Cisco Prime Network

Cisco Prime Network Data Sheet

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Cisco Prime Network is a comprehensive and cost-effective device operation, administration, and network fault-management solution for today’s complex networks.

Product Overview

Networks are becoming ever more complex in the era of virtualization, consisting of both physical and virtual infrastructures. Service providers are faced with the task of realigning network and data center operations with existing operations support systems (OSSs) to enhance the efficiency, agility, and cost-effectiveness of operations. Today’s management systems are point products that are not integrated, complex to administer, and inefficient.

Cisco Prime Network addresses this challenge by providing a single solution for device operation and fault management - supporting both the traditional physical network components along with virtual elements and compute resources (Figure 1).

Figure 1.      Centralized Management and Service Assurance for the Entire Network


   Increased operational scale and efficiency through simplified and automated network discovery, configuration, and change management

   Proactive service assurance in combination with Cisco Prime Performance Manager; highly effective postevent fault management and trend information to help providers avoid future service disruptions

   Lower costs through preintegration with the other components of the Cisco Prime Carrier Management suite and through standards-based northbound interfaces (NBIs) to third-party OSSs


   Comprehensive, graphical views of the entire network from topology down to the device level with centralized inventory, status, and fault information (Figures 2 and 3)

   GUI-based device component configuration with more than 200 prebuilt and downloadable configuration plug-ins

   Automated discovery, device configuration, and change management with up-to-date displays of network events, states, and changes

   Automatic root-cause identification, alarm reduction through de-duplication, and topology-guided troubleshooting

   Optimized for multilayer, multitechnology networks and, through Advanced Services engagement, enabled for multivendor network scenarios

Figure 2.      Cisco Prime Network Vision Window Displaying Physical Topology

Figure 3.      Cisco Prime Network Vision Map with Network Virtualization and Link Information

Detailed Features and Benefits

Table 1 provides details on the features and benefits of Cisco Prime Network.

Table 1.       Cisco Prime Network Features and Benefits




EPN network scope

  Device operation, administration, and network fault management for EPN (Ethernet, IPv4/IPv6, IP/Multiprotocol Label Switching [MPLS], MPLS Transport Profile [MPLS-TP], MPLS Traffic Engineering [MPLS-TE], MPLS VPN, Carrier Ethernet/VPLS), Cisco® ASR 9000 Aggregation Services Routerbased Broadband Network Gateway (BNG), and network virtualization (nV) configurations
  Support for cable access infrastructures consisting of Cable Modem Termination Systems (CMTSs) and RF Gateway devices
  Investment protection through a single solution for the entire network

Mobility network scope

  Device operation, administration, configuration, and network fault management for mobility networks, including Radio Access Network (RAN) backhaul, Cisco Virtualized Packet Core (VPC), Cisco ASR 5000 Series mobility gateway functions deployed for long-term evolution (LTE), Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), or Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) services
  Investment protection through a single solution for EPN transport and mobility networks

Data center scope and virtual networking applications

  Support for data center configurations consisting of Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS®) servers along with virtual machines instantiated on these servers, Cisco MDS 9000 Series Multilayer SAN Switches, Cisco Nexus® switches, and virtual elements such as VMware vCenter and virtual machines controlled through vCenter. Virtual networking applications are part of the data center scope as well, including Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V (CSR 1000V), Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch, and Virtual Security Gateway
  Investment protection through a single solution for EPN transport, mobility networks, and data center environments
  Extend common network element (NE) operation and network fault management to data center environment (For example, common device operation and network management for mobile network deployments from RAN backhaul to Evolved Packet Core to data centers that host mobility services applications)

Autonomous discovery of the network, device configurations, and changes

  Automatic discovery of devices that exist in the network for import and creation of virtual network elements (VNEs) for each discovered device to be managed with Cisco Prime Network
  Detailed visibility of devices with customization tools to extend scope of discoverable device configurations
  GUI- and NBI-accessible device feature configuration option with more than 200 prebuilt configuration plug-ins. The number of prebuilt plug-ins increases with device driver updates
  Automatic capture and display of configuration changes
  Helps enable increased operational efficiencies for faster time to market of services
  Reduces costs by reducing operational overhead for otherwise manually intensive tasks

