Best practices for integrating Calico with Cisco ACI

In enterprises that have adopted Cisco ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) to provide their network fabric, there are still choices to make about what to do for pod networking when running Kubernetes.  The obvious choice is Calico, which has widely established itself as the de facto standard for high performance, scalable, and reliable networking and network security for Kubernetes.

Calico’s networking is incredibly flexible, with the ability to run in a variety of modes, including IPIP or VXLAN overlays independent of the underlying fabric, or non-overlay modes peering with top of rack routers on-prem or tightly integrated with cloud provider networking in public clouds. Given this flexibility, it’s trivial to run Calico on top of any network fabric, but if you want the highest possible performance for a production network, what’s the optimum way to configure Calico and Cisco ACI to work together?

In this white paper you’ll learn the current best practices for integrating Calico with Cisco ACI based top of rack (ToR) routers in a robust dual ToR architecture. The result is a high performance non-overlay Calico network, with Calico network policy enforcement, where pods are first class citizens within the underlying fabric.

The white paper lays out detailed instructions for the required ACI configurations, plus associated Calico configuration to make the two work together seamlessly.

You can read the full white paper here: Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure Calico Design White Paper


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Alex Pollitt

Alex Pollitt

Alex Pollitt is co-founder and CTO at Tigera, and helped lead the original core developer team for Project Calico.

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