IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why

Cisco DNA Center OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Cisco DNA Center is #3 ranked solution in top Network Management Applications and top Network Automation tools. PeerSpot users give Cisco DNA Center an average rating of 7.6 out of 10. Cisco DNA Center is most commonly compared to Cisco Prime: Cisco DNA Center vs Cisco Prime. Cisco DNA Center is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 71% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 32% of all views.
Cisco DNA Center Buyer's Guide

Download the Cisco DNA Center Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: August 2022

What is Cisco DNA Center?

Cisco DNA Center is a robust, intuitive network controller and management platform that provides secure, safe access to applications and networks. Cisco DNA Center allows you to take control of your network to increase the effectiveness of your Cisco products, lower your TCO, and improve your ROI.

Your organization’s network is an integral part of your business’s success. In today’s aggressive marketplace, organizations need a network management system in place that can effectively automate deployments and connectivity, and manage the health of their infrastructure. Additionally, management systems also need to be able to strategically maintain the quality and safety of their systems so that the organization can direct valuable IT resources to concentrate on projects that can improve the overall effectiveness of the organization. An intent-based network controller such as Cisco DNA center will help your organization do that.

Cisco DNA Center is a group of software solutions that will automate all your virtual devices, provide secure administration of your network, and ensure the best network experience for all users on the network. Cisco DNA Center does away with all the tedious, mundane tasks and simplifies workflow device installations, upgrading from hours to minutes using Plug-and-Play (PnP) and Software Image Management (SWIM).

Cisco DNA Center’s intuitive, robust assurance feature makes every network point a sensor, continually communicating user connectivity and application performance in real time. This ensures all issues are resolved immediately.

Cisco DNA Center integrates with Cisco security solutions, Cisco Umbrella, and Cisco Secure Network Analytics, which provide an extra level of extensive security protection against threats. The entire solution can be easily managed from one single dashboard, making Cisco DNA Center a very robust, secure, complete solution.

Benefits of Cisco DNA Center

  • Cost-effectiveness: Policy automation and remediation minimizes the amount of time IT staff spend managing mundane network tasks.
  • Improved performance: AI/ML automation improves workflow and overall user experience. A clean, crisp dashboard makes management easy.
  • Enhance your network: Cisco DNA Center delivers the latest, most intuitive cloud services and applications to optimize your network.

  • Improved security: Cisco DNA Center utilizes the most robust zero-trust policies based on overall endpoint user behavior to keep networks secure.

Features of Cisco DNA Center

  • Easy automation: Cisco DNA Center offers zero-touch device deployment, automated quality of service (QoS), automated device discovery, and drag-and-drop policy creation.

  • Clear analytics: Cisco DNA Center offers more than 150 workable insights, such as guided remediation, endpoint tracking, context-guided analytics, and more.

  • Simplified management: Users have complete control from a user-friendly single dashboard that provides a completely transparent view of the network, devices, applications, and services. Additionally, there is integration with Cisco Prime or APIC-EM for the importation of maps or other configurations as needed.

  • Security: Cisco DNA Center provides a highly secure segmentation, encrypted traffic analytics, and robust threat detection and response, and also uses Stealthwatch and ISE integration.

Reviews from Real Users

Mostafa G., Network and Data Center Supervisor at a hospitality company, says, “Since using the solution, three or four people can do what 10 people could previously. It has been a benefit to the organization. We have many people from the team who manage a lot of devices. By using Cisco DNA Center, it has taken some of that burden away, we are impressed with it.”

Nihar K., Managing Director at Allot Group, relates, “In day-to-day operations, especially post-pandemic, the majority of our customers have to work from anywhere. It's not just work from home, it's work from anywhere. Due to this work from anywhere concept, the traditional silos of a network for the data center architecture, managing everything from anywhere, and having that single integrated dashboard for each and every activity while being able to correlate those activities in line with a business objective, has been very well addressed by Cisco DNA. The solution's most valuable aspect is its simplicity and the complete automation of the network workflow, which we can use that correlate with the business. It's not only limited to STXs or a data center. It completes everything, which really helps us.

Cisco DNA Center was previously known as DNA Center.

Cisco DNA Center Video

Archived Cisco DNA Center Reviews (more than two years old)

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Umar Hanafi - PeerSpot reviewer
Presales Engineer at PT. Mastersystem Infotama
Real User
Good monitoring, analytics, and technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "The monitoring features are very useful for network engineers."
  • "DNA Center has been on the market for a few years and they need to update it."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and this is one of the products that we implement for our customers.

Our clients use this solution to manage their network, including their access points.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the integration with Cisco devices and infrastructure.

