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Cisco Prime Infrastructure

Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1 Data Sheet

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Accelerate business and network transformation with unified wireless and wired lifecycle management and application visibility.

Overview

Business and network transformation brings new challenges to traditional IT network management organizations. The proliferation of mobile devices, pervasive voice and video collaboration, and cloud and data center virtualization are driving the need for higher levels of service, application delivery assurance, and improved end-user experience and quality of service (QoS). Today’s IT organizations must maintain business continuity and lower operational expenses while supporting these major shifts.

Cisco Prime Infrastructure is the One Management solution to address these challenges. It provides a single pane of glass for comprehensive lifecycle management and application performance visibility across the wireless and wired network. With its lifecycle management capabilities, network managers can design, operate, and maintain the network efficiently and effectively. And with its tight coupling of client awareness with application visibility and network control, they can improve their understanding of how and what the end user is accessing to deliver an uncompromised application experience.

In addition, Cisco Prime Infrastructure integrates with the Cisco® Identity Services Engine (ISE) to extend visibility into security and policy-related problems, presenting a complete view of client access issues with a clear path to solving them. It also integrates with the Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE) and supports Cisco CleanAir® to track and locate interferers, rogues, and Wi-Fi clients. This increased granularity helps network managers improve their agility in responding to demands driven by the rampant introduction of “bring your own device” (BYOD).

One Management

Cisco Prime Infrastructure simplifies and automates many of the day-to-day tasks associated with configuring and managing the end-to-end network infrastructure. The converged solution delivers extensive wireless management capabilities, including radio frequency (RF) management, user access visibility, reporting, and troubleshooting, along with network infrastructure lifecycle functions such as discovery, inventory, configuration and image management, compliance reporting, integrated best practices, and reporting.

Cisco Prime Infrastructure permits network managers to:

Assess, plan, and create configurations required to roll out new network services and technologies

This includes creating templates for monitoring key network resources, devices, and attributes. Cisco Prime Infrastructure also comes with default templates and best practice designs to provide quick out-of-the-box implementation, automating the work required to use Cisco validated designs and best practices.

Schedule the rollout and implementation of network changes

This includes new configuration or monitoring templates, software image updates, and support for user-initiated ad hoc changes and compliance updates. These highly scalable capabilities help accelerate service rollout and minimize chances for errors. In addition, Cisco Prime Infrastructure provides a simple set of guided and advance flows to bulk provision new devices (including the converged access switches on the network) or push an initial configuration to a device to bring it up within a few minutes, thereby drastically reducing IT operational expenses.

Monitor the overall health of the network using predefined dashboards that provide up-to-date status

Cisco Prime Infrastructure delivers simple one-click workflows and 360-degree views to enhance troubleshooting and reduce the time to resolve network issues. A unified alarm display provides actionable information as well as links to automatically open service requests with the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC).

Access a wide variety of predefined reports for up-to-date network information

These reports include detailed inventory, compliance, audit, capacity, end of sale, security vulnerabilities, and many more.

Improve Application Delivery and the End-User Experience

By converging lifecycle management and assurance, Cisco Prime Infrastructure delivers a 360-degree experience that promotes more effective management of the network as well as the services the network delivers. Operational monitoring workflows provide a holistic, multidimensional view of the user, client, application, and network. This helps network managers improve their responsiveness to business needs, identify and remediate problems more quickly, and lower incident and problem rates for an improved end-user experience.

Cisco Prime Infrastructure both configures and uses as a source of rich performance data embedded Cisco instrumentation and industry-standard technologies to deliver networkwide, application-aware visibility. These technologies include Application Visibility and Control (AVC), NetFlow, Flexible NetFlow, Network Based Application Recognition (NBAR2), Medianet, Performance Agent, and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). Operations monitoring and quality of experience workflows reduce instrumentation configuration and data collection complexity to provide real-time insight into network and application performance. Cisco Prime Infrastructure also integrates with Cisco Prime Network Analysis Module (NAM) to permit the collection and correlation of granular flow- and packet-based data from one NAM or many, helping to enable deeper analysis and troubleshooting to rapidly solve challenging application and network problems.

