Cisco Prime™ Network virtual network element (VNE) device driver is a key enabler for Cisco Prime Network to manage end-to-end IP next-generation networks (NGNs). Cisco Prime Network VNE drivers support a wide range of Cisco® and non-Cisco devices that may be deployed across access, aggregation, edge, and core network domains. Cisco Prime Network VNE drivers use Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Command Line Interface (CLI) and eXtended Markup Language (XML) device interfaces to discover physical inventory and logical configuration of managed devices. VNE drivers translate the discovered information into a detailed software representation of the device, which forms the basis for all further device and network management functionality. For device health and change monitoring, VNE drivers periodically check the device as well as interpret autonomous event messages, such as SNMP notification and syslog messages, that devices send to Cisco Prime Network.
VNE drivers are also the foundation for protecting the investment in Cisco network solutions by offering timely updates that keep Cisco Prime Network support current with upgrades to Cisco network solutions and Cisco innovation. Using organizational and geographic proximities among Cisco engineering teams, Cisco Prime Network VNE drivers are often available at the time new Cisco hardware components or new versions enter the market. For the key networking products offered for service provider network scenarios, VNE drivers are available within 30 days of that product entering the market. The corresponding VNE drivers are published every month and can be added to a deployed Cisco Prime Network system without requiring Cisco Prime Network software upgrades.
Cisco Prime Network VNE drivers are also user extensible to manage hardware modules, device types, events, and device software versions that are separate from the ongoing VNE driver upgrades. Customers can create custom VNE drivers from existing drivers to adapt Cisco Prime Network to networks containing legacy or early-release device software and hardware and, at the same time, reduce costs and dependency on professional services.
The same device driver technology is also applicable for mediating third-party devices, and VNE drivers can be developed for Cisco Prime Network to manage multivendor networks. Whether a customer's business strategy leads to an all Cisco network approach or a multivendor network approach, with Cisco Prime Network VNE technology, Cisco Prime Network provides a consolidated management view of the end-to-end network.
Cisco Prime Network VNE driver technology protects the investment in Cisco network solutions through timely updates that keep Cisco Prime Network support current with upgrades to Cisco network solutions and Cisco innovation. The mediation layer formed by the VNE driver technology is also the enabler for reducing the need for replication of mediation and abstraction layers through a common source of network-derived network element, network, and service inventory details plus network status and fault information. Through its inherent ability to support Cisco and non-Cisco devices, the VNE driver technology allows Cisco Prime Network to support heterogeneous networks without requiring excessive customization cost. Finally, VNE driver technology minimizes network upgrade cost through monthly independent device driver updates and methods for extending the VNE drivers.
Table 1 provides a list of Cisco device series managed by Cisco Prime Network using available device drivers.
Table 1. Cisco Device Series Managed by Cisco Prime Network 1
Cisco Carrier Packet Transport (CPT) Series
• CPT 200
• CPT 600
Cisco Catalyst® 3500 XL Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3550 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco 2500 Series Routers
Cisco 3600 Series Multiservice Platform Routers
Cisco 2600 Series Multiservice Platform Routers
Cisco 2821 Integrated Services Routers (ISR)
Cisco 2851 Integrated Services Routers
Cisco 2900 Integrated Services Routers
Cisco MWR 2900 Series Mobile Wireless Routers
Cisco 3700 Series Multiservice Access Routers
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Metro Series Switches
Cisco ME 3600X Series of Ethernet Access Switches
Cisco 3800 Series Integrated Services Routers
Cisco 3900 Series Integrated Services Routers
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco AS5300 Series Universal Gateways
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) 5550 Series
Cisco ME 3800X Series Carrier Ethernet Switch Router
Cisco ASR 9000 Series Aggregation Routers, namely:
• Cisco ASR 9006
Cisco uBR Series Aggregation Routers, namely:
• Cisco uBR7246VXR
Cisco Nexus 5000 Series
• Cisco Nexus 5000 2 Rack Unit (RU) Chassis no PS, 5 Fan Modules, 40 ports (req SFP+)
Cisco Nexus 7000 Series
Cisco Nexus 5010
Cisco Nexus 5020
Cisco Carrier Routing System (CRS) 4 slot, 8 slot, 16 slot systems
More information about supported Cisco devices and non-Cisco devices, software versions, and device contents can be found in the Cisco Prime Network 3.8 documentation, or you can contact your Cisco account team for more information.
Key Features of Cisco Prime Network VNE Driver
Table 2 lists the key features of the Prime Network VNE driver.
Table 2. Key Features of Prime Network VNE Driver
VNE drivers are instantiated at run time for each managed device so that synchronization and autodiscovery with the network can be done in parallel.
Distributed for large-scale networks
The VNE drivers can be distributed in multiple Cisco Prime Network unit servers to help enable Cisco Prime Network to manage large-scale carrier-class networks. VNE instances can be redistributed among multiple Cisco Prime Network unit servers for load balancing to optimize memory usage.
VNE performs automatic synchronization based on configuration change notification from the network. In addition, VNE drivers support adjustable periodic and manual synchronization of device status to provide an up-to-date view of the network in Cisco Prime Network with the minimum impact to the managed devices.
Independent driver release
Individual VNE drivers may be updated without the need to upgrade or otherwise change the Cisco Prime Network platform software.
Cisco VNE drivers are extensible to manage additional device types, device hardware plug-in modules, additional SNMP traps, and syslogs. SNMP traps can be imported through MIB files. These extensions can be done by customers or by the system integrator local to the Cisco Prime Network installation and do not affect the delivered Cisco Prime Network software.
The generic VNE device driver is used as the default for discovering any unrecognized device. The generic VNE device driver will monitor for standard SNMP traps using standard MIB II interfaces. The IP interfaces and routing and bridge information are also discovered.
User-defined VNE driver
Cisco Prime Network users can create user-defined VNE drivers at run time to manage additional device series. In addition to the generic VNE capability of making use of standard SNMP MIBs and traps, the user-defined VNE is extensible using available Cisco Prime Network customization tools to further discover and activate the device.
The Cisco Developer Network website provides partners, system integrators, and customers a virtual community forum to learn and share examples of using Cisco Prime Network customization tools to perform field extension to device drivers.
Physical inventory and logical configuration
Cisco Prime Network VNE drivers retrieve from devices comprehensive information about the chassis, shelf, common component (for example, fan and power supply), line card, interface, and software image inventory. In addition, VNE drivers retrieve detailed, logical configuration information, such as Ethernet switching, virtual local area network (VLAN), IP routing, IP/MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching), Pseudowire, MPLS Traffic Engineering, and many other device feature configurations. This logical configuration information includes statically defined or dynamically established configurations.
Multiprotocol Label Switching Transport Profile (MPLS-TP)
The most recent, logical configuration addition to Cisco VNE driver support covers the Multiprotocol Label Switching Transport Profile technology, which unifies both packet and transport technologies, giving service providers a strong foundation for the next generation of transport.
A Right-to-Manage license for each Cisco device managed by Cisco Prime Network is required and is available. The device series and device type will determine the appropriate Right-to-Manage group.
To place an order contact your local Cisco account representative or visit the Cisco Download Software page and click Cisco Prime Network VNE Drivers for the latest release.