The proliferation of Internet-connected devices and the explosion of video and data traffic are driving complexity in the home network. Increasing numbers of new devices need to be installed and provisioned, and multiple devices running multiple applications often create resource contention within the home. These factors trigger expensive support calls and truck rolls for the service provider, and automating and simplifying management of customer premises equipment (CPE) in home networks has become mission-critical.
Cisco Prime™ Home is a server and cloud-based network management platform based on the Broadband Forum's TR-069 protocol for provisioning and managing in-home devices. The solution discovers detailed information about all connected devices in the home and provides visibility for both service providers and subscribers through easy-to-use web portals. The platform also includes a flexible applications engine that offers a means for the service provider to deliver new, high-value consumer home network applications.
Features and Capabilities
Cisco Prime Home provides visibility into the home network, reduces operational costs, and improves the subscriber experience. Powerful customer support tools, an intuitive consumer portal, and extensive analytics combine to make the home network easier to set up and support.
• Automated, remote multi-device management: The TR-069-compliant auto-configuration server provides deep operational visibility into a variety of devices in the home and the network behind them. Management capabilities are available on both a single and multiple device basis and include zero-touch provisioning, remote configuration and configuration updates, software (including firmware) upgrades, monitoring, real-time problem diagnosis, and troubleshooting of common home networking problems such as Wi-Fi, firewall, and basic broadband connectivity of devices in the home. Bulk operations help automate the mass management of home devices and help service providers lower the cost of deploying and maintaining large numbers of subscriber devices.
• Actionable information: Cisco Prime Home discovers detailed information about the devices in the home such as online/offline status, wireless signal strength, and device manufacturer. The solution abstracts this information into the cloud and provides it to both service providers and subscribers through easy-to-use web portals - rendering the information actionable. This, in turn, reduces support calls and truck rolls, lowering operating expenses.
• Intuitive consumer portal for real-time problem diagnosis and troubleshooting: Cisco Prime Home offers consumer visibility into the home network and access to a variety of configuration tools and data services. By providing the subscriber with the ability to more easily troubleshoot problems, a majority of support calls are eliminated, helping to drive customer satisfaction and lower churn.
• High-value consumer services: Cisco Prime Home helps enable the quick rollout of new services that drive both customer satisfaction and service provider revenues, such as managed Wi-Fi, managed firewall, and parental control applications, including dynamic content filtering and time blocking.
• Analytics engine: Cisco Prime Home Analytics supports better business decisions by providing greater visibility into home network usage and activity, home network characteristics, and service utilization. The solution allows creation of professional reports and charts for a wide array of subscriber and device information. Service providers can use this intuitive application to proactively analyze and address support issues globally for new business model creation.
Table 1 lists additional detailed features and benefits of Cisco Prime Home.
Table 1. Features and Benefits
Description and Benefit
Management Protocol and Device Support
TR-069 for multidevice, multiprotocol management
Until recently, service providers have had limited visibility into the home network behind the typical gateway or modem. Cisco Prime Home provides deep operational visibility into a wide variety of devices in the home and the network behind them using TR-069.
All devices managed with TR-069 have a well-defined data model associated with them. The data model is the set of common management objects for a given CPE device type that are remotely accessible by Cisco Prime Home for provisioning, device management, and service delivery. These include:
Residential Gateways TR-098
All Devices, including Residential Gateways TR-181
IP Phones TR-104
Set-top Boxes TR-135
Network Attached Storage TR-140
Cisco Prime Home also supports important management frameworks such as those defined in TR-111 and TR-157.
Integration with other management protocols
Through flexible management endpoints and an API, Cisco Prime Home can provide additional management protocol interfaces such as SNMP and OMA-DM for mobile and legacy device support.
Support for legacy devices
Cisco Prime Home supports HTTP and configuration file-based management for legacy non-TR-069 devices.
The solution supports IPv6 compliant devices.
Remote Management and Platform Tools
Cisco Prime Home provides remote automated provisioning of complex CPE, reducing the rate of costly truck rolls and support calls.
Consumer device discovery
Cisco Prime Home discovers detailed information about the devices in the home such as online/offline status, wireless signal strength, and device manufacturer.
Real-time problem diagnosis and troubleshooting of common home networking problems
Cisco Prime Home helps simplify diagnosis and resolution of common home networking problems such as Wi-Fi, firewall, and basic broadband connectivity of devices in the home.
Restoration of device configuration
CPE configuration is stored in the cloud, allowing for automatic restoration of home network settings if the device is factory defaulted or is replaced.
CPE software upgrades
Cisco Prime Home allows easy updating of software, including firmware upgrades and downgrades.
Automatic browser redirection for LAN devices is useful for troubleshooting, service alerts for late bill payers, marketing messaging, and more.
Cisco Prime Home allows the service provider to build event-driven management policies, resulting in customized device interactions for a variety of scenarios such as initial contact, reboot, or as a standard maintenance procedure.
Multidevice management with bulk operations
Cisco Prime Home manages both at the individual device and multi-device level, greatly saving administrative overhead time and expense. For bulk operations, labeling provides easy grouping of devices and subscribers, a scheduling mechanism simplifies user activities, and status reports allow easy progress tracking. Integration with Cisco Prime Home Analytics allows for intelligent selection of devices for bulk operations.
Audit tools help enable the administrator or customer service representative (CSR) to view a history of changes related to a device or subscriber, including who initiated the changes and specifically what was changed. This is useful for accountability tracking and for identification of problems caused by user error.
Domain separation allows the service provider to segment out devices, subscribers, and CSRs into groups based on region, market, or other characteristics for operational efficiency.
