A. The Cisco Prime™ portfolio of IT and service provider management offerings empowers 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 IP next-generation networks, mobility, video, and managed services.
Q. What is Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning?
A. Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning is a distributed, highly scalable, and reliable solution for management of cable subscriber devices and automated flow-through provisioning of the subscriber services that run on those devices. Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning provides a centralized and automated platform for service providers to control and configure residential home gateways, cable modems, media termination adapters (MTAs), set-top boxes (STBs), and more. The solution automatically recognizes devices, assigns the appropriate class of service, dynamically creates and generates device configuration files, and activates subscribers. Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning provides a single device management platform to support multiple technologies including DOCSIS®, PacketCable™, OpenCable™, and DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE™).
Q. Why is Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning Version 5.0?
A. Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning is the evolution of Cisco® Broadband Access Center (BAC) and continues to be the solution for cable service providers that require provisioning and device management services. Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning 5.0 adds significant new capabilities and the security, redundancy, and standards support required to manage increasingly complex cable networks. Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning 5.0 is an upgrade from Cisco Broadband Access Center.
Q. What benefits can be expected from deploying Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning?
A. Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning provides the following benefits:
• Reliability: The solution provides high reliability and high availability to meet business-critical needs and help ensure minimum subscriber disruption. It offers multiple levels of redundancy through its distributed architecture of highly available regional distributed units (RDUs), multiple distributed device provisioning engines (DPEs) (each of which includes its own data-caching repository), a TFTP server, a time-of-day (ToD) server. In addition, the solution includes support for avalanche protection to limit downtime after network outages.
• Scalability and performance: Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning can support millions of devices in a single customer distributed deployment.
The solution uses multiple distributed device management and caching engines to balance processing of device requests and help ensure high performance. A single DPE can support as many as 2 million devices, and multiple DPEs can be combined into groups to provide redundancy, load sharing, and disaster recovery.
Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning's high-speed performance supports rapid network expansion; a single RDU server in conjunction with the appropriate number of DPE groups can support a sustained rate of hundreds of thousands of new devices a day.
• Lower operating expenses: Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning increases operator efficiency, reduces manual errors, and helps ensure minimum service disruption to subscriber revenue generating services.
• Easy integration with existing service provider systems: A flexible northbound interface promotes easy and secure integrations with existing service provider systems, such as billing, operations support systems (OSSs), workflow, mediation, and other customer management systems, through a Java provisioning or Web Services API. This, in turn, reduces operational costs and time to market for new services and helps accelerate revenue.
Q. Who should deploy Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning?
A. Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning is designed for use by cable service providers seeking an automated means of provisioning services and managing subscriber devices supporting the CableLabs® standards such as DOCSIS, OpenCable, and PacketCable. Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning can be easily extended to support other devices as well. Any service provider planning to deploy and support DOCSIS 3.0, IPv6, PacketCable 2.0, and EPON customer premises equipment (CPE) will benefit from using Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning.
Q. What equipment does Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning manage?
A. Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning is a standards-based device management application that supports multiple technologies including DOCSIS 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, PacketCable 1.0, 1.1, 1.5, and 2.0, OpenCable 1.0, and DPoE 1.0. Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning supports all end-user CPE devices that adhere to these standards, including residential gateways, set-top boxes, cable modems, MTAs, and Ethernet passive optical network (EPON) devices located on the customer premises.
Q. What are the new features introduced in Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning 5.0?
A. New features include the following:
• Support for the PacketCable 2.0 standard
• Support for the DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON 1.0 standard
• Fine grained role-based access control (RBAC)
• Security enhancements
• Web Services API (Simple Object Access Protocol [SOAP] based)
• RDU failover
Q. On what platforms is Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning supported?
A. Platform support for Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning 5.0 includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, and Cisco Unified Computing System™ servers. Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning also supports Oracle Solaris 10 on the SPARC platform.
Q. What licensing method does Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning utilize?
A. Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning is licensed on a per managed device basis. A managed device is a stand-alone DOCSIS modem or a device like an MTA or set-top box with an embedded DOCSIS modem. Any device that does not have an embedded DOCSIS modem does not consume a license. For example, a consumer-owned computer or home router connected to a cable modem would not consume a license. Managed device licenses are sold in bundles of 10,000, 100,000, and 500,000.
One managed device consumes one device license - regardless of the number of services running on the same device. For example, a single device could have run DOCSIS, eMTA, eRouter, and eSTB services - and it would require a single device license; however, two separate devices would consume two separate licenses. For example, if an end user has one DOCSIS-based cable modem and one OpenCable-based STB, then two Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning licenses would be required.