The Wi-Fi analytics are helpful.

The monitoring features are very useful for network engineers.

What needs improvement?

We have had a lot of problems with the Cisco switches and have needed to upgrade the operating systems, which means that we have to upgrade the DNA. When we upgrade the DNA it means that we have to upgrade the ISE, also. If it is a large cluster then this process is painful.

DNA Center has been on the market for a few years and they need to update it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with DNA Center for about two years.

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.
621,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable.

How are customer service and support?

Cisco's technical support is good. We have had problems and still have an open case but this has been related to the switches. Cisco is good at helping both the partners and the customers, too. 

What other advice do I have?

Cisco DNA Center is something that I recommend. We do not sell just the product, but rather, the entire DNA solution. We don't just upgrade a switch. Instead, we upgrade the entire network. DNA is definitely good for the customer.

Overall, this is a good solution but it has been a few years since it has been updated.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
Mostafa Gouda - PeerSpot reviewer
Network and Data Center Supervisor at a hospitality company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Good security and analytics, easy to manage, and scalable across buildings and campuses
Pros and Cons
  • "It is simple to manage and it is all done from a single dashboard."
  • "The network, data center, and SD-WAN are all being treated as different services, but I would like to have only one solution to manage all of them."

What is our primary use case?

We are an educational environment that is similar to a university, but we only teach management and leadership. We have a variety of visitors every day, more than 2,000 of them, and they are unknown to us. This makes it very difficult to centrally manage using a traditional network.

We are currently in the second round of the implementation phase for this solution. We have two buildings with the solution implemented now, and we are working on other buildings. We are on the same campus but we are doing the work in four phases. Now that two are complete, we have two more that we are about to finish.

Everything is secure in our environment, so we are using the overlay of the DNA Center to separate the visitors and the employees and the trainers. We are using a multi-segmented network, so DNA was a very good solution for us to deal with this type of environment.

How has it helped my organization?

Prior to implementing DNA Center, it was very difficult for us to create a large number of VLANs for our switches. This has made it possible for us to meet the need of maintaining connections when people move between buildings on the campus or travel to another campus.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the DNA analytics, which is very good for us.

It is very important for everyone to be able to see everything that is happening in the network from one location. It is simple to manage and it is all done from a single dashboard.

We set up the identity service and it is amazing for us to have an identity for each user. All of the network policies are set according to one's identity.

The ability to trace attacks if they occur is very good in terms of security. The security is part of the network layer. Generally, security has been improving with Cisco solutions because it was not as good in the past.

If a device is lost then it is very easy to replace. I just drag and drop the configuration from the old device to the new one and after a few seconds, the new device is working with the same configuration that we had before. It does not have to be configured manually.

What needs improvement?

The network, data center, and SD-WAN are all being treated as different services, but I would like to have only one solution to manage all of them. Data is traveling from the inside to the outside layer, and I want to be able to fully control all of the data going in and out. It should not be set up as multi-service, but rather a single one.

If you have old Cisco hardware such as switches or access points, or they are from another vendor, then they will not work with this solution. The hardware will still function but you will not be able to control it with DNA.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Cisco DNA Center for two months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution has been stable since it was installed two months ago.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is one of the reasons that we chose Cisco DNA. We have ten buildings within the same campus and when we implemented the PoC, Cisco said that scalability is very important for us.

We have had about 3,000 people using this solution to this point, but we are not yet at full capacity. We expect to have more than 4,000 concurrent users.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not been in contact with technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to using Cisco DNA Center, we had a traditional network. We had switches and routers from Cisco, HP, and Dell. We switched because we are joining all of the buildings together and given their size, the number of visitors, and the scalability that we need, we had to switch to DNA.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward except for the issue that this solution is incompatible with switches or access points from other vendors. That is very bad.

It takes us about two weeks to deploy this solution in one of our buildings. This includes installing the hardware, software, access points, and everything.

What about the implementation team?

We have a technician from Cisco to do the implementation for us.

During deployment, there were eight people from our staff and five people from Cisco.

For maintenance, for each building, we have two or three technicians at various levels. We have other administrators as well, although they are responsible for different solutions such as SAP and ERP. The same person is responsible for multiple technologies.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Our licensing agreement is for three years.

What other advice do I have?

The Cisco Digital Network Architecture is the first solution with these types of capabilities that I have used. It allows me to monitor everything in the network, including end-to-end packet travel and tracking the specific packets.

This solution is really stable and scalable.

