Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) automation and self-provisioning offers these operation advantages over the traditional switching infrastructure:
A clustered logically centralized but physically distributed APIC provides policy, bootstrap, and image management for the entire fabric.
The APIC startup topology auto discovery, automated configuration, and infrastructure addressing uses these industry-standard protocols: Intermediate System-to-Intermediate System (IS-IS), Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP), and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP).
The APIC provides a simple and automated policy-based provisioning and upgrade process, and automated image management.
APIC provides scalable configuration management. Because ACI data centers can be very large, configuring switches or interfaces individually does not scale well, even using scripts. APIC pod, controller, switch, module and interface selectors (all, range, specific instances) enable symmetric configurations across the fabric. To apply a symmetric configuration, an administrator defines switch profiles that associate interface configurations in a single policy group. The configuration is then rapidly deployed to all interfaces in that profile without the need to configure them individually.