Cisco DNA Center vs Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) comparison

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8,988 views|5,107 comparisons
88% willing to recommend
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23,778 views|15,809 comparisons
88% willing to recommend
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Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Cisco DNA Center and Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco, Fortinet, Broadcom and others in Network Management Applications.
To learn more, read our detailed Network Management Applications Report (Updated: April 2024).
772,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Q&A Highlights
Question: What are the requirements for integrating the Cisco Data Center and Cisco ISE?
Answer: Prerequisite: 1) ISE and Cisco DNAC are compatible versions. 2) ISE GUI password matches ISE CLI password. 3) ISE and DNAC should have full privilege Credential. 4) Enable pxGride Service. 5) Enable ERS Read/Write service. 6) ISE and DNA Should be reachable.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"It is simple to manage and it is all done from a single dashboard.""It gives us automation capabilities for pushing out the configuration to branch networks. It also provides visibility into the health of user network devices.""The most valuable feature of the solution stems from the fact that it gives some kind of ease in operations, especially since our company is moving from CLI to GUI-based configuration.""The automation features are significant, reducing configuration time. This means outstanding functionality. By deploying the controller automatically, the rest becomes automated""People like to use the dashboards to get an overview of their network.""Cisco DNA Center is a user-friendly solution.""The solution helps with the management and orchestration of campaigns. It helps with visibility and analytics. I also like its SDA configuration.""The most valuable features of Cisco DNA Center are wireless assurance and visibility."

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"The solution cuts down on the repercussions of getting malware or ransomware.""[One of the most valuable features] is just the ease of use. It's pretty simple to set up certs that we can add to our clients to make sure that they connect properly, [as is] whitelisting Mac addresses.""The most valuable feature is the flexibility of the policy sets.""The features that do work, work well, and we use it on a daily basis.""The TACACS and RADIUS have been the most valuable features so far.""The feature that I most like is that it can notify me whenever someone plugs in their device, which is not allowed. I get notifications for new laptop devices. I think the user interface looks good compared to previous versions.""We found all the features of the product to be valuable.""In terms of features, I think they've done a lot of improvement on the graphical user interface — it looks really good right now."

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Cons
"Cisco DNA Center was a new technology for us, at the beginning, it was not easy to do, but Cisco did a lot of training with us to a level we could handle everything. The team is managing itself now without the assistance of Cisco.""What could be improved is the licensing cost of Cisco DNA Center. It's a little bit expensive.""The product doesn’t have good monitoring capabilities.""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.""They should include UTM features in the product.""As a user, it would be good if I could plug in controllers, suites, and devices from other vendors to Cisco DNA Center.""The solution's integration feature can be better.""The tool's IoT integration should be better."

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"It is too complex. It should be easy to use. We are not such a big team. We only have three engineers to work with this, and we don't use all of the functionality of the product. Its range of functionality is too wide for us, and this is the reason why we are thinking of switching to a more simple product. We have shortlisted a Microsoft solution. We have a big footprint for Microsoft products, especially in security. As a global strategy, we try to leverage to the maximum what is possible around Microsoft.""The policies could be adjusted to make them more easily implementable.""There should be an easier way to do the upgrades. There are a lot of steps to get to the next version from the previous version which ends up being a bit of the headache with the upgrade.""Deploying to a machine, as opposed to a dedicated appliance, can be a bit difficult.""I believe that Cisco can improve the way its policies are built because it's a little complex.""It does a good job of establishing trust for every access request. We have had a little bit of a challenge with profiling, but we are probably about 80% there.""ISE is a little clunky. The front-end feels like it is from the 1980s.""Cisco ISE integration with Cisco ACI is something that can be done in a less complex way. And the simplification in that area may help us do better."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Our licensing agreement is for three years."
  • "I do know that Cisco does offer some really good promotions for DNA Center to bring the costs down."
  • "The licensing cost for Cisco DNA Center is not more than that of other solutions."
  • "Licensing for Cisco DNA Center is a little bit expensive, just like any Cisco solution. Its cost could still be improved."
  • "We have a three-year license with them."
  • "Cisco DNA Center is a licensed product with multiple levels of licensing available such as basic, advanced, and essential. I don't have the exact figure, but Cisco DNA Center is costly. For example, the box has information about the essential license and costs a considerable amount of money. You need to pay extra to use advanced features in Cisco DNA Center. My company sees Cisco DNA Center as a solution that's worth the money, which is why it invested in the solution. If you want centralized management for your network, especially when upgrading it, Cisco DNA Center is perfect, but it's more suitable for a large-scale rather than a small-scale network."
  • "The price could be better. It's a very expensive tool."
  • "It is an expensive solution."
  • More Cisco DNA Center Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "There are three levels of pricing: basic, plus, and apex. Basic satisfied our needs."
  • "If you go directly with Cisco for the implementation it's very, very expensive."
  • "The SMARTnet technical support is available at an additional cost."
  • "For the Avast virus scan, we pay around USD $95 per machine for five years which includes all updates and technical support."
  • "The price for Cisco ISE is high."
  • "The price can be lower, especially for subscriptions. It should be a lot cheaper to have a wide range of customers. The price should be comparable to competitive products like Forescout or Fortinet FortiNAC. Forescout is cheaper for customers looking for a cloud solution."
  • "There are other cheaper options available."
  • "The price is okay."
  • More Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Aymen FHOULA
    MOHAMEDELSHERIF - PeerSpot reviewerMOHAMEDELSHERIF
    Real User

