The new release numbering scheme for Cisco ACI releases

Everybody who is using ACI for a few years now knows there are long term support releases and ‘other’ releases. The long term support releases have been the x.2 releases for the last few releases. So 3.2, 4.2 and 5.2 are (or have been) long term support releases. Of these there were always two current releases. At the time of writing this post those are currently ACI 4.2 and ACI 5.

Automating ACI using Cisco Nexus as Code

Cisco released a nice toolset based on Terraform to help us automate our fabrics. The mayor benefit of this toolset is that no programming knowledge is required. You don’t even need any Terraform knowledge to get started. It is awesome. I was honored to be able to talk about this solution with Cisco in the Cisco Champion Radio episode about this. That episode can be listened to here: CCR Automate ACI Deployments with Terraform

ACI Release 5.2 New Features

ACI 5.2 has been released in the summer of 2021. Recently (october 18th) version 5.2(3) has been released. That version has been earmarked by Cisco for a long time to become the recommended, long term support release. At the moment I’m writing this it hasn’t gotten the designation “Recommended” yet, but that will likely happen in the next few days to weeks. One of the most important things is that for ACI 5.

ACI Release 5.1 New Features

On October 26, 2020 Cisco released ACI version 5.1. As has been customary for me I write a blogpost about this new ACI version looking into some of the new features. When we look into the release notes of version 5.1 it would appear that there aren’t any major new features. The biggest new features aren’t listed in the release notes at this time. That might be because some of these features are as of yet undocumented.

ACI Release 5.0 New Features

Yesterday, on the 14th of May 2020 Cisco released ACI 5.0. The fifth major release of ACI. This post will explore some of the new features to be found in this version. And there are some major new features to be found in this version. I’m especially excited about the possibility to create true physical multi-tenancy and ESG’s. But there’s more to be found. Let’s start. Hardware and Scale ACI 5.

ACI Release 4.2 New Features

About a month ago Cisco released ACI version 4.2. Currently we’re at 4.2(2) and it contains a lot of new features. Most of these features are geared towards the ACI anywhere concept. Since I didn’t cover the new features of ACI 4.1 (as I was very busy studying for my CCIE at the time) I will include some of the features introduced in 4.1 too, I’ll let you know whether it is a 4.

ACI Release 4.0 New Features

Cisco has released the newest ACI version, version 4.0. Again this version includes many new features and continues implementing the ACI Anywhere strategy. This new release also comes with it’s share of new hardware. New Hardware ACI 4.0 introduces two new switches, a spine and a leaf: Nexus 9332C This new spine switch is a smaller version of the Nexus 9364C spine switch. It supports 32 40/100G ports and is a more interesting option for smaller fabrics.

ACI Release 3.2 New Features

Three weeks ago Cisco released ACI version 3.2. This is the new long-lived release version of ACI and therefore the recommended version to deploy in new deployments or when upgrading. (Versions 2.1 and 2.2 are also long-lived releases and can still be used). Most of the really new features were introduced in the 3.0 release, but 3.2 also boasts some interesting features. The release notes list them all, but I would like to zoom in on a few of them in this post.