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Cisco DNA Center Room for Improvement

FL
Senior Network Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees

With their provisioning status, if there's a failure in provisioning or in some type of task that DNA is trying to push out to a switch or whatever device, sometimes the task status errors or the provision errors are a little bit big. 

I think they could provide a little more detail to someone when a task fails. It's an error code that tells you that this task has failed, but it doesn't get too deep into why it failed. The task failure reporting or provisioning failure reporting could be a little bit better in the UI, with more information given to the user.

From the CLI you can get much more information from MagLevs.

Also, the UI could use a little bit of improvement. I know that things have gotten a lot better in version 2, but I haven't worked with version 2 yet.

A feature that I would like to have seen is the true debt disaster recovery, which is now available in the 2.2.1 version.

More detailed information would be helpful, but you can get that information from the CLI but not everyone is comfortable working in the Linux shell.

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JM
Senior Network Engineer at Ozark Technical Community College

It's a very hard software to learn. It's very deep, and when we first got it, there wasn't a whole lot of documentation on it. There's more now, but you really have to know what you're doing to use it to its full functionality.

It seems to be a little bit more centered toward wireless than wired. You've got more options you can do wirelessly than you can with the wired switches, but it works for what we need it to do. We would like to see a little bit more about the traffic, and we're looking at what's out there to see about that. We are looking at something that might give us a bit more insight into the actual traffic. If they had the full functionality on the wired side, as they do on the wireless side in terms of being able to view traffic and everything, it would be good.

The configuration jobs part could be better. Basically, it's very easy to make mistakes when you're writing the little config file that you need to push in. You've got to do it exactly right. It's not based on CLI commands or whatever. It's got its own little format syntax. It needs to be synced up NTP-wise and time-wise. Otherwise, it doesn't work. I've had other management software where the time could have been off on both of them, and it wouldn't have been a big deal. 

I would like to see them make it like the old CiscoWorks did where when you wanted to run a command, you could just type in the command on your command line on the switch, instead of having to jump through the hoop to get the config pushed out to the new devices. I'd like Cisco to give more control to people who are using it and not keep it for themselves. It's one of those things where you've got to have the right image, and they all have to be on that image, or it doesn't work. NTP has to be synced up. There are a lot of little issues there to get it to work. When we first got it three years ago, there wasn't that much documentation, and we were sometimes just fumbling around in the dark. They've gotten better on the documentation, but they have a tendency to make it a little more complicated because they want you to have them do it, not do it yourself. It looks like that's where they're going with this software over the years. I've been doing this for 22 years, and it looks like they're trying to take the control away from the end-users and take it back for themselves. I've seen the younger generations coming out, and they don't seem to want to learn the switching and routing at the depth they need to in order to become a third-tier engineer. So, personally, I understand why they're doing it, but I'd like to have more control on my end. While I would like to have more control, there are people who work for me who I wouldn't want to have that control.

They don't have a good training plan. We had a guy who walked us through it and other things, but he was searching. We've had it since earlier on, and he was searching for stuff just like I would've been doing. He didn't know that well. So, they need a little bit better training plan or something on the initial buy to get people to realize exactly how everything works, how it's all tied together, and what you can do with it. I've learned a lot of stuff that this guy didn't show us. There are ways to do things, but he never showed those to us. He just showed us how to set it up and not how to monitor a bunch of stuff or push the configs out.

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NK
Managing Director at Allot Group

The architecture should not be limited only to the USXC as a platform. Let's say if I'm referring to the Catalyst 1000 Series or an MB Series of an SG or FX. Due to the fact that there are mid-market and commercial customers who are using such kinds of product lines apart from the Catalyst 9000 or Cisco UCS architecture, they should all come under a single pane of glass. Any new product should be added right from Cisco itself.

The network automation should not be limited only to Cisco, as there may be customers who are using Palo Alto firewalls, or they might be using Ruckus for wireless. There has to be some sort of integration with a third party. 

The integration of Cisco DNA with a couple of leading CRMs or ticketing solutions would be ideal. 

The solution can be quite pricey.

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Buyer's Guide
Cisco DNA Center
August 2022
Learn what your peers think about Cisco DNA Center. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: August 2022.
619,967 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Vicente Manuel - PeerSpot reviewer
Information Security Technician at OMNIdata

In terms of areas for improvement in Cisco DNA Center, we don't use the product on 80% to 100% of its capacity, because our infrastructure is a small one. For us, it's enough. We have report capabilities, and other capabilities that we need are configured on the solution. If there is an expansion for any Cisco solution, we can integrate it with Cisco DNA Center, for example: with ISE, so we're fine.

What could be improved is the licensing cost of Cisco DNA Center. It's a little bit expensive.

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Martin Read - PeerSpot reviewer
Infrastructure Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees

There should be an option for automation of template deployment by using the stored data. It is not easy to save configuration information for lots of devices without using other tools. There should be a tighter, better repository of information that can be merged with the templates.

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BG
Consultant - Enterprise Network at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees

It would be helpful if it could be integrated with a variety of solutions, such as Meraki.

Cisco does not support other OEMs for analytics software integration.

Integration with analytic tools and API integrations would be ideal.

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Ali Abdulhafid - PeerSpot reviewer
Owner, GM & IT Architect at CHALLENGE Internetworking & Computer Consulting

Cisco could improve the security side of their solutions.

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AF
Network Administrator at Banque de l'Habitat Tunisie

There are some software problems from version to version. It takes a long time for DNA Center to recognize the video and control access devices.

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Buyer's Guide
Cisco DNA Center
August 2022
Learn what your peers think about Cisco DNA Center. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: August 2022.
619,967 professionals have used our research since 2012.