAP ACI toolkit contains two variants – (i) Python (ii) PowerShell. Both of these are a thin wrapper over Cisco ACI SDK. You can use whichever that suits you – both provide the same functionality.

You can download the pre-requisite Cisco ACI SDK as mentioned below:

  • Python egg can be downloaded from APIC server itself from these URLs.

             http[s]://<APIC address>/cobra/_downloads/acicobrasdk.egg

             http[s]://<APIC address>/cobra/_downloads/acicobramodel.egg


  • PowerShell module – CiscoACIPS can be downloaded from here.

Both these variants bring along a sample script that you can view for usage examples. Also, the PowerShell variant has in-built help and so you can use “get-help <cmdletName> -examples” command to see examples additionally.


What you can do with this toolkit?

  1. Create NetApp specific contracts – say for, NetApp storage protocols, SnapDrive, Data protection, various SnapManagers and others.
  2. Provide/Consume contracts
  3. Add/Remove storage endpoints
  4. Create/Delete virtual port channel (VPC) – this involves configuring switch policies, interface policies and their associated groupings. The toolkits provide these granular functions that you can use to create new or re-use your already created groupings for new policies you create.
  5. Utility functions such as switch id from serial number and vice-versa.


There are several steps being taken to fully embrace ACI in NetApp. We are working on integration with OnCommand Workflow Automation and also working on a scripted automation of our earlier design guide for SharePoint. In addition, there is a robust roadmap of FlexPod ACI solutions ahead including solutions highlighting SAP HANA, VDI and UCS Director to mention a few.



Nice post!  If you want to hear Cisco customers and partners talk about their experience with ACI, here's a link to a video.