Cisco ACI Vs Cisco DNA

Today I am going to talk about the difference between Cisco ACI and Cisco DNA. In reality both are different and has no relevance to compare with each other but as we got a lot of queries on the difference just to understand both technologies, we are writing this article. 

Cisco ACI: Cisco ACI stands for Cisco “Application Centric Infrastructure” where main focus is on Application and the policies around these applications. It is a new initiative started by Cisco in the software defined or Intent based networking to facilitates application agility and data center automation.

As Cisco committed to say with the ACI that you can enable scalable multicloud networks with a consistent policy model and gain the flexibility to move applications seamlessly to any location or any cloud while maintaining security and high availability.

The hardware used in the Cisco ACI solution is Cisco Nexus 9000 devices as a Spine and Leaf architecture. As per the Cisco solution defined in Cisco ACI as a leaf-spine ACI fabric, Cisco is provisioning a native Layer 3 IP fabric that supports equal-cost multi-path (ECMP) routing between any two endpoints in the network, but uses overlay protocols, such as virtual extensible local area network (VXLAN) under the covers to allow any workload to exist anywhere in the network.

Fig 1.1- Cisco ACI Vs DNA
Cisco DNA: Cisco DNA is an architecture and have many solutions around it. As of now with this architecture Cisco is defining Cisco SDA (Software Defined Access) as a solution but also going to have aligned with Cisco SDWAN solution. Cisco DNA center is a sub part of this architecture along with Cisco ISE for user authentication and Cisco Catalyst 9K in most of the cases as a hardware. Although you can use Cisco 3850 or Cisco 6K catalyst switch as well as they also support Cisco DNA architecture.

Well if we talk about the approach of Cisco DNA, Cisco DNA takes a software-delivered method to automating and guaranteeing services across your campus, WAN, and branch networks. Based on an open and extensible platform, Cisco DNA allows you to build value on the network, so you can streamline operations and facilitate IT and business innovation.

Fig 1.2- Cisco ACI Vs Cisco DNA