Cisco ACI Control Plane vs Data Plane

Data Plane — Handles all the data traffic. The basic functionality of a Cisco NX-OS device is to forward packets from one interface to another. The packets that are not meant for the switch itself are called the transit packets. These packets are handled by the data plane.

Control Plane — Handles all routing protocol control traffic. These protocols,such asthe Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) and the OpenShortestPathFirst (OSPF)Protocol,send control packets between devices. These packets are destined to router addresses and are called control plane packets.