The following list of frequently asked questions is meant to help quickly address some of the commonly asked questions regarding Cisco Prime Network Release 3.8. For more information on the product refer to the Cisco Prime Network page at http://www.cisco.com/go/primenetwork.
Q. What is Cisco Prime?
A. 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 suite of Cisco Prime for Service Providers solutions provides A-to-Z management for IP next-generation networks (NGNs), mobility, video, and managed services. For more information on Cisco Prime for Service Providers refer to the Cisco Prime page at http://www.cisco.com/go/prime-sp.
Q. What is Cisco Prime Network?
A. Cisco Prime Network 3.8 is Cisco's offering to provide service providers and other network operators a comprehensive assurance and device management solution for IP next-generation networks. Cisco Prime Network is the evolution of Cisco® Active Network Abstraction (ANA) and includes all of the powerful capabilities of that offering combined with significant enhancements.
Q. Why is Cisco Prime Network version 3.8?
A. Cisco Prime Network 3.8 is the evolution of Cisco Active Network Abstraction and continues to be the solution for service providers and other organizations that require carrier-grade element management plus network and service assurance capabilities for IP NGNs. Cisco Prime Network 3.8 is an upgrade from Cisco ANA. Customers on versions 3.x of Cisco ANA are entitled to no-cost upgrades to Cisco Prime Network as long as they have current support contracts.
Q. Is Cisco Prime Network 3.8 a minor upgrade from Cisco ANA 3.x?
A. Yes. Cisco Prime Network 3.8 is offered as a minor upgrade from Cisco ANA 3.7.3. Customers with a valid support contract for Cisco ANA 3.x versions are entitled to minor upgrades to Cisco Prime Network 3.8. Please check with your Cisco account manager for more information.
Q. What new features have been introduced in Cisco Prime Network 3.8?
A. The following new key features have been added to Cisco Prime Network 3.8:
• Cisco Prime Network 3.8 is part of and is integrated into the Cisco Prime for IP NGN suite. Together, the Cisco Prime suite applications offer operators the means for carrying out end-to-end assurance and provisioning tasks with greater effectiveness and efficiency than custom-integrated network management systems (NMSs) allow.
• Multiprotocol Label Switching Transport Profile (MPLS-TP) support to extend Cisco Prime Network device and network assurance features to end-to-end MPLS-TP network configurations and to simplify the tasks of MPLS-TP-specific troubleshooting.
• Carrier Ethernet enhancements to provide investment protection by evolving assurance support along with expanding Metro Ethernet Forum-specified services toward aggregated service offerings in the following configurations:
– Bundling and Multiplex
• With the evolution of Cisco Prime Network's continued support for IPv6, service providers can manage production and Operations, Administration, and Maintenance (OAM, aka Data Communications Network or DCN) networks that completed migration to IPv6.
• Event browser within Network Vision for more effective and efficient access to ticket and network event information within the context of a displayed map for faster problem identification and isolation.
For a full list of new features please refer to the What's New in Cisco Prime Network 3.8 data sheet. For a full list of features and functionality for Cisco Prime Network 3.8, please refer to the Cisco Prime Network 3.8 data sheet.
Q. Is Cisco Prime Network part of another line or software bundle?
A. Yes. Cisco Prime Network is part of the Cisco Prime for IP NGN suite, which offers service providers end-to-end network management lifecycle capabilities spanning design, fulfillment, assurance (fault and performance), and analysis operations tasks.
Q. What are other Cisco Prime suite products that currently interact with Cisco Prime Network?
A. Cisco Prime Network directly relates to the following products in the Cisco Prime Suite:
• Cisco Prime Fulfillment (formerly Cisco IP Solution Center [ISC]) provides automated resource management and rapid, profile-based provisioning capabilities for MPLS, IP radio access network (RAN) backhaul, and Carrier Ethernet technologies. It includes a powerful diagnostic engine for service validation and troubleshooting. Cisco Prime Fulfillment provisions services across a network that Cisco Prime Network allows the ability to view.
• Cisco Prime Performance Manager is an easy-to-deploy and easy-to-use solution for gathering and reporting on performance statistics for Cisco and multivendor networks. Cisco Prime Performance Manager seamlessly integrates with Cisco Prime Network, providing operators with visibility into network and service topologies along with related performance metrics. The combined solution provides both postevent fault management and information to proactively avoid future disruptions.
