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Updated:March 27, 2019
Document ID:1515426716311102

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Updated:March 27, 2019
Document ID:1515426716311102


Improving your Network from a Single Control and Command Center

Cisco® DNA Center is the foundational controller and analytics platform at the heart of Cisco’s intent-based network for large and midsize organizations. Cisco DNA Center provides a single dashboard for every fundamental management task to simplify running your network. With this platform, IT can respond to changes and challenges faster and more intelligently.

     Design: Design your network using intuitive workflows, starting with locations where your network devices will be deployed. Users of Cisco Prime® Infrastructure and the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module (APIC-EM) can simply import existing network designs and device images into Cisco DNA Center.

     Policy: Define user and device profiles that facilitate highly secure access and network segmentation based on business needs. Application policies allow your business-critical applications to provide a consistent level of performance regardless of network congestion.

     Provision: Use policy-based automation to deliver services to the network based on business priority and to simplify device deployment. Zero-touch device provisioning and software image management features reduce device installation or upgrade time from hours to minutes and bring new remote offices online with plug-and-play ease from an off-the-shelf Cisco device.

     Assurance: Cisco DNA Assurance enables every point on the network to become a sensor, sending continuous streaming telemetry on application performance and user connectivity in real time. This, coupled with automatic path trace visibility and guided remediation, means network issues are resolved in minutes—before they become problems. Integration with Cisco Stealthwatch® security provides detection and mitigation of threats, even when they are hidden in encrypted traffic.

     Platform: An open and extensible platform allows third-party applications and processes to exchange data and intelligence with Cisco DNA Center. This improves IT operations by automating workflow processes based on network intelligence coming from Cisco DNA Center.


Figure 1.           

Cisco DNA Center

Cisco DNA Center is at the heart of the Cisco Digital Network Architecture, or Cisco DNA (https://www.cisco.com/go/dna), and is the only centralized intent-based network management system to bring all this functionality into an integrated controller and present it through a single pane of glass.


Figure 2.           

How Cisco DNA Center Works

Licensing Cisco DNA Center 1.2

Cisco DNA Center is a software solution that resides on the Cisco DNA Center appliance. The solution receives data in the form of streaming telemetry from every device (switch, router, access point, and wireless access controller) on the network. This data provides Cisco DNA Center with the real-time information it needs for the many functions it performs. For a device to be authorized to send data to Cisco DNA Center, that device must be included in your company’s Cisco DNA Software license subscription. These subscriptions are available for 3-, 5-, or 7-year terms. Cisco allows customers to purchase complete Cisco DNA Center functionality through a Cisco DNA Advantage license subscription or limited functionality through a Cisco DNA Essentials license subscription. Customers may also benefit from Cisco’s all-in-one software license, Cisco DNA Premier (formerly Cisco ONE). The Cisco DNA Premier license includes all Cisco DNA Advantage benefits plus the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for user identity policy and Cisco Stealthwatch for advanced security and Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA). All Cisco DNA Software license subscription options include Cisco SWSS (software support and downloads). The table below shows the main features included with the Cisco DNA Essentials, Cisco DNA Advantage, and Cisco DNA Premier licenses.

Table 1.             Cisco DNA Center Licensing Overview

Cisco DNA Essentials

Basic monitoring and automation

Cisco DNA Advantage

All Cisco DNA Essentials features plus

Cisco DNA Premier

All Cisco DNA Advantage features plus

Overall health dashboard

Time travel (14 days)

Cisco Stealthwatch with ETA

Network health dashboard

360-degree health score

Cisco ISE Base (identity policy)

Client health dashboard

360-degree targeted insights

Cisco ISE Plus (identity policy)

Application health dashboard

360-degree device view


Predefined reports

Apple iOS insights


Custom threshold KPIs

Active sensor tests



Wireless location heat maps



Guided remediation



Custom reports


Software image management (SWIM)

Third-party integrations


Network Plug and Play provisioning

Application policy


Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) provisioning

Software Maintenance Upgrade (SMU) patching


Cisco Virtual Network Functions (VNF)