Help Ensure Regulatory and Risk Compliance

Cisco Prime Infrastructure provides continuous compliance and auditing capabilities to help IT organizations monitor and assess their network and device configuration for out-of-policy configuration and for security and risk vulnerabilities. These include:

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) auditing of the wireless network

Network inventory auditing and reporting against Cisco advisories such as end of life and end of support for devices, OS versions, and modules

Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) notifications

Reduce Operational Expenses

Cisco Prime Infrastructure lowers operational costs by significantly reducing the number of management solutions. It scales to manage up to 18,000 devices of various types, including routers, switches, wireless controllers, lightweight wireless access points and autonomous access points. Ongoing support of new Cisco devices and software releases ensures device support parity within each device family, thus eliminating gaps in management operations, especially when it comes to service availability and troubleshooting.

Cisco Prime Infrastructure offers both physical appliance and virtual appliance options for deployment flexibility without sacrificing scalability, ease of installation and setup, or serviceability and sustainability.

What’s New in Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1

Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1 offers new features that help network managers to:

Manage 802.11ac-based access points

Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1 introduces lifecycle management for Cisco 802.11ac-based access points (APs), including the Cisco Aironet® 3700 Series and the new Cisco Aironet 2700 Series. The Cisco 802.11ac-based APs form the foundation of a fast, dependable, and secure wireless local-area network (LAN) infrastructure that can support the many mobile devices, applications, and data running in high-density customer environments. Gigabit Wi-Fi is here now and it represents a significant advancement in solving bandwidth issues and providing fast speeds. Cisco Prime Infrastructure simplifies the management of these devices, helping you build and deliver real business value and outcomes with support for today’s hallmark in wireless standards.

Unify Wireless LAN Controller (WLC) AireOS and Cisco IOS® XE platforms with One Management

Whether running AireOS or Cisco IOS XE or both, support is now available in a single solution on the Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.x train. This includes support for the most current operating platform releases, AireOS 7.6 and Cisco IOS XE 3.3. Enable new connected experiences, optimize application performance, and manage BYOD and mobility with the One Management solution for your converged WLAN infrastructure.

Realize day-1 support for Cisco access points

Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1 provides a faster, more predictable device support experience for customers. It permits network managers to immediately plan, discover, inventory, configure, monitor, map, and generate reports on new access points. New day-1 support for access points lets you get the management support you need, when you need it.

Extend the management of Cisco data center switches to the Cisco Nexus® 9000 Series

Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1 introduces lifecycle management for Cisco Nexus 9500 Series switches. It extends management to the Cisco flagship switching product line in the data center, giving you the power to deploy a more application-aware data center while continuing to reap the benefits of unified management with Cisco Prime Infrastructure.

Features and Benefit Summary

Table 1 provides a summary of the features and benefits of Cisco Prime Infrastructure.

Table 1. Summary of Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1 Features and Benefits

Feature

Benefits

Global Platform

Operational efficiency

Flexible virtual machine or appliance-based deployment models promote easy setup for quick time to value in small to global enterprise-class networks.
Manage up to 18,000 routers, switches, Adaptive Security Appliances (ASAs), and access points
Streamlined workflows facilitate design, deployment, and operational lifecycle tasks that align with user roles.
Contextual dashboards and 360-degree user and device views display only the most relevant information for fast and efficient troubleshooting and remediation.
For device support details, please refer to Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1 Quick Start Guide

Integrated Cisco best practices

Integration with Cisco knowledge base helps to ensure optimal service and support, product updates, best practices, and reports to improve network availability, including:

Simplifying TAC interactions, notification, and downloading software updates

Network inventory end-of-life milestone auditing

Assessing Cisco PSIRT exposure

Ongoing support of new Cisco devices and software releases ensures device support parity within each device family, and is provided through Device Packs.

Improved operations

Built-in high availability maximizes uptime for services delivery and improves operational efficiency.
The Cisco Prime Infrastructure Mobile application for Apple iOS devices provides fingertip access to view, troubleshoot, and resolve network issues anywhere and anytime.