Discovery and representation of virtual network (service) connectivity

  Detailed and automatic representation of virtual network (service) connectivity including MPLS VPNs, Ethernet virtual connections (EVCs), VPLS, pseudowire connections, pseudowire headend (PW‑HE) configurations, and MPLS-TP tunnels
  Virtual connection views showing routing/switching functions with interconnecting links
  Support for standards-based APIs to facilitate external applications to access any virtual network (service) connectivity information
  Assists in network troubleshooting through easy access to virtual connectivity information
  Lowers operational costs by eliminating manual tracing of complex Ethernet virtual connections from device configuration data

Management and control of evolving devices

  Support for VNEs with event-based polling. VNEs are independent software processes that run on the Cisco Prime Network unit servers. Each VNE is assigned to manage a single network element using the management interfaces of the network element (for example, Simple Network Management Protocol [SNMP], XML, or Telnet).
  Adaptive polling to gracefully respond to device CPU load conditions
  VNE driver update packs for Cisco devices published bimonthly*
  Installation of VNE driver packs without requiring Cisco Prime Network software upgrades
  Eliminates delays associated with network conditions and upgrades, maintaining continuous operations and network availability
  Investment protection by keeping device operation and network fault management functions aligned with the evolving network

Change and configuration management

  Backup, versioning, and restoration of device configuration files
  Configuration baseline capture (“last-known-good-configuration”)
  Verification of network operating systems loaded and executing on each device; management and distribution of device images
  Ability to compare configuration files using color codes highlighting added or removed configuration elements
  Configuration audit - the ability to audit one or more device configuration files against a specified baseline configuration policy file
  Scheduled distribution and activation of network operating system images to one or more devices
  In-Service Software Upgrade (ISSU) support for Cisco ASR 903 and Carrier Routing System (CRS) network elements
  Image management for ASR 9000V satellite devices in nV configurations
  Configuration file and image file management for ASR 5000 Series systems
  Accelerated restoration of service through reduction/elimination of system downtime while errors are located and corrected
  Reduced cost and time associated with network software upgrades
  Improved productivity through automation of manual, error-prone tasks

Cisco Prime Network configuration compliance

  Audit of configurations on a network element against a specified configuration policy file
  Configuration compliance audits performed for Cisco IOS®Software, Cisco IOS XR Software, Cisco IOS XE Software, NXOS, and StarOS configuration files
  User-specified scheduling of compliance audits. The user selects configuration files from a set of network elements
  User-defined templates invoked to fix compliance violations
  Customers can quickly identify devices with configuration violations that may pose a security risk or do not meet internal configuration standards
  Automated configuration compliance audit across the wide range of network element operating systems (Cisco IOS Software, Cisco IOS XE Software, Cisco IOS XR Software, NXOS, StarOS) provides a common compliance audit process
  Ability to fix compliance violations offers a significant productivity gain over script-based audit applications often found in network operations centers
  The configuration compliance audit function is a built-in and integral part of Cisco Prime Network, which allows for much simpler deployment and easier use of audit functions for day-to-day network-element operation than separate, independent compliance audit applications allow

Cisco Prime Network operations reports

  Extensive set of preconfigured reports
  Drag-and-drop creation of custom reports
  Scheduling of reports
  Reports combining archived events by event source, severity, time
  Generic events including traps and syslogs
  Network-operations-center planners, analysts, and administrators can obtain “big picture” information to recognize and manage megatrends, such as event patterns or equipment type distribution, that are otherwise invisible in day-to-day operations