    Hi Anyman


    1- first you need to enable pixgrid setting at CIsco ISE at Admin setting.


    2- You Need to activate ISE as Radius in DNA Setting tab at the left corner (user name and password is any ISE administrator user ).


    3- From Network Hierarchy Tab in DNA Cisco  choose ISE as your AAA server.


    4- You need to create STG  group at policy tab to create the proper user grouping.


    4-Then go to provision / fabric / switch interface then apply ISE as your authentication profile.


    Most Importantly you need to ensure that your fabric switch has DNA advantage license



    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:The most valuable feature of the solution stems from the fact that it gives some kind of ease in operations, especially since our company is moving from CLI to GUI-based configuration.
    Top Answer:The tool's licensing may not come across as something that may be friendly for users. Customers may not like the licensing part because if you want to have more features, then you need to go for Cisco… more »
    Top Answer:In terms of the clustering part, there are some concerns. I feel like the clustering part is there because it is built on microservices architecture, so by default it is there in the tool. It is not… more »
    Top Answer: Aruba ClearPass is a Network Access Control tool that gives secure network access to multiple device types. You can adapt the policies to VPN access, wired, or wireless access. You can securely… more »
    Top Answer:OK, so Cisco ISE uses 802.1X to secure switchports against unauthorized access. The drawback of this is that ISE cannot secure the port if a device does not support 802.1x. Cameras, badge readers… more »
    Top Answer:Cisco ISE uses AI endpoint analytics to identify new devices based on their behavior. It will also notify you if someone plugs in with a device that is not allowed and will block it. The user… more »
    Ranking
    Views
    8,988
    Comparisons
    5,107
    Reviews
    26
    Average Words per Review
    465
    Rating
    7.8
    Views
    23,778
    Comparisons
    15,809
    Reviews
    72
    Average Words per Review
    761
    Rating
    8.5
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    DNA Center
    Cisco ISE
    Learn More
    Overview

    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 ISE is an all-in-one solution that streamlines security policy management and reduces operating costs. Cisco ISE delivers visibility and access control over users and devices across wired, wireless, and VPN connections.

    Identity Services Engine enables enterprises to deliver secure network access to users and devices. It shares contextual data, such as threats and vulnerabilities, with integrated solutions from Cisco technology partners. You can see what is happening in your network, which applications are running, and more.