Software-Defined Access


New Features for Cisco DNA Center 1.2

Cisco DNA Center platform: More than 130 intent-based APIs, IT Service Management (ITSM), and ServiceNow integration. New Cisco DNA Center platform capabilities provide broad support for external applications and systems to exchange data and intelligence and to build upon Cisco DNA Center’s native policy, automation, and analytics functions. Using new APIs, process and domain integration adapters, and Software Development Kits (SDKs), IT can now build on current Cisco DNA Assurance and Automation capabilities to streamline network and IT workflows and create new business value. This means that organizations can make sure the network is continuously aligned to IT and business priorities. Cisco DNA Center open platform capabilities include the following:

     Intent-based APIs enable business and IT applications to deliver intent to the network and to reap network analytics and insights for IT and business innovation.

     Process adapters, built on integration APIs, allow integration with other IT and network systems to streamline IT operations and processes.

     Domain adapters, built on integration APIs, allow integration with other infrastructure domains such as data center, WAN, and security to deliver a consistent intent-based infrastructure across the entire IT environment.

     Multivendor SDKs allow management to be extended to third-party vendors’ network devices to offer support for diverse environments.


Figure 3.           

Cisco DNA Center Platform

Assurance updates: New features and enhancements that span across key use cases of client onboarding, client and network experience, sensor-based Service-Level Agreement (SLA) monitoring, and application experience.

     New sensor tests on the Cisco Aironet® 1800s Network Sensor and Access Point (AP) as a sensor for Wave 2 APs: Application experience tests (IP SLA), speed tests for cloud app performance, and floor reassignment for the 1800s

     Actionable analytics: Actionable client health dashboard with an introduction of Sankey charts, near-real-time client updates, top AP analytics on interferers, health score improvement (ignore radios in monitor mode), and spectrum analyzer

     Improved user experience: Overall health dashboard and network time travel

     Issue detection and guided remediation:

     More analytics: Global client issues show top OS, device type, location, AP noise, and interference analytics for client timeout issues

     Catalog enhancements: Time travel, site filter, and priority tags on issue

     Other enhancements: Reachability issue (link errors)

     Application experience: Multiple exporters in application 360 view

     Wireless reports: Client summary that includes top locations by client count and health score and overall client detail report that can be exported to Tableau

     Mobility Express (ME) support for 200 ME instances per Cisco DNA Center appliance

Cisco Software-Defined Access (SD-Access) updates: Support for new deployment models, simplified migrations, and fabric optimizations that further accelerate fabric deployments.

     SD-Access for Distributed Campus: Support for automated connectivity between fabric sites (with dedicated fabric borders and control planes) in a metropolitan area network with use of SD-Access transit or IP-based transit

     Layer 2 flooding: Support for silent hosts, with the ability to flood broadcast, link local multicast and Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) within an IP subnet or VLAN

     Layer 2 border handoff: Support for the ability to connect the same IP pool or VLAN configured in the local fabric domain to an external domain via the fabric border

     Fabric-in-a-box: Provides the ability to host fabric edge, control plane, and border functions on
a single Cisco Catalyst® 9000 platform

     Enhanced control plane resiliency: Support for up to six fabric control plane nodes in a given
fabric site

     Host onboarding enhancements: Support for additional host onboarding capabilities such as:

     Auto-populate ISE with the VLAN name created by Cisco DNA Center for a given IP subnet

     Device profiling on fabric edge nodes

     Trunk port on fabric edge nodes for connecting servers

     Cisco DNA Center template-based capabilities: Support for additional SD-Access deployment models via Cisco DNA Center templates such as:

     Border templates for handoff (port-channel, Internal Border Gateway Protocol [iBGP], Open Shortest Path First [OSPF]), Scalable Group Tag (SGT) inline tagging and propagation, SGT Exchange Protocol (SXP) to border, and transparent firewall