Network monitoring, diagnosis, and repair

  Automated fault to root-cause identification spanning detailed significant events and status information for each device, topology, and virtual network connection
  Archival of history of events and communication of data to external fault management or work-center trouble-ticketing applications
  Event troubleshooting information report that provides probable cause and troubleshooting information for mobile packet core (ASR 5000 Series) events
  Extensibility of fault-management features into network operations by embedding additional, work-center-specific troubleshooting and device configuration methods and sequences
  Customization tools for command sequences, automatically integrated into Cisco Prime Network’s user interface and API structure
  Access to network performance trend information and threshold crossing events when combined with Cisco Prime Network
  Shorter service interruptions, greater efficiency for operators, and overall cost savings for the business
  Comprehensive problem identification and isolation of network problems without disrupting work center operation
  Prevention of service disruptions through proactive network/service assurance

Northbound interface for external OSS integrations

  Cisco Prime Network Integration Layer exposing network inventory data through standardized third-generation partnership program (3GPP) and Multitechnology Operations System Interface (MTOSI) web services for integration with external OSS
  Detailed physical and logical inventory for every device to external OSSs such as inventory systems
  XML-based interface for querying the information model, command execution, and notification
  Event notification service for forwarding of SNMP and email notifications
  Cross-launching of applications
  Reduced costs through standards-based interfaces

Product Specifications

Tables 2 through 6 outline the product specifications for each functional module in Cisco Prime Network.

Table 2.       Operation and Device Management

Product Specification


VNE model and abstraction layer

  Common network element communication layer (Telnet, Secure Shell [SSH] Protocol, SNMP, XML through SSH)
  Data abstraction layer providing a common information model across all applications (fault, inventory, configuration, service assurance, and performance)
  Access to all lifecycle tasks from a single, centralized interface
  Fully integrated data abstraction keeping device drivers up-to-date without requiring upgrades of Cisco Prime Network
  Support for networks with devices sharing the same IP address

Inventory and topology management

  Discovery of network devices
  Automatic discovery and ongoing synchronization of physical and software configurations of devices
  Discovery of physical topology among devices
  Topological views that identify the location and severity of alarms
  Common launch point for the majority of element management operations
  Supports threshold-based alarms for augmented model variables

Device configuration and administration

  GUI-based methods for device configuration processes
  Centralized method for defining, editing, importing, exporting, organizing, and scheduling device configlets
  Model-aware command definition and execution with extensible scripting engine
  More than 200 built-in and downloadable configuration plug-ins for device configuration and administration, including configuration plug-ins for mobile gateway (ASR 5000 Series) LTE and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) features
  Additional scripts added through device driver pack updates, such as configuration scripts to support cable technologies on Cisco uBR10000 series and RFGW10 devices
  Cisco Prime Network Transaction Manager allows users to create configuration procedures that sequence two or more configlets into a configuration transaction

Compliance audit

  Auditing configurations on a network element against a specified configuration policy
  Audits can be performed on Cisco IOS Software, Cisco IOS XR Software, Cisco IOS XE Software, NXOS, and StarOS configuration files
  Schedule compliance audits of configuration files from a user-selected set of network elements at a user-specified schedule
  User-defined templates that can be invoked to fix compliance violations

Fault management

  Event detection using both active and passive monitoring
  Event identification, association, and local correlation
  Event reduction through de-duplication and alarm state management (alarm flapping)
  Network-level correlation (without the need for creating and maintaining rules)
  Alarm (referred to as ticket) creation, management, and archiving
  Event and alarm reporting - ITU-T X.733 specifications, including information that simplifies event categorization
  Event archiving
  Specialized viewer application with navigation capabilities for selecting devices or interfaces and displaying corresponding status/fault information
  Automated alarm and event filter by viewed network map, selected network element, or selected network-element component
  Event export through EPM-NOTIFICATION-MIB traps, BQL/XML notifications, or email
  Event export administration to define event receivers, event filters, and event export method