Cisco Prime Network Registrar is no longer bundled with the Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning product. Cisco Prime Network Registrar DHCP is required for running Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning, and will need to be ordered separately.
Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription
Q. What is Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription?
A. Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription is a product upgrade subscription that was created to provide a way for customers to prepurchase major software upgrades for Cisco Prime OSS and network management products.
Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription entitles you to major Cisco Prime software releases at no additional charge for the duration of the activated subscription term, which can be one, three, or five years, when the Cisco Prime product is linked to an active Cisco Essential Operate Service (ESW) contract. It will apply to contracts for certain Cisco Prime products including Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning 5.0.
Cisco software subscriptions and services help Cisco field and channel partners maintain a strategic relationship with their customers. There is an ongoing opportunity to engage with customers as needed to keep them current with the latest software features and functions, including helping them to install, migrate, or deploy new software.
Q. What is the definition of a "major application software release upgrade"?
A. "Major application software release upgrade" or "upgrade" refers to an application software release that provides major architectural changes or major feature enhancements or functions. The first number that identifies the software version followed by a zero indicates a major software release. For example, Cisco Prime Cable Provisioning 5.0 is a major release.
Q. What is Cisco Essential Operate Service and how does it complement Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription?
A. Cisco ESW provides the support you need to help reduce downtime, improve performance, and lead to higher productivity through:
• Application maintenance and minor release updates
• Global 24-hour access to the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC)
• Access to an online knowledge base, communities, and tools
• Collaborative learning that provides additional knowledge and training opportunities
ESW has the same deliverables as Software Application Support (SAS) service. Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription entitles you to major software version upgrades of Cisco Prime products when linked to an active ESW contract. ESW is a prerequisite; without an active ESW contract you cannot download major upgrades using Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription. Therefore, it is preferred that both Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription and ESW be ordered at the same time.
Q. Is ESW mandatory?
A. ESW is optional for any customer; however, without an active ESW contract a customer cannot download major upgrades using Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription. It is preferred that both Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription and ESW be ordered at the same time.
Q. Is ESW an annual fee or is it paid just one time?
A. ESW is an annual fee, similar to SAS. You can buy one-, two-, or three-year contracts for ESW, for which you pay the full amount up front; there are additional discounts for multiyear contracts.
Q. What is the difference between SAS, Cisco Software Application Support plus Upgrade (SASU), and ESW?
A. Deliverables of SAS and ESW are exactly the same. They both offer application maintenance and minor release updates, global 24-hour access to TAC, and access to an online knowledge base, communities, and tools. In addition to the deliverable of ESW and SAS, SASU offers major upgrade releases as well. The combination of it and ESW is equivalent to SASU in terms of deliverables.
ESW replaces SAS for those Cisco Prime products that offer Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription.
For all other Cisco Prime products that do not yet offer Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription, SAS delivers timely uninterrupted access to the latest Cisco software application updates, including bug fixes, maintenance, and minor releases for the covered software application. SAS also includes 24-hour assistance from the Cisco TAC and unrestricted access to a wide range of online tools and communities that can help you solve issues quickly.
For those Cisco Prime products that currently offer SASU, the combination of ESW and Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription will replace SASU.
Q. Is Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription valid only for specific releases of software?
A. No, it is term based. During the term of the subscription agreement, you are guaranteed access to the current (not end-of-sale) software upgrades.
Q. When can I purchase Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription?
A. Customers have up to 90 days from the time of a Cisco Prime product order to purchase Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription for the products included in the order. Customers have up to 30 days after the term expiration date to renew coverage on an existing Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription, as long as the original order was not set up as "mandatory attach", using the renewal product ID. It is possible to align cotermination with Cisco Prime ESW contracts as well as to add users and coverage to an existing software subscription term.
For customers who do elect to purchase Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription, they must purchase it for all managed devices.
Q. Now that Cisco Prime ESW is available, will Cisco SMARTnet® support, Cisco SAS, and Cisco SASU also remain as service options?
A. ESW is a service offering for select Cisco Prime products that have Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription available and replaces Cisco SAS. SAS and SASU remain available for all other products. Cisco SMARTnet is for hardware support and is available for all hardware products.
Q. Are Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription and ESW available only in the United States and Canada or are they available worldwide?
A. They are available globally.
Q. Where can I find more information about Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Subscription?
A. More information may be found in the Cisco Prime Product Assured Software Service Q&A document.