I work for a large comms services company. I am currently researching network monitoring tools.
What are the overall differences between Cisco Prime and Cisco DNAC? Cloud base/delivered, premise-based, etc?
Thank you for your help.
We use both Cisco DNAC and Cisco Prime (PI). Actually, you can easily use the migration tool on Cisco PI 3.10 to migrate your data and integrate it with DNAC. DNAC is more dynamic and robust than PI supporting intent-based networking, analytics and assurance, and many automated operations.
Best suited for enterprise environments with many Cisco platforms and multiple managed devices where automated operations are highly required.
If we didn't have PI before, we would have just settled for DNAC because DNAC can do a lot more and better.
Two major differences:
1. The actual models that they manage, the p-dart Cisco migration report will tell you where you stand on this issue. Not all CPI models are supported on DNA.
2. Installation and maintenance automation of connected devices. A modern must-have for device deployment and maintenance.
Having said these two points, DNA is and will be the integration point for a whole suite of products like CPO which will become a DNA module and tighter integration with ICE. Furthermore, the new automation feature is really a prequel to the more interesting self-diagnosis and self-correction of device operations. Hope this answers your question, but install the PDART migration report to really understand the ROI of DNA.
I work as a Presales Engineer at an Engineering company.
I would like to compare and understand the main differences between Cisco Prime and Cisco DNA Center.
Can you help?
Thanks in advance.
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We are extremely satisfied with the reliability and robustness of Cisco Prime Infrastructure, which we have been using for many years. Compared to newer products such as DNS centers or others, it has proven to be much more stable, which is important for large-scale operations. Stability is a primary concern for us, and we are glad that Cisco Prime Infrastructure meets our expectations in that regard. Furthermore, in regards to Legacy Plus new hardware, Cisco Prime has proven to be a reliable and adaptable solution thus far. Not only can it support older hardware, but it also has the capability to handle new features with the latest updates. If we consider new solutions such as DNS Center, we may have to sacrifice some legacy features that we still rely on. We may need to continue using these legacy features for a few more years due to various reasons such as budget constraints or the site not being a high priority. However, if we switch to a new product at this stage, we may lose a lot of the monitoring and other capabilities that we have with Cisco Prime. We have a close relationship with Cisco and understand that they are not prioritizing investments in Cisco Prime as they are encouraging customers to adopt the Cisco DNA Center. This means that we don't anticipate many new features to be added to the product in the future. While we know that we will eventually have to transition to a new solution, in the meantime, we plan to do a quick refresh of our legacy products.
The stability has room for improvement. I had an issue with the version I was using and it was suggested I upgrade the software to fix the issue. Once I upgraded, the issue I was having was resolved but I now have three new issues. Cisco can only be used for Cisco environments and is not compatible with other vendors. I would like to have better integration with environments other than Cisco.
I would love for Cisco Prime to show bandwidth usage and consumption, but I can't monitor bandwidth usage at a given time on the version I use or on the subscription I have available. All I can see on Cisco Prime is the uptime depending on the date range or period I want to have an insight about, so this is an area for improvement in the solution. If bandwidth usage and consumption data are available, that will help me with my reporting. I discovered you need another license to see bandwidth utilization data. If Cisco can diffuse that functionality into a single subscription, I can monitor bandwidth usage and see reports and a few other functionalities, which would improve Cisco Prime.
If you look at some of the wireless site-survey tools that are available in the commercial space, Cisco should include similar solutions, which would help our on-plant engineers when they're doing a site survey. For example, there are some great features in Ekahau. We use it primarily for doing heat mapping, WiFi design, and spectrum analysis. Prime has certain limitations when you compare it with Ekahau. If they can't build a product, they should go for an acquisition. Mostly, we are happy with the features on offer. Their roadmap is also clear with the DNS Center and the DNS Center stability. Once it becomes more stable and accepted across the industry, I don't see any major challenges. Cisco Prime is more of a network management solution, NMS. The roadmap is clear and Cisco wants to position DNS Center as an immediate replacement for all these other Cisco products, which is absolutely fine.
The solution has issues with real time monitoring of devices and NetFlow such as inadequate visualization for reports, sources, and destinations. Because of this, I have to rely on other tools for monitoring and troubleshooting so I am only able to use 50% of the solution. I would like the solution to allow open monitoring for use with other products in the same fashion that competing vendors support any SMP products.
Cisco needs to improve Prime's monitoring tab. If any device goes down, there is a 15-second lapse before we know. It would be much better if we were alerted two or three minutes before a device is about to fail, so we can dispatch a field engineer and avoid network downtime. I would like to see a feature that allows you to access the devices directly from Prime's monitoring tab. That would make work easier for us.
Cisco Prime could improve the notifications in the system. Having more details about what is happening would be useful, such as traffic numbers or who is connected. We can see them through the firewall controller, but it would be better if you can see them from one place. In the next release, they could add some more features and improve the look of the user interface to something more modern.
In general, it's fine for me. It's a nice product. Right now, I can't think of any features that could be added. Maybe it could be a little cheaper.
This solution could be improved if it could monitor configuration changes.
The solution is a bit pricey. It should be able to monitor Palo Alto, Juniper, and Check Point products - not just Cisco solutions.
Cisco Prime could improve the graphical user interface.
We tried here to use it as a bigger monitoring tool. However, the problem is that a lot of new products from Cisco are not supported by Prime anymore. The solution is not easy to configure. It's not user-friendly for admins. It's quite a complex solution. The strategy from Cisco doesn't seem to be well defined. We need to figure out how to properly integrate everything together, and right now, that's not exactly clear.
When compared to DNA, I think DNA has a lot of improvements over Cisco Prime. I think going forward, it's best to move towards Cisco DNA instead of trying to improve Prime. The overall management capabilities of Prime need to be improved. With Cisco DNA, you get total visibility of your environment. Not only can you manage the uptime, but you can also apply recommendations. Cisco Prime doesn't allow you to do this.
Cisco is currently moving to DNA Center which has a lot of extra features we're looking forward to using. I think many of the gaps currently in Cisco Prime will be implemented in DNA Center. For now, because there are more and more devices in enterprise organizations that are wireless, it's the platform that's depended on. Cisco Prime is slow at times, we often have to restart the database to run reports or to gain access. We have it deployed on a VM, and that was a mistake, because when you put it on VM, the resources and management don't function well. The good still outweighs the bad, but when we have these ongoing problems, performance is not ideal. For additional features, I'd like to see support for Ekahau Site Survey maps. Some competing companies allow you to import that together with its AP attributes, so you can perform your predictive, or post site surveys and incorporate them into their management system. It ensures you don't have to start from scratch and then import a new map and new APs with all of the attributes. Having some level of ability to work with either AirMagnet or Ekahau, the two top wireless analysis tools on the market, is where you can gain great benefit for supporting large deployments.
I can't really come up with anything that needs improvement in the solution, the technical team might be able to comment on that. If my understanding is correct, Cisco doesn't have a SIEM tool. Prime is used for managing all the infrastructure and if it can be integrated with the SIEM tool it could be well managed. That's my personal opinion.
The NetFlow is very limited, which is a disadvantage to this product. NetFlow is a very important tool that gives you a lot of information about what is happening for each device, including all of the hosts that are connected and what they are doing. For example, it will tell you if devices are accessing an on-premises application and you can use that information to help build usage statistics. With Cisco Prime, it is not reporting all of the Cisco devices. In particular, some of the access point devices are missing. NetFlow is about network visibility, so it should definitely not be limited to Cisco products. If you think about a centralized monitoring system, Cisco Prime is not good because it does not support third-party vendors like Palo Alto or FortiGate.