• Cisco Prime Central serves as both an operator and a management portal. It is the gateway to Cisco Prime architecture that provides users with a single view of all inventory management by the various domain managers. Cisco Prime Central offers the network management operator the ability to use one or more of the Cisco Prime Suite tools simultaneously.
• Cisco Prime Optical is a carrier-class, multitechnology management system that integrates the end-to-end management of legacy transport networks and packet optical transport networks. Cisco Prime Optical helps communication service providers (CSPs) deliver the capacity and quality of service (QoS) required to support the delivery of rich-content-based services and high-bandwidth applications.
Q. Who should deploy Cisco Prime Network 3.8?
A. Cisco Prime Network 3.8 is designed for service providers and other network operators from various market segments seeking to increase effectiveness of device administration and network assurance operations for an ever-evolving next-generation network. These market segments include private and public corporations, utilities companies, public sector companies, health-care providers, state and local government agencies, as well as private and public education institutions.
Q. What part of the network management/operation support solution does Cisco Prime Network provide?
A. Cisco Prime Network increases efficiency by allowing operators to easily discover new network elements, manage them, diagnose problems, restore configurations, and ensure a stable and predictable network and network experience.
Cisco Prime Network can be deployed as a comprehensive element manager for Cisco network elements such as the Cisco Core Routing System (CRS), 7600, and ASR 9000 family of products. Deployed as domain manager, Cisco Prime Network provides efficient and automated assurance, to help ensure that the IP NGN can reliably deliver IP services across:
• Converged MPLS and MPLS/IP core and service edge networks
• IP RAN backhaul Mobile Transport over Packet (MToP) networks
• Carrier Ethernet networks
Q. Does Cisco Prime Network require Software Application Support (SAS)?
A. The purchase of an annual Cisco SAS maintenance contract is highly recommended to ensure Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) support and access to Cisco.com's Software Center for patches and bug fixes. The Cisco SAS maintenance contract also entitles you to free minor upgrades and maintenance releases.
Q. Where can I obtain part numbers and pricing information for Cisco Prime Network?
A. Visit the Cisco Pricing Tool on cisco.com, select the Product Price Search tab, and query for the product family (Network Management) or the product description or product number (use "Prime Network").
Q. What benefits can customers expect from deploying Cisco Prime Network?
A. Cisco Prime Network is a software tool that externalizes a service provider's network, allowing service providers to monitor, validate, troubleshoot, and manage their network quickly and easily. Part of the Cisco Prime suite of products, Cisco Prime Network increases network management efficiency by allowing operators easily to discover new network elements, manage them, diagnose problems, and restore changed configurations quickly to help ensure a stable and predictable network and network experience for their customers.
Q. What networking technologies are supported by Cisco Prime Network?
A. Cisco Prime Network currently supports the following technologies:
• Converged MPLS, IP, and MPLS/IP core and service edge: IP, MPLS, MPLS Traffic Engineering (MPLS-TE), MPLS-TE Fast Reroute (FRR), MPLS Transport Profile (MPLS-TP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) and OSPFv3, Intermediate System-to-Intermediate System (IS-IS), Label Distribution Protocol (LDP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Multiprotocol Border Gateway Protocol (MP-BGP), MPLS Layer 3 VPN, single-segment/multisegment Pseudowire, Any Transport over MPLS (AToM), Virtual Private LAN Services (VPLS), Session Border Controller (SBC), Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD).
Q. Can Cisco Prime Network be integrated with my existing OSS applications?
A. Yes. Cisco Prime Network is designed for integration into existing OSS infrastructures and is easily adaptable in different deployment scenarios. Its standards-based information model is extensible, and with its XML-based BQL API, Cisco Prime Network provides an effective mediation and integration point for the OSS/BSS layer. For user interface-level integration, Cisco Prime Network provides a facility to define anchor points for cross-launching other applications from within the Cisco Prime Network user interface in the context of a selected network element or interface or other device component. A comprehensive developer program and reference implementations are offered to ease the task of system integration. Also, pretested integrated solutions are available, with Cisco Prime Performance Manager for performance management, Cisco Info Center and IBM/Tivoli Netcool for fault management, and InfoVista VistaInsight for networks.
