Course info
Feb 16, 2017
1h 11m

Network engineers know they want to start using programmability to automate IT operations, but there are two problems. Networking hasn't Kent itself easily to programmability and network engineers haven't had time to take on coding. In this course, Cisco ACI Programmability, you’ll gain the ability to make ACI a programmable Network, even if you've never coded a day on your life. First, you'll discover REST APIs. Next, you’ll explore how to make REST calls to manipulate the ACI network. Finally, you’ll learn how to create Python code just from XML or JSON that you've been able to download directly from the APIC. When you’re finished with this course, you'll have the skills and knowledge of network programmability, specifically for Cisco ACI needed to automate tasks and orchestrate workflows to save time and money.

About the author
About the author

Lauren Malhoit has been in IT for over a dozen years. She’s been the host of podcasts and the author of two books as well as a blogger for several reputable tech sites. She can be reached via twitter @Malhoit.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hi everyone. My name is Lauren Malhoit, and welcome to my course, ACI Programmability. I'm a Technical Marketing Engineer at Cisco, and I concentrate mostly on Application Centric Infrastructure, or ACI. Did you know that every single thing within Cisco ACI, whether it's logical or physical, is considered an object accessible through the API? This is why it's so easy to start manipulating ACI programmatically. In this course, we are going to understand how embracing programmability and automation will not only save you time, but reduce troubleshooting, downtime, and give you more time to innovate in your data center. Some of the major topics that we will cover include why we use programmability with ACI, making REST calls, creating Python code without even knowing Python, and using the ACI Toolkit. By the end of this course, you'll know how to make modifications to your ACI fabric by utilizing the REST APIs, the REST clients, and Python scripting. Before beginning this course, you should be familiar with fundamental concepts of ACI, but you don't need to know how to code. You don't have to be a programmer. This course will be great for beginners and more advanced programmers alike. I hope you'll join me on this journey to learn network programmability with the ACI Programmability course at Pluralsight.

Hi, this is Lauren Malhoit, and in this module from the ACI Programmability course, we'll be talking about RESTful APIs in the ACI. One question I get asked a lot is do you have to use coding to be a network administrator these days? Absolutely not. You can always use the CLI or the GUI, but once you understand how everything comes together in ACI, I think you'll see some of the major advantages and time savings you'll experience when you utilize the REST APIs. In this module, we'll go over the MIT, or Managed Information Tree. We'll go over creating our own REST calls and using them to manipulate objects in ACI. We'll also talk about using REST Clients and some of the popular ones out there. And the API Inspector, available within ACI, and we'll talk about that more at the end of the module. The first thing to understand is that everything in ACI, whether it be logical, virtual, or physical, is an object. This is what we call the MIT, or Managed Information Tree. And we can find the MIT on the APIC in user documentation, or even in a tool we call Visore.

ACI Toolkit
Are you worried that you just don't have enough time to learn Python while keeping track of your regular 9-5 job? Well, besides pointing out the obvious that programmability will actually save time in the long run, there is yet another tool we can use to help us in our ACI programmability journey. That's the ACI Toolkit. Now the ACI Toolkit is a set of Python libraries that allow basic configuration of the Cisco APIC controller. It is intended to allow users to quickly begin using the REST API and accelerate the learning curve necessary to begin programming the APIC. In this module, we'll be concentrating solely on the free tool called the ACI Toolkit, and we'll show Sam where to get it, what it is, and of course, how to use it.