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Cisco ACI : VMM (Virtual Machine Manager)

Cisco ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure)
VMM (Virtual Machine Manager)

VMM (Virtual Machine Manager) is a component of Cisco ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) that handles virtualized workloads in a software-defined network (SDN) environment. It is in charge of automating the deployment, setup, and administration of virtualized resources in a data center, such as virtual machines.

Cisco ACI VMM integrates with a number of virtualization systems, including Citrix XenCenter, VMware VCenter, and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM).

With the help of this connection, Cisco ACI is able to manage and keep track of virtualized workloads uniformly, giving network managers a single point of control over both physical and virtual resources.

ACI VMM Integration with Single vCenter Server
Fig 1.1- VMM Integration with Single vCenter

With VMM incorporated into the Cisco ACI fabric as a whole, virtualized workloads may have automatic network provisioning, security rules, and network visibility. Through this connection, network administration is made simpler, network agility is increased, and operating expenses are decreased.

The network portion of the VCenter domain may be managed from the Cisco ACI fabric thanks to the VMM interaction with Cisco ACI. The user must configure and manage two items in VMM integration:

  • VDS: The Virtual Distributed Switch of the VCenter
  • Port Groups: The Cisco ACI will manage port-groups on the VDS.

In VMM integration, the user has got the privilege to create the VDS for VCenter on the Cisco ACI fabric and push it to the VCenter domain.

VMware ESX Host vSwitch Connectivity
Fig 1.2- VMware ESX Host vSwitch Connectivity

The user may now generate the EPGs on the 
Cisco ACI and map them to the VDS switch once the VDS have been successfully pushed from the Cisco ACI fabric. Each EPG will be represented as a PG on the VDS switch once the EPGs have been mapped to the VDS.

Between the Cisco ACI fabric and the VCenter domain, the VCenter controller serves as an intermediary or translator. Any Cisco ACI configuration must successfully push to the VCenter server and be understood by it. The controller for the VCenter does this operation.

Lets talk about the major benefits of VMM in Cisco ACI infrastructure ?

Simplified Network Management: As a result of VMM's integration with the entire Cisco ACI fabric, both physical and virtual resources may be managed from a single location. By making network administration simpler, less time and effort is needed to manage the network.

Automated Network Provisioning: By automating the deployment of virtual machines and the network services they require, VMM speeds up the process of setting up new virtualized workloads.

Improved Network Visibility: Network administrators may see virtualized workloads, including network speed and resource use, thanks to VMM. This enhances overall network dependability by making it easier to find and fix network problems.

Improved Network Agility: Various virtualization technologies can connect with VMM, enabling a single management strategy for both real and virtual resources. This increases network agility and makes it possible for administrators to react to shifting business needs more rapidly.

Enhanced Network Security: The security controls of Cisco ACI are integrated with VMM, creating a safe network environment for virtualized workloads. This makes it easier to maintain the safety and legality of virtualized data and applications.

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