Modernizing Data Center Infrastructure for the Government of Qatar

The Government of Qatar sought to modernize its data center infrastructure to enhance scalability and security while complying with strict security regulations. After careful evaluation, Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) was chosen as the optimal solution to meet these requirements. This case study explores the challenges faced by the government and the solutions implemented using Cisco ACI.


The customer had an existing data center infrastructure consisting of Nexus 5000 series switches and Nexus 2000 series Fabric Extenders. However, the infrastructure needed to be modernized to meet the increasing demands for scalability and security. Additionally, security regulations required micro-segmentation capabilities within the data center to ensure secure isolation of workloads and prevent unauthorized access.


To address the faced challenges faced, several key components of the Cisco ACI Fabric were implemented:

Single-Pod ACI Fabric: A single, consolidated pod was established, simplifying network management and fostering a unified policy framework. This consolidation allowed for centralized control and monitoring of the entire data center infrastructure, improving operational efficiency.

Layer 2 (L2) Extension: The existing data center environment was seamlessly integrated with the ACI Fabric through an L2 extension. This integration ensured uninterrupted connectivity and facilitated the accommodation of existing workloads without disruption. The L2 extension enabled the government to leverage the benefits of ACI without the need for a complete infrastructure overhaul.

Layer 3 Out (L3Out): Connectivity beyond the ACI Fabric was enabled by establishing an L3Out, which linked the ACI Fabric to the broader network infrastructure. This allowed for efficient external communications and ensured seamless integration with the existing network infrastructure.

Default Gateway Relocation: The migration of the default gateway to the ACI Fabric centralized routing capabilities, optimizing traffic flows and enhancing network performance. This relocation improved network efficiency and reduced latency, resulting in a better user experience.

Server Infrastructure Connection: The entire server infrastructure was interfaced with the ACI Fabric, enabling the government to leverage the full suite of ACI's advanced networking features. This integration provided enhanced visibility, control, and automation capabilities, resulting in improved operational efficiency and reduced manual configuration efforts.

Micro-End Point Groups (Micro-EPGs): Within one of the existing Endpoint Groups (EPGs), Micro-EPGs were deployed. These Micro-EPGs offered refined traffic control and enabled more precise policy enforcement at a granular level. This microsegmentation capability ensured secure isolation of workloads and prevented unauthorized access, meeting the government's strict security regulations.


The implementation of Cisco ACI provided the customer with a modernized and scalable data center infrastructure that met their security requirements. The key benefits achieved include:

Enhanced Scalability: The single-pod ACI Fabric allowed for easy scalability, enabling the government to accommodate future growth and increased workloads without disruption.

Improved Security: Microsegmentation capabilities provided by Micro-EPGs ensured secure isolation of workloads and prevented unauthorized access, meeting the government's strict security regulations.

Simplified Network Management: The consolidated pod and centralized control provided by ACI simplified network management, reducing operational complexity and improving efficiency.

Optimized Performance: The relocation of the default gateway and centralized routing capabilities improved traffic flows and network performance, resulting in reduced latency and improved user experience.

By implementing Cisco ACI, the Government customer in Qatar successfully modernized its data center infrastructure, enhancing scalability and security. The consolidation of the network, integration with existing infrastructure, and microsegmentation capabilities provided by ACI allowed the government to meet their security requirements while ensuring seamless connectivity and improved network performance. Cisco ACI proved to be the optimal solution for the customer's data center modernization needs.

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