Administration

Role-based access control provides flexibility to segment the network into one or more virtual domains controlled by a single Cisco Prime Infrastructure platform. Virtual domains help network operators deploy both large, multisite networks and managed services.
Flexible authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) services allow for local, RADIUS, TACACS+, and single sign-on options.

Lifecycle

Converged management

Single pane-of-glass solution provides complete end-to-end infrastructure management, reducing the need for multiple tools and lowering operating expenses and training costs.

Complete lifecycle management

Extensive discovery protocol support helps improve accuracy and completeness, including ping, Cisco Discovery Protocol, Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP), Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), and route table lookups.
Flexible grouping and site profiles help to manage large networks by associating network elements to user-definable groups or to a hierarchical campus, building, and floor model.
Device Work Center simplifies access to the tools and features necessary to easily manage the network inventory, including discovery, configuration, manual and bulk import, and software image management.
Customizable predefined Cisco best practices and validated design configuration templates help enable quick and easy device and service deployment.
Composite templates allow greater flexibility and packaging of individual templates into larger, reusable, purpose-built configurations for more consistent and quicker network designs.
A model-based simplified workflow allows operators to assess the network for Cisco TrustSec ® 802.1x readiness and facilitates the deployment of network technologies and solutions, such as one-click AVC configuration from Device Work Center, Cisco TrustSec 802.1x, and Zone-Based Firewall (ZBF).
Flexible plug-and-play functionality simplifies the rollout of new devices and sites, accelerating service availability.
Centralized health and event monitoring of branch, campus, and WLAN access networks helps assure robust performance and an optimal access connectivity experience.
Integration with Cisco ISE and Cisco Secure Access Control Server (ACS) View provides a simple way to collect and analyze data relevant to endpoints.
Integration with Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE) provides location-based tracking services for discovered endpoints.
Integrated workflows and tools allow IT administrators to quickly assess service disruptions, receive notices about performance degradation, research resolutions, and take remedial action.
Feature configuration templates support AVC, Zone-Based Firewall, Easy VPN (EzVPN), dynamic multipoint VPN (DMVPN), Group Encrypted Transport VPN (GETVPN), access control lists (ACLs), and ScanSafe deployment and management.
Device-level support is provided for ACLs, Enhanced Interior Gateway Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol (RIP), OSPF, static routes, Ethernet interfaces, and Network Address Translation (NAT) configuration.

Third-Party Support

Third-party support permits the discovery and monitoring of non-Cisco switches that support RFC 1213 and wireless controllers/access points from Aruba Networks.

Assurance

Simplified instrumentation configuration

Streamlined templates ease the configuration of embedded performance instrumentation (for example, AVC, NetFlow, NBAR2) to reduce data collection complexity and accelerate time to value.

Powerful networkwide monitoring

A multidimensional approach to network and application monitoring across the network brings together traps, statistics, logs, NetFlow, and more and presents application performance in the full context of network infrastructure activity, health, and changes:

Network availability and device performance monitoring allow operators to improve network operations

NetFlow monitoring provides valuable insights into who is using the network, what applications are being used, and how much bandwidth the applications are using

AVC monitoring helps to rapidly identify potential issues that can affect committed service levels and the user experience

Medianet monitoring accelerates troubleshooting of video and voice applications in the network

QoS monitoring using CBQoS MIB provides key information about defined QoS policies applied to interfaces and class-based traffic patterns

Automated baselining

Trend information for key network and application performance indicators automatically builds a baseline to facilitate planning and operations tasks.

Rapid service-level restoration

Close integration of device provisioning and configuration permits network changes to be made quickly to provide a superior end-user experience.

Wireless

Complete lifecycle management

Converged solution delivers wireless management capabilities, including RF management, user access visibility, reporting, and troubleshooting - along with network infrastructure lifecycle functions such as discovery, inventory, configuration and image management, compliance reporting, integrated best practices, and reporting.

Support for 802.11ac

Support for 802.11ac access points delivers unified, simplified, and comprehensive management for today’s hallmark in wireless standards.

Next-generation maps

A maps engine supports high-resolution images with pan and zoom controls. Search within maps is also supported. Maps combined with search offer a fast and smooth navigation experience with quick access to information.