Operations reports

  Built-in component of Cisco Prime Network
  A wide range of prepackaged reports
  Drag-and-drop creation of custom reports
  Generation of operations reports on large data sets (for example, distribution of archived events by event source, severity, time)
  Scheduling of reports
  Web-based GUI

Network-element (device) support

  Specialized device drivers based on device type and version
  Automatic discovery of device type and association of appropriate driver for the device
  Monthly device driver pack with hardware and software updates
  Support for all major service provider devices, including VNEs, device drivers, more than 200 Cisco device types, modules, and plug-ins as well as 70 third-party device types
  Built-in polling methods, including event-based updates and adaptive polling to manage timely updates in various network load conditions

Table 3.       Change and Configuration Management

Product Specification


Change Detection and Control

Automatic change detection

  Timely change detection with reduced processing overhead
  Fast change isolation and restoration

Automatic change notification

  Real-time configuration visibility for operators
  Rapid alerts of configuration changes and deviations from the “last-known-good-configuration” also known as “gold standard”

Automatic configuration backup

  Automatic upload and archive of configuration files for audit and rollback purposes
  Ability to roll back configurations to previous configurations when required
  Unique ability to back up Cisco IOS XR Software devices with Secure Domain Router (SDR) configurations

Configuration Archive Management

Configuration view and archive management

  A complete and detailed view of the configuration change history of all devices in the network, enabling network operators to make informed decisions about unplanned changes and take appropriate action

Configuration benchmarking

  Detection of unintended deviations from the “gold standard” established for each network element

Configuration restore

  Restoration of the configuration of a device or a group of devices to any operational baseline within just a few clicks
  Innovative ability to fully restore policy map settings for Cisco IOS XR Software devices

Configuration synchronization

  Synchronization of changes to an active (“running”) device configuration with the boot (“startup”) configuration to help ensure that changes are retained across device reboots

On-demand or scheduled operations

  Ability to allow the configuration archive and restoration tasks to take place ad hoc, at a scheduled time, or at regular intervals, as appropriate for the scenario

Software Image Management

Image repository

  Catalog of all required software images and packages for easy access

Automatic image upgrade

  Automated software image deployment, reducing errors due to manual operations
  Fast image file transfers to a large number of devices
  A common software base for the network
  Simplified software image-upgrade process with a few mouse clicks, reducing deployment time from days to hours or minutes

Pre- and postupgrade verification

  Ability to help ensure that only compatible software images can be selected for deployment
  Confirmation of successful deployment

Automated Cisco IOS XR Software package management process

  Ability to select features to run on the router
  Support for Cisco IOS XR Software devices configured with SDR
  Innovative capabilities to manage Cisco IOS XR Software packages

On-demand or scheduled operations

  Ability to schedule software deployments for large deployments or run ad hoc as needed

Table 4.       Network and Service Monitoring

Product Specification


Monitoring and representation of physical, virtual, and service connection topologies

  Autodiscovery and topological views for physical (for example, Ethernet links), virtual (for example, pseudowire), and service (for example, EVC) connections, as well as the multilayer associations between these connections
  Physical, virtual, and service connection representation: Link/connection inventory, topology views, and overlay of virtual and service connections on physical topologies
  Support for Carrier Ethernet, MPLS/IP, MPLS VPN, MPLS-TP, RAN backhaul, ASR 9000 satellite linear and ring topologies and service connections
  Unmanaged network segment support
  Network-level fault correlation and root-cause analysis
  Monitoring and alarm tracking of virtual and service connection events, including Ethernet Connectivity Fault Management (CFM) events
  Support for Remote Loop Free Alternate (LFA) which enables a quick reroute and recovery in case of network failure, including modeling and new service events
  Ability to locate and view Layer 2 and Layer 3 EVCs related to an Ethernet or Link Aggregation Group (LAG) port