    Features of Cisco ISE

    • Centralized management helps administrators configure and manage user profile characteristics - a single pane of glass for integrated management services.
    • Contextual identity and business policy: The rule-based attribute is a driven policy model. The goal is to provide flexible access control policies.
    • Wide range of access control options, including Virtual LAN (VLAN) URL redirections, and access control lists.
    • Supplicant-less network access: You can roll out secure network access by deriving authentication from login information across application layers.
    • Guest lifecycle management streamlines the experience for implementing and customizing network access for guests.
    • Built-in AAA services: The platform uses standard RADIUS protocol for authentication, authorization, and accounting.
    • Device auditing, administration, and access control provide users with access on a need-to-know and need-to-act basis. It keeps audit trails for every change in the network.
    • Device profiling: ISE features predefined device templates for different types of endpoints.
    • Internal certificate authority: Qn easy-to-deploy single console to manage endpoints and certificates.

    Benefits of Cisco ISE

    Cisco’s holistic approach to network access security has several advantages:

    • Context-based access based on your company policies. ISE creates a complete contextual identity, including attributes such as user, time, location, threat, access type, and vulnerability. This contextual identity is used to enforce a secure access policy. Administrators can apply strict control over how and when endpoints are allowed in the network.
    • Better network visibility via an easy-to-use, simple console. In addition, visibility is improved by storing a detailed attribute history of all endpoints connected to the network.
    • Comprehensive policy enforcement. ISE sets easy and flexible access rules. These rules are controlled from a central console that enforces them across the network and security infrastructure. You can define policies that differentiate between registered users and guests. The system uses group tags that enable access control on business rules instead of IP addresses.
    • Self-service device onboarding enables the enterprise to implement a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy securely. Users can manage their devices according to the policies defined by IT administrators. (IT remains in charge of provisioning and posturing to comply with security policies.)
    • Consistent guest experiences: You can provide guests with different levels of access from different connections. You can customize guest portals via a cloud-delivered portal editor with dynamic visual tools.

    Support

    You can get ISE as a physical or virtual appliance. Both deployments can create ISE clusters that create scale, redundancy, and requirements.

    Licensing

    Cisco ISE has four primary licences. Evaluation for up to 100 endpoints with full platform functionality. The higher tiers are Partner, Advantage and Essential.

    Reviews from Real Users

    "The user experience of the solution is great. It's a very transparent system. according to a PeerSpot user in Cyber Security at a manufacturing company.

    Omar Z., Network & Security Engineer at an engineering company, feels that "The RADIUS Server holds the most value."

    “Whether I deploy in China, the US, South Africa, or wherever, I can get all the capabilities. It allows me to directly integrate with 365, and from a communications point of view, that is a good capability," says Rammohan M., Senior Consultant at a tech services company.

    Hassan A.,Technology Manager at Advanced Integrated Systems, says that "The most valuable feature is the integration with StealthWatch and DNA as one fabric."




    Sample Customers
    Information Not Available
    Aegean Motorway, BC Hydro, Beachbody, Bucks County Intermediate Unit , Cisco IT, Derby City Council, Global Banking Customer, Gobierno de Castilla-La Mancha, Houston Methodist, Linz AG, London Hydro, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Molina Healthcare, MST Systems, New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Reykjavik University, Wildau University
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider23%
    Financial Services Firm14%
    University9%
    Hospitality Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government10%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Healthcare Company6%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Government11%
    Computer Software Company11%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization23%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Government8%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise62%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business18%
    Midsize Enterprise12%
    Large Enterprise70%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business16%
    Midsize Enterprise32%
    Large Enterprise52%
    Buyer's Guide
    Network Management Applications
    April 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco, Fortinet, Broadcom and others in Network Management Applications. Updated: April 2024.
    772,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco DNA Center is ranked 1st in Network Management Applications with 37 reviews while Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is ranked 1st in Network Access Control (NAC) with 137 reviews. Cisco DNA Center is rated 7.8, while Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Cisco DNA Center writes "Practical implementation of VXLAN is good and provides centralized control". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) writes "Gives us that extra ability to assist the end user and make sure that we are making them happy". Cisco DNA Center is most compared with Cisco Prime, Aruba Airwave, SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager and Huawei eSight, whereas Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is most compared with Aruba ClearPass, Fortinet FortiNAC, Forescout Platform, CyberArk Privileged Access Manager and Fortinet FortiAuthenticator.

    We monitor all Network Management Applications reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.