     Multiple ISEs for guest wireless

     Multicast Rendezvous Point (RP) outside fabric

     Flexible NetFlow (FnF), ETA, and QoS templates

Automation updates: Several new features and enhancements across Network Plug and Play (PnP), wireless automation, branch virtualization, SWIM, and others:

     Grouping and tagging for filtering, policy application, and task execution

     PnP: Switch stack support, Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series support

     SWIM: Image repo enhancements, including separation of image distribution and activation

     Wireless automation: ME deployment (FCS quality), native VLAN support, AireOS 8.8 support, Aironet 4800 with AireOS 8.8, outdoor AP support – Aironet 1560,1542d, 1542i

     Branch: VLAN Open vSwitch (OVS) tagging for default and custom networks, provisioning of ENCS over non-WAN ports, support for password changes to NFV Infrastructure Software (NFVIS), and extension of service network for dual ENCS deployment

     ISE integration enhancements: Automatic cleanup of pxGrid subscribers on ISE when Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) definition is removed from Cisco DNA Center; serviceability improvements, such as IP/FQDN or SAN certificate validation and granular error messages, etc.

System updates: We continue to evolve the system platform through the following:

     Software update page enhancements

     3-node HA automation beta: Virtual IP support for all Cisco DNA Center interfaces, automatic service redistribution of automation stack, and UI notifications

     Back up and restore Assurance data from GUI

Telemetry data collection: The Cisco DNA Center service is configured to automatically connect and transmit telemetry data, in near real time, to Cisco. Telemetry information will be used by Cisco to improve network lifecycle management for IT teams who have deployed Cisco DNA. It uses aggregated analytics to proactively identify potential issues in networks to prevent future problems, improve managed services and support, facilitate adoption of new features that result in increased value, and assist IT teams in tracking and maintaining license entitlement and renewals, while at the same time helping Cisco improve our products. Telemetry information is transported securely to keep customer data private. Data collected includes network device inventory information (such as serial numbers and IP addresses), network device license information (such as license entitlement and software version), and feature usage data. Users may opt out of data collection by turning this feature off in the “Cisco DNA Center Settings” menu. For detailed telemetry information, please see Table 2.

Table 2.             Cisco DNA Center Telemetry Usage and Benefits

Data collected

Telemetry usage and benefits

  Deployment information (Cisco DNA Center appliance serial number, Cisco DNA Center appliance platform, Cisco DNA Center appliance machine ID)
  Feature usage (application stack deployment and usage, workflow hierarchy, dwell time in applications, connectivity with Cisco DNA Center)

Identify potential issues in customers’ environments to prevent problems and improve the product

  Customer identity (Cisco.com ID)
  Feature usage (application stack deployment and usage, workflow hierarchy, dwell time in applications, connectivity with Cisco DNA Center)
  License entitlement information (hardware support contract coverage)

Provide managed services and support

  Customer identity (Cisco.com ID)
  License entitlement information (Cisco Smart Software Manager registration status, Cisco DNA Center subscription level, number of days until license expires)

Facilitate customer adoption and customer value

  Network device inventory (serial number, software version, platform ID, reachability errors)
  License entitlement information (network device type, IP address of network device, Cisco Smart Software Manager registration status, Cisco DNA Center subscription level, hardware support contract coverage, number of days until license expires)

Assist customers in tracking and maintaining license entitlement and renewals

Cisco DNA Center 1.2 Feature Descriptions

Cisco DNA Assurance Detailed Feature Description

Table 3.             Cisco DNA Assurance Features and Benefits


Description and benefits

Overall health dashboard

The main Assurance dashboard, which gives a high-level overview of the health of every network device and client on the network, wired and wireless, Cisco and Meraki®. Provides the top 10 global issues and allows administrator to expand views by geographical site, device list, client list, or topology.

Network health dashboard

General overview of the operational status of every network device connected to Cisco DNA Center. Any poorly connected devices or communication issues will be highlighted, with suggested remediation.