Network troubleshooting

  Identification of event and alarm location down to the alarmed device component
  Event and alarm association with virtual and service connections
  Event troubleshooting information report that provides probable cause and troubleshooting information for mobile packet core (ASR 5000 Series) events
  Detailed device configuration representation to aid in navigating along an affected path with event/alarm overlays and hyperlinks among related device components; to enable web-based device configuration browsing to greatly speed up troubleshooting
  GUI-based representation of topology and device configurations to assist in isolating fault and configuration errors to the root-cause device and particular device component (when available)
  Path trace, Ethernet Operations, Administration, and Maintenance (E-OAM) troubleshooting tools, with access to device-resident troubleshooting commands
  Integration with Cisco Prime Performance Manager for context-sensitive launch of performance reports from within the Cisco Prime Network user interface

Table 5.       System Integration and Customization

Product Specification


OSS integration

  Network inventory data through standardized 3GPP and MTOSI web services for integration with external OSS
  Physical and logical inventory access to external OSSs to eliminate the cost of building and maintenance
  Web service scheduling functions for generating 3GPP inventory files at regular intervals
  Real-time inventory notifications that will enable OSS applications to receive notifications whenever inventory files are ready in 3GPP format for ASR 5000 and ASR 5500 devices
  XML-based interface (queries, commands, notifications)
  Event notification service for forwarding SNMP notifications and email notifications
  Web services
  Application cross-launch

Solution integration

  Cisco Prime Network is part of the portfolio of Cisco Prime for EPN, Mobility, and Data Center Visibility solutions and fully integrated with Cisco Prime Carrier Management for A-to-Z fulfillment of lifecycle tasks, including design, fulfillment, assurance, and analysish

Customization and extension capabilities

  UI customization: Application cross-launch, maps layout
  Command Builder: Create device command-line interface (CLI) scripts that can be embedded in and executed from the UI
  Model extension: Soft properties to extend internal models
  VNE Customization Builder (VCB): Customize and extend VNE driver support, including
   Compilation of SNMP traps from Management Information Base (MIB) modules to extend trap support
   Simulation of new or customized events from the VCB GUI
  Business tags (searchable, user-defined tags that can be attached to device and device component objects, for example, to identify the name of a managed services customer associated with an access port)
  Language support (multibyte language support)
  Rule engine to customize alarm post processing
  Registry Service facilitates extensive customization of Cisco Prime Network application behavior. Includes options for inserting custom-created applications into the Cisco Prime Network system. Implementing these customizations requires in-depth training. Alternatively, customization is available through Cisco Advanced Services

Cisco Developer Network

  Extensive SDK and developer support
  Developer Forums supported by Cisco Prime Network subject-matter experts
  Training videos on demand (VoDs)
  Links for downloading utilities, extensions, scripts, and tools
  Best Practices page containing recommendations, tips, and success stories
  Up-to-date information about upcoming training events

Table 6.       System Deployment and Administration

Product Specification


User security

  Support for local and external authentication using Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
  Multiple methods for user access and security control:
   Security access roles determine the actions each user can perform
   Security scopes determine which devices each user can access and the actions that can be performed on these devices
   Configurable option to execute user-selected device configuration commands with system ID and password or the user's login ID and password
   Administration GUI with method for tracking and controlling active GUI and NBI user sessions

System administration

  Separate administrator login and user interfaces
  Administer Cisco Prime Network software Image, features, and data backups
  Administer Cisco Prime Network components: gateway applications, unit servers, and Agent Virtual Machines (AVMs) that operate on gateway and unit servers
  Manage the Oracle database and system data
  Install, remove, configure, and troubleshoot device drivers and data communication with managed devices
  Administer data communication with managed devices, including adaptive polling groups that control the impact on device CPU, smart polling that avoids repetitive polling
  Manage redundancy for unit servers, Agent Virtual Machines, and other application processes
  Manage user accounts
  Administer device access authorization using device scopes
  Administer system security
  Control event monitoring, systemwide filters
  Configure Event Notification Service to export events to one or more external fault-management systems
  Configure device configuration operations; for example, configure device configuration operation to pass the user’s credentials to the device for authentication and authorization
  Manage log files
  Enhance installation mechanism to support multiple Cisco Prime Network Integration Layer instances in suite mode