Automatic hierarchy creation

IT can automatically create maps and assign access points to maps using regular expressions. This automates the tedious work of creating campus, building, and floor hierarchies and assigning access points to the floor

Automatic switch port tracing

Automatically identify the Cisco switch and port information for a rogue access point connected to the Cisco switch for quick mitigation of threats.

Product Specifications

Cisco Prime Infrastructure is designed to suit a wide range of operational needs and deployment scenarios, ranging from modest-sized, single-location network environments with centralized IT organizations to extremely large, multisite networks with geographically and functionally distributed IT operations. Table 2 provides product specifications for the various deployment options supported by Cisco Prime Infrastructure.

Table 2. Product Specifications for Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1

Item

Specification

VMware

VMware ESXi Version 4.1, 5, or 5.1 for Express and Custom Express

VMware ESXi 5 or 5.1 for Standard and Pro

Virtual appliance resource requirements

Virtual
Appliance Size

Virtual CPU

Memory (DRAM)

Hard Disk Drive Size

Disk Input/Output Bandwidth in MBps

Concurrent
Users (Max)

API Clients

Express

4

12 GB

300 GB

200 MBps

5

2

Custom Express*

8

16 GB

600 GB

200 MBps

10

2

Standard

16

16 GB

900 GB

200 MBps

25

5

Pro

16

24 GB

1200 GB

200 MBps

25

5

Physical appliance specifications

Physical Appliance

CPU

Memory (DRAM)

Hard Disk Drive Size

Disk Input/Output Bandwidth in MBps

Concurrent Users

API Clients

Cisco Prime Appliance

2 Quad Core Physical CPUs

16 Threads

16 GB

900 GB (4x300 GB RAID5)

200 MBps

25

5

Minimum client requirements

Client hardware: A Mac or Windows laptop or desktop compatible with one of the supported browsers and running 1 GB RAM, 2 GHz or better processor

Browser: Internet Explorer 9.0 or later with Google Chrome plug-in (plug-in not needed by Lobby Ambassador users), Mozilla Firefox ESR 10 and ESR 17 (ESR 17 is recommended), Mozilla Firefox 22 or later, Google Chrome 27.0 or later

Resolution: Screen display resolution is recommended to be set to 1280 x 800 or higher

Management and security

SNMPv1, v2c, v3, and Cisco TACACS+

Supported device types

Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISRs)
Cisco Aggregation Services Routers (ASRs)
Cisco Carrier Routing System (CRS)
Cisco Gigabit Switch Routers (GSRs)
Cisco Universal Broadband Routers (uBRs)
Cisco Catalyst Switches
Cisco Network Analysis Modules
Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS)
Cisco Nexus ® Switches
Cisco MDS 9000 Series Multilayer Switches
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASAs)
Cisco Mobility Service Engine (MSE)
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Lightweight Access Points
Cisco Autonomous Access Points
Cisco Small Business 300 and 500 series Switches
* Custom Express is not available as a separate Open Virtualization Appliance (OVA) download. You will need to download the Express OVA and customize it for Custom Express. Please contact your Cisco sales representative for details/procedure on customization.

Table 3 presents the scalability limits for Cisco Prime Infrastructure. These limits are based on the virtual or physical appliance size and also depend on the feature sets enabled: Lifecycle only, Assurance only, or Lifecycle and Assurance. Use of the Assurance feature set requires a Standard virtual appliance or a physical Cisco Prime Appliance. A Pro virtual appliance can also be used.

Note: Existing customers that use the Small or Medium OVA and that intend to manage the same number of devices with Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1 without turning on new features in their network can migrate to the Express OVA. No increase in resource pool for the OVA is required in this case.

