Citrix ADC automation using Citrix ADM in Cisco ACI hybrid mode

Cisco ACI introduced support for Hybrid Mode in version 1.3 (2f). In Hybrid Mode, you can perform network automation through the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), while delegating the L4-L7 configuration to Citrix Application Delivery Management (ADM), which acts as a Device Manager in the APIC.

The Citrix ADC Hybrid Mode solution is supported by a hybrid mode device package and Citrix ADM. You need to upload the hybrid mode device package in the APIC. This package provides all network L2-L3 configurable entities from Citrix ADC. Application parity is mapped by StyleBook from Citrix ADM to the APIC. In other words, StyleBook acts as reference between L2-L3 and L4-L7 configurations for a given application. You must provide a StyleBook name while configuring the network entities from the APIC for Citrix ADC.

The following illustration provides an overview of Citrix ADC in a hybrid mode solution:

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In Hybrid Mode, the Citrix ADC configuration is performed in the following two phases:

  1. Network stitching is done from the Cisco APIC

  2. Configuration is done from the Citrix ADM

For any given application, a network administrator has to provide network specific details, such as IP addresses, port, VLAN (automated) and so on, as part of the service graph creation and deployment in the Cisco APIC. These configuration details are then pushed to Citrix ADM through the device package, and Citrix ADM internally processes them and configures the Citrix ADC. An application administrator creates the application’s ADC related configuration by using StyleBook in Citrix ADM, and these configurations are then pushed from Citrix ADM to the Citrix ADC. The Cisco APIC and Citrix ADM communicate with the ADC through the management network.

The following diagram shows a Citrix ADC workflow in the hybrid solution:

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Citrix ADC automation using Citrix ADM in Cisco ACI hybrid mode

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