System redundancy (Figure 4 and 5)

Figure 4: Local Redundancy

Figure 5: Geographic Redundancy

  CiscoPrime Network unit server redundancy and AVM process protection through watchdog processes within each unit server and gateway server
   N + m warm standby protection for unit server groups
   Watchdog protocol monitors and restarts failed AVM processes within each unit server
  Users alerted through Cisco Prime Network system events and alarms
  Hot revert from a backup site where the active, backup site does not need to be taken down. Operation can be switched back to the active site without any downtime

System Requirements

Distributed Architecture

Each Cisco Prime Network installation consists of unit servers hosting the VNEs, gateway server, embedded database or external Oracle database, and Windows-based clients. Depending upon the scale of the network, Cisco Prime Network unit and gateway server software can be deployed on a single server or across multiple servers for a distributed architecture.

Cisco Prime Network also allows gateway and unit servers to be deployed as virtual servers, using VMware for Linux. A wide variety of deployment configurations can be tailored to meet the needs of each customer environment.* Systems can also be configured in various standby/high-availability modes to help ensure business continuity.

Unit Servers

Interconnected unit servers can host up to thousands of individual VNEs, each representing a managed network element. As the managed network grows, VNEs can easily be moved from one unit to another, and additional units can be added to host additional VNEs.

For more detailed information on system requirements and technical specifications, please refer to the “Gateway and Unit Requirements” section of the Cisco Prime Network Quick Start Guide or Cisco Prime Network Installation Guide.

About Cisco Prime

The Cisco Prime portfolio of IT and service provider management offerings empowers IT organizations to more effectively manage their networks and the services they deliver. Built on a service-centered foundation, Cisco Prime supports integrated lifecycle management through an intuitive workflow-oriented user experience - providing A-to-Z management for EPNs, mobility, video, cloud, and managed services.

Services and Support

Cisco offers a wide range of services programs to accelerate customer success. These innovative services programs are delivered through a unique combination of people, processes, tools, and partners, resulting in high levels of customer satisfaction. Cisco services help you to protect your network investment, optimize network operations, and prepare the network for new applications to extend network intelligence and the power of your business. For more information please visit the Cisco Services page on

Ordering Information

Cisco Prime Network is available for purchase through regular Cisco sales and distribution channels worldwide. To place an order, visit the Cisco Ordering Homepage. Ordering Information for the latest release is shown in Table 7. Cisco Prime Network supports a right-to-manage (RTM) license model per device. For a complete list of devices available, please contact your sales representative. Cisco Prime Network, starting with Release 4.2, will no longer natively support third-party devices and their related services. If customers wish to manage third-party devices after transitioning to Version 4.2, customers will need to engage Cisco Advanced Services for support.

Table 7.       Ordering Information for Cisco Prime Network 4.2

Product ID



Cisco Prime Network 4 - Base Application


Cisco Prime Network 4 - SBY (Only for Standby enablement)


Cisco Prime Network 4 - Lab Application (not for Production)


Cisco Prime Network 4 - MTOSI Northbound Interface


Cisco Prime Network 4 - 3GPP Northbound Interface


Cisco Prime Network 4 - <Device> - Right To Manage

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For More Information

For more information about Cisco Prime Network, visit, contact your local account representative, or send an email message to




* Please contact your regional Cisco representative.
* Support for Solaris has been discontinued. With Cisco Prime Network 4.0 and future versions, installation is supported only in Linux environments. Operations reports do not support IPv6. The gateway, database server (Oracle and Infobright), and the units should be installed with IPv4. Activation and workflow features are being replaced with Transaction Manager, a new component introduced in Release 4.0. Traditional activation and workflow features are available with upgrades to Cisco Prime Network 4.0 from earlier versions. Consult your local Cisco representative for details.