Q. What key categories are provided in Cisco Prime Network?
A. Cisco Prime Network creates and maintains an accurate, autodiscovered, "virtual," and up-to-date abstract model of the network to:
• Manage network elements: Inventory, change and configuration management, monitoring, and administration of all major Cisco service provider network elements, in particular these devices deployed in MPLS, Carrier Ethernet, and Unified RAN Backhaul reference architectures.
• Manage networks and services: Integrated, network-wide and service-wide discovery and representation of multilayer, virtual connections, plus monitoring, fault analysis, and troubleshooting.
• Integrate with NMS/OSS: Uses a standards-compliant information model for integration with third-party products, and Cisco Prime Network is easily field customized with built-in tools or through the Cisco partner program and Cisco Advanced Services support.
Q. What devices are supported in Cisco Prime Network?
A. Cisco Prime Network provides virtual network elements (VNEs) that support more than 300 Cisco devices. For a complete list please contact your local Cisco account team. For incremental or maintenance device software or hardware modules not supported by Cisco Prime Network, customers or their systems integrator may extend the VNE drivers in their Cisco Prime Network system using the VNE Customization Builder. Alternatively, customers may contact their account team for future enhancement requests, or contract Advanced Services to develop or enhance VNE drivers to work with their deployed Cisco Prime Network system.
Q. Does the Cisco Prime Network VNE driver support third-party devices?
Cisco Prime Network uses VNE drivers to mediate the device management interface to internal technology models, and hence functions as a multivendor network management platform. Additional devices can be managed by adding new VNE drivers for the device. Customers can add third-party VNE drivers to supplement the supported Cisco device drivers in Cisco Prime Network, add user-defined VNE drivers, request future product enhancements, or contract with Advanced Services to develop VNE drivers to work with their deployed Cisco Prime Network system. For details, please contact your account manager.
Q. Does Cisco Prime Network support redundant server deployments?
A. Yes. Cisco Prime Network is two-layer architecture consisting of a layer of unit servers and a layer for the gateway server. The unit server layer supports m+n hot-standby redundancy. When deployed on Linux servers, the gateway layer supports a documented and verified integrated solution with the Red Hat Cluster Suite for local redundancy and an embedded solution for geographical redundancy. Additional support for a documented and verified integrated solution with Veritas applications (customer supplied) is provided when the gateway is deployed on Solaris or Linux for both local and geographical redundancy.
Q. What license changes happened in Cisco Prime Network 3.8?
A. Cisco Prime Network simplifies the VNE right to manage (RTM) license structure by reducing 10 different license groups into 4 license groups (Groups A through D). For each right-to-manage license group there will only be one license type, instead of the three feature licenses per license group with ANA 3.x. For details about the Cisco Prime Network license groups or about upgrading existing ANA 3.x right-to-manage licenses to Cisco Prime Network 3.8 right-to-manage licenses please contact your local account team.
Q. Where can I find migration instructions from Cisco ANA 3.x to Cisco Prime Network?
A. Cisco Prime Network 3.8.1 is a maintenance update to Prime Network 3.8. The currently shipping Prime Network 3.8 version includes the 3.8.1 maintenance update.
Q. Is Cisco Prime Network 3.8.1 a minor upgrade from Cisco ANA 3.x?
A. Yes. Cisco Prime Network 3.8.1 is offered as a minor upgrade from Cisco ANA 3.x and Prime Network 3.8. If you are currently using a 3.x version of Cisco ANA or Prime Network 3.8 and have an active support contract, you are entitled to a no-cost upgrade to Cisco Prime Network 3.8 with 3.8.1 maintenance update included. Please check with your Cisco account manager for more information.
Q. What features have been introduced in Cisco Prime Network 3.8.1?
A. The following new features have been added to Cisco Prime Network 3.8.1:
• Automated existence discovery of devices being managed in the customer network and the ability to create Cisco Prime Network virtual network elements (VNEs).
• Change and configuration extensions to support dual-homed Cisco Prime Network units or gateways with IPv6 and IPv4 addresses.
• Change and configuration support for ASR 5000 devices running StarOS 12.x and ASR 903 devices running Cisco IOS® XE Software.