Table 3. Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1 Scalability

Supported Scale for Express, Custom Express, Standard, and Pro Virtual Appliances and the Physical Appliance

Parameter

Express Virtual Appliance

Custom Express Virtual Appliance

Standard Virtual Appliance

Pro Virtual Appliance

Physical Appliance

Devices*

Max Unified Access Points

300

2,500

5,000

20,000

5,000

Max Autonomous Access Points

300

500

3,000

3,000

3,000

Max WLAN Controllers

5

50

500

1,000

500

Max Wired (for example, switches, routers)

300

500

6,000

13,000

6,000

Max NAMs

5

5

500

1,000

500

Max Number of Devices

500

3,000

10,000

18,000

10,000

Clients

Max Wired Clients

6,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

Max Wireless Clients

4,000

30,000

75,000

200,000

75,000

Transient Wireless Clients (clients/five minute interval)

1,000

5,000

25,000

40,000

25,000

Monitoring

Events** Sustained Rate (events/sec)

100

100

300

1,000

300

NetFlow Rate (flows/sec)

3,000

3,000

16,000

80,000

16,000

Max Interfaces

12,000

50,000

250,000

350,000

250,000

Max NAM Data Polling Enabled

5

5

20

40

20

System

Max Number Sites/Campus

200

500

2,500

2,500

2,500

Max Groups:
(User Defined + Out of the Box + Device Groups + Port Groups)

50

100

150

150

150

Max Virtual Domains

100

600

1,200

1,200

1,200

Concurrent GUI Clients

5

10

25

25

25

Concurrent API Clients

2

2

5

5

5

* A device constitutes a supported device type. NAM management requires that the Assurance feature be enabled. For best practices recommendations concerning when to use the different appliance sizes, please refer to the Cisco Prime Infrastructure Best Practices white paper.
**Events are either syslogs or SNMP traps received from managed network devices.

An Integrated Solution

Cisco Prime Infrastructure is a single installable software package with tiered licensing options to expand and grow functionality and coverage as needed. Simply install the base software and one or more of the following feature set options:

Lifecycle management: Simplifies the day-to-day operational tasks associated with managing the network infrastructure across all lifecycle phases (design, deploy, operation, and report) for Cisco devices including routers, switches, access points, and more.

Assurance management: Provides application performance visibility using device instrumentation as a source of rich performance data to help assure consistent application delivery and an optimal end-user experience.

Plug-and-Play Gateway: This optional feature complements the plug-and-play functionality available through lifecycle management. It enables the remote plug-and-play functionality for large-scale environments and DMZ implementations.

Ordering and Licensing Information

Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1 is available for new customers, and upgrade options are available for existing Cisco Prime Infrastructure versions up through 1.3.x. Upgrade options are also available for Cisco Network Control System, Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS), and Cisco Prime LAN Management Solution (LMS) customers. For details refer to the Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1 Ordering and Licensing Guide. The guide also provides information on obtaining an evaluation copy of Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1.

Note: Cisco Prime Infrastructure version 1.4 and 1.4.x cannot be upgraded to version 2.1; upgrade will be available for a future 2.x release.

Technical Service Options

Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1 is available with the new Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription, which allows prepayment of major release upgrades for 1-, 2-, 3-, or 5-year subscription contracts. Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription works in conjunction with the Cisco Essential Operate Service (ESW) maintenance plan, whereby ESW provides Cisco TAC support and access to minor updates and patches from the Cisco.com software download site. For more information, please refer to the Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.1 Ordering and Licensing Guide.

The Cisco Prime Appliance option comes with a Cisco 90-day hardware warranty. Adding a contract for a technical service offering, such as Cisco SMARTnet® Service, to your device coverage provides access to the Cisco Technical Assistance Center and can provide a variety of hardware replacement options to meet critical business needs, updates for licensed operating system software, and registered access to the extensive Cisco.com knowledge base and support tools.

For more information about Cisco warranties, visit http://www.cisco.com/go/warranty.

For information about Cisco Technical Services, visit http://www.cisco.com/go/ts.

For More Information

For more information about Cisco Prime Infrastructure, visit http://www.cisco.com/go/primeinfrastructure, or send an email to ask-prime-infrastructure@cisco.com.

For more information about the Cisco Unified Access solution, visit http://www.cisco.com/go/unifiedaccess.

For more information about Cisco Identity Services Engine, visit http://www.cisco.com/go/ise.

For more information about Cisco Mobility Services Engine, visit http://www.cisco.com/go/mse.

For more information about the Cisco Network Analysis Module, visit http://www.cisco.com/go/nam.