Cisco Prime Home Software Development Kit (SDK)
The Cisco Prime Home SDK allows service providers and application developers to create custom actions and services using the Cisco Prime Home interoperability library, custom scripts, and standard user interface libraries. The SDK shortens time to market for managing new devices and offering new consumer services.
Managed Wi-Fi Features
Cisco Prime Home can help enable Wi-Fi service globally and on an individual subscriber basis. Default security can be configured to match client setup instructions.
Wi-Fi settings can be configured remotely in the CSR and consumer portals once enabled in Cisco Prime Home. Users can customize the channel, service set identifier (SSID), and security type and can set up a multiple SSID or dual-band network. The consumer portal replaces the complex local user interface with simple configuration tools and is remotely accessible so changes can be made from anywhere.
Wi-Fi signal monitoring
Wi-Fi signal monitoring is viewable in both the CSR and consumer portals and shows signal strength for each Wi-Fi device in the home network (based on received signal strength from the access point), which is useful for diagnosing "slow connect" issues in the home.
Mobile offload and guest Wi-Fi support
Cisco Prime Home addresses the growing trend of mobile offload to Wi-Fi through improved Wi-Fi performance diagnostics and troubleshooting tools for tablets and smartphones.
The solution can also help enable and manage multiple secure networks over a single Wi-Fi gateway, making it easier for service providers to offer "guest Wi-Fi" applications in a scalable, managed way.
Port forwarding configuration
Cisco Prime Home helps enables popular multiplayer games, media devices, remote access, and messaging applications to work seamlessly through pull-down menus. Custom-defined port forwarding configurations for advanced users are also available.
Parental Control Services
Dynamic content filtering
Dynamic content filtering provides consumers the ability to create a specific list of websites that are allowed or blocked for each individual device in the home and includes profile-based dynamic content filtering services.
Time blocking allows consumers to specify periods of times of day and amounts of time for Internet access (whole home and per device).
Cisco Prime Home Analytics
Intuitive report generation tool
Cisco Prime Home Analytics provides a way for service providers to aggregate, view, and export subscriber and device data. The application collects data from any TR-069 device and uses the Cisco Prime Home platform to add more visibility into the broadband subscriber base.
Cisco Prime Home Analytics includes built-in predefined reports and allows custom report creation. The application also includes drag-and-drop report fields and output columns for ease of use.
Essential use cases
With greater visibility into the broadband subscriber base, service providers can use the information to:
• Drive additional services penetration through direct marketing of new offerings
• Facilitate operational activities such as migrations and upgrades
• Create targeted sales programs that auto-enable trials for top customers and drive customer awareness
Consumer and CSR Portals
The Cisco Prime Home web-based consumer portal provides a complete view of the home network - with both historic and live data - along with access to a variety of configuration tools and data services. No software is required on any consumer device, and the portal is accessible anywhere in the world through a browser or mobile application.
By providing the subscriber with actionable information and the ability to more easily troubleshoot problems, a majority of support calls are eliminated, helping to drive customer satisfaction.
The CSR portal provides a complete diagnostic view of the devices inside the home, enabling CSRs to access device information in real time and to discover and diagnose major problems as soon as they occur. Dashboard data is available at all levels - for one specific device or a population of millions of units. User roles, permissions, and views are fully customizable by the administrator.
View Local Interfaces for LAN Devices
Consumer device click-through
Provides one-click remote setup and access to view local interfaces for LAN devices (in both the CSR and consumer web portals). Devices include web cameras, printers, storage devices, and more. Consumer device click-through does not interfere with LAN device security, and the port and URL path are customized.
Integration with Service Provider Systems and Broad Technology Support
Broad support across network technologies
Cisco Prime Home may be deployed in a variety of service provider networks, including DSL, cable, FTTH, Ethernet, WiMax, and satellite.
Flexible northbound interface for system integrations
Cisco Prime Home can be easily and securely integrated into a service provider's existing operations support systems and business support systems (OSS/BSS) through its northbound interface (NBI) using flexible and lightweight web-based APIs (RESTful Services). This allows service providers to use existing investments and seamlessly connect Cisco Prime Home to the network infrastructure.
The Cisco Prime Home applications SDK helps enable third-party devices and services.
Cisco Prime Home service may be hosted by Cisco whereby no server hardware is required from the service provider. This deployment option offers a "pay-as-you-grow" license model.
Physical deployment of Cisco Prime Home in the service provider data center offers a choice of hardware and operating systems. Cisco Prime Home also can be deployed in a virtual machine environment and will run on any VMware-capable server. Installation of Cisco Prime Home in the service provider network uses an up-front license purchase model.
Table 2 lists system requirements for the Cisco Prime Home management server. Table 3 lists system requirements for the Cisco Prime Home database server.
Table 2. System Requirements for Cisco Prime Home Management Server*
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 or higher and CentOS 6.2 or higher
6 or 8 Core Processor (RAM-dependent)
300 GB (Fiber or Fast Disk), 10,000 RPM
Table 3. System Requirements for Cisco Prime Home Database Server*
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 or higher and CentOS 6.2 or higher
32 GB (48 GB preferred)
6 or 8 Core Processor
300 GB (Fiber or Fast Disk), 10,000 RPM
*Applies to on-site deployments only, per 500,000 managed devices.
The Cisco Prime portfolio of enterprise 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, the Cisco Prime portfolio of products supports integrated lifecycle management through an intuitive workflow-oriented user experience. The portfolio of Cisco Prime solutions for service providers provides A-to-Z management for IP next-generation networks, mobility, video, and managed services.
Service and Support
Using the Cisco® lifecycle services approach, Cisco and its partners provide a broad portfolio of end-to-end services and support that can help increase your network's business value and return on investment. This approach defines the minimum set of activities needed, by technology and by network complexity, to help you successfully deploy and operate Cisco technologies and optimize their performance throughout the lifecycle of your network.