Cisco ACI – Object Naming and Numbering Best Practices

Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) relies on a well-defined naming convention for its managed objects (MOs) to ensure efficient manageability and troubleshooting. This blog post presents best practices for naming and numbering objects in Cisco ACI, offering guidelines to create a clear and consistent naming convention.

General Recommendations

Use Underscores as Delimiters:

Example: <fvTenant dn=”uni/tn-CloudMgmt_Tenant” name=”CloudMgmt_Tenant”>

Medial Capitals for Compound Words:

Example: CloudMgmt_Tenant, TenantCiscoDocs_AAEP, Leaf201_SwitchProfile

Consistent Numbering for Ports and Leaf/Spine Switches:

  • Numbering virtual port channels (vPC):
    • Example: Leaf201 and Leaf202 as a vPC pair.
  • Numbering spine switches:
    • Example: Number the spines from 101 to 199.
  • Numbering leaf switches:
    • Example: For a single site, use numbers 200 and above. For multiple pods, begin each pod with a multiple of 100. E.g., Pod1 leaf switches from 200 to 299, Pod2 leaf switches from 300 to 399.

Use Shorter Names for CLI Output:

Consider CLI output and choose shorter names when troubleshooting or listing objects.

Tenant Naming Conventions

Keep Tenant Names Short and Concise:

Example: ExampleProd, ExmplDev, ExCoTest

Application Profiles

Use Short Application Names with “_AP” Suffix:

Example: SampleApp_AP, SampleApp_Ap

Application Endpoint Groups (EPGs)

Use Descriptive Names with “_EPG” Suffix:

Example: Web_EPG, Vl101_EPG, Mgmt_EPG

Bridge Domains (BDs)

Associate BD Names with EPGs:

Example: Web_BD, Vl101_BD, Mgmt_BD

VRF (Routing Table)

Use Descriptive Names with “_VRF” Suffix:

Example: Main_VRF, Prod_VRF, DMZ_VRF

L3Out (External Routed Network)

Name L3Outs Based on Associated VRF:

Example: Prod_L3Out, TenantX_L3Out

L3Out Node Profiles and Interface Profiles

Use Switch Names with “_NodeProf” and “_IntProf” Suffixes:

Example: Leaf201_NodeProf, Leaf202_NodeProf, Leaf201_IntProf, Leaf202_IntProf


Employ Function Names with “_L3EPG” Suffix:

Example: DC_L3EPG, Internet_L3EPG, InetProxy_L3EPG

Contracts and Filters

Use Descriptive Names for Contracts and Filters:

Example: web_http_CT, web_https_CT, http_Filt, https_Filt

VPC Pairs

Use Leaf Switch Names with Logical Pair ID:

Example: lf201_lf202 or Leaf201_Leaf202

Interface Policies

Combine Feature and State in Policy Names:

Example: LLDP_Enable, CDP_Disable, LACP_Active

Interface Policy Groups

Describe Entity and Policy Group Type:

Example: Pod1_UCSB_APG, Server2_PC, N7K1_VPC

Switch Selectors (Profiles)

Use Short Switch Names with “_SwSel” Suffix:

Example: Lf201_SwSel or Leaf201_SwSel

Interface Selectors (Profiles)

Utilize Short Switch Names with “_IntProf” Suffix:

Example: Lf201_IntProf or Leaf201_IntProf

Access Port Selectors

List Access Ports with Descriptive Names:

Example: eth1_1, eth1_2, eth1_3, …, eth1_48

Attachable Access Entity Profiles (AAEPs)

Use Short Profile Names with “_AAEP” Suffix:

Example: EntProd_AAEP, EntDev_AAEP, EntTest_AAEP

VLAN Pools

Indicate Resource and Pool Type:

Example: EntProd_StaticVLPool, EntDev_DynVLPool


Name Domains Based on Resource and Type:

Example: EntProd_PhysDom, EntProd_ExtRoutedDom, EntProd_VMMDom


Implementing a consistent naming convention is crucial for effectively managing Cisco ACI environments. By following the best practices outlined in this blog post, you can ensure clear and concise object names, improving operational efficiency and simplifying troubleshooting tasks. Remember to plan ahead and define your naming convention before deploying the ACI fabric to maintain consistency throughout your infrastructure.