My advice for anybody who is considering this solution is to consider the size of the environment. If there are a very large number of switches or visitor access points then I recommend DNA. However, if there are a small number of switches and access points then I would recommend the Cisco Meraki because it is fine for small and medium-sized networks.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from working with this solution is that this technology is much easier now. I think it's a revolution in networking and wireless communication where it is becoming easier and nothing like traditional networking. It is now an overlay and an underlay network. All of the people working in this field have to be up to date with the technology. It is very new and there are many capabilities when it comes to network control, analytics, and security compliance. IT people have to adapt to new technologies.

I have not yet tested the IoT for our smart building because we don't use it in our current location.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
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.
621,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Solution Selector Communication and IT Security at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Reseller
Provides network visibility to assist with troubleshooting and fixing problems
Pros and Cons
  • "People like to use the dashboards to get an overview of their network."
  • "There is a limitation with the number of VRFs that you can have in your network, and this has caused us problems with some customers."

What is our primary use case?

My experience with Cisco DNA Center is with selling it and receiving feedback from my customers. I have not personally done any configuration or management with it.

I have worked with the demo and also presented it to customers.

My clients use this solution to give them more visibility into their network, and the management mode helps with to troubleshoot and fix problems.

What is most valuable?

People like to use the dashboards to get an overview of their network.

If you have a bottleneck in your network then this solution can fix it.

DNA Center is easier to use than Fortinet FortiManager.

What needs improvement?

The pricing of this solution could be improved.

There is a limitation with the number of VRFs that you can have in your network, and this has caused us problems with some customers.

This solution does not support IP version 6.

I would like to see better integration with Cisco Meraki.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this solution for about a year.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy to expand this solution because it is easy to configure, add new sites, and get bigger because you already have the plan. With the configuration already done, it's just plug and play.

The only problem with scaling DNA Center is that it doesn't support IP version 6 yet.

Our clients have between 3,000 and 8,000 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not been in touch with technical support for this solution.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have experience with several solutions including FortiManager. Cisco DNA center is easier to use. Also, competitors like Fortinet and Aruba do not have a similar system. They are working on it and trying to get it, but they just don't have a DNA Center.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy and straightforward if you follow the steps and you have a normal network. However, if you have an advanced network and a lot of things to think about then it can be an issue. For example, if you have a network with a lot of VRFs then it may be an issue because DNA Center can't handle it. If you are starting from a greenfield rather than a brownfield then it should be easier.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anyone who is looking into implementing this solution is to start with Cisco Assurance and do the mapping of the network. I would suggest asking for help from the partners to help with the installation. You can do it on your own but you will easily save the money that you spend on the consultants because they are experts. You will not waste time getting it up and running, and you will be back on track quickly.

This is a good solution but nothing is perfect. That said, they are ahead of the other vendors. 

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
PeerSpot user
Daniele Leonardo De Fancesco - PeerSpot reviewer
Network and Security Engineer at Lutech Group
Real User
With ISE integration you now have really centralized authentication, authorization, and profiling

What is our primary use case?

Automating customers' campus networks, redesigning their networks and giving much more visibility on traffic flows.

How has it helped my organization?

As a company, we significantly reduced operation and maintenance costs for our top customers, and simplified network resources planning.

What is most valuable?

  • Analytics, because it really can improve your network based on what your company really does.
  • Security, because with ISE integration you now have really centralized authentication, authorization, and profiling.

What needs improvement?

Better compatibility with third parties and to other Cisco products because if versions are not perfectly matching requirements, it gives a lot of problems.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've still not received long-term feedbacks from customers, but for now, I can totally suggest the solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It can scale very well from really small to huge and distributed networks.

How are customer service and technical support?

Nothing to complain about. Instead, they helped us to find alternative solutions and design when something was not still supported by the platform.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We always deployed traditional campus networks because there wasn't a real alternative.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is well driven; you can do it wrong only if you try to improvise.

What about the implementation team?

I've been very well supported by the vendor's technical team especially when versions were changing on a monthly basis.

What was our ROI?

As system integrators, we're now able to use an operations team to follow specific and highly difficult problems and not losing a lot of time in garbage ticket to configure a single port, a single policy, etc.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price is really high, but it's worth every single dollar you pay. Keep attention on licensing model because you don't really need top licenses on every node and that can help to spare some money.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we evaluated more traditional equipment like Catalyst 38xx/36xx/68xx and so on.

What other advice do I have?

If you plan to implement, I suggest you follow the guide step by step and do not proceed on your own, else you'll face a lot of problems and you'll need lots of support from Cisco TAC.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Techinical System integration
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Cisco DNA Center Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: August 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Cisco DNA Center Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.