Client health dashboard

General overview of the operational status of every client connected to Cisco DNA Center. Any poorly connected clients or communication issues will be highlighted, with suggested remediation.

Application health dashboard

General overview of the health of all applications on the network. Includes a special section on applications that have been tagged as business relevant. Business-relevant application issues are highlighted, with suggested remediation for any anomalies.

Wireless sensor dashboard

Overview of all Aironet Active Sensors on the network. Shows overall tests, connectivity statistics, and top wireless issues discovered by sensors. Includes test results for Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI), Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), DNS, host reachability, RADIUS, email, Exchange server, web, FTP, and a complete IP SLA for data throughput speed, latency, jitter, and packet loss. Guided remediation for any test failures.

Streaming telemetry

Enables network devices to send near-real-time telemetry information to Cisco DNA Center, reducing delays in data collection. Some of the other benefits of streaming telemetry include:

  Low and quantifiable CPU overhead
  Optimized data export (key performance indicators [KPI], events)
  Event-driven notifications

Device 360 and Client 360

An Assurance feature allowing viewing of device or client connectivity from any angle or context. Included are information on topology, throughput, and latency from different times and applications. Gives a detailed view of any device or client performance over time and from any application context. Provides for very granular troubleshooting in seconds.

  History of performance for each user device
  Proactive identification of any issues affecting the user experience
  Connectivity graph with health score of all devices on the path
  Application experience
  Device KPIs

Path trace

Allows the operator to visualize the path of an application or service from the client through all devices and to the server. A common, and critical, troubleshooting task that normally requires 6 to 10 minutes is displayed instantly upon clicking on a client or application. Troubleshoots issues along the network path.

  Run a path trace from source to destination to quickly get key performance statistics for each device along the network path
  Identify Access Control Lists (ACLs) that may be blocking or affecting the traffic flow

Network time travel

Allows the operator to see device or client performance in a timeline view to understand the network state when an issue occurred. Allows an operator to go back in time up to 14 days and see the cause of a network issue, instead of trying to re-create the
issue in a lab.

  Rewind time to when the issue occurred
  History shows critical events
  All the information on the user or network device changes to the selected time

On-device analytics

Assurance and analytics are performed on a Cisco switch, router, or wireless controller where the anomaly was discovered. Critical metrics can be identified and immediately acted on before an incident occurs. KPIs that are core to business operations can be maintained in real time, and close to the users that rely on them.

Wi-Fi Analytics for Apple iOS clients

A joint development with Apple, Wi-Fi Analytics for Apple iOS offers Cisco DNA Assurance insights into the performance and experience of iOS clients (iPhone/iPad) on the wireless network. It allows the administrator to view wireless performance from the perspective of the iOS client.

  Supports per-device-group policies and analytics
   Client details, such as iPhone model and iOS information
  Provides insights into the client’s view of the network
   Basic Service Set Identifier (BSSID)
   Channel number
  Provides clarity regarding the reliability of connectivity
   Client reasons, such as error codes for last disconnection

Application experience

Tracks performance of predefined “critical business applications.” Shows user experience and performance metrics. Provides specialized rapid troubleshooting per application and per client. Provides unparalleled visibility and performance control over the applications that are critical to your core business, on a per-user basis. Allows users the performance they need on the applications key to their company role.

Proactive network insights

Network insights for issues affecting performance, reliability, or security. Detailed drill-downs to identify impacts quickly. Guided remediation to resolve issue.

List of Correlated Insights

Table 4.             Correlated Insights



Wireless issues

Client onboarding

  Association failures
  Authentication failures
  IP address failures
  Client exclusion
  Excessive onboarding time
  Excessive authentication time
  Excessive IP addressing time
  AAA, DHCP reachability

Client experience

  Throughput analysis
  Roaming pattern analysis
  Sticky client
  Slow roaming
  Excessive roaming
  RF, roaming pattern
  Dual-band clients prefer 2.4 GHz
  Excessive interference
  Apple iOS client disconnect

Network coverage and capacity

  Coverage hole
  AP license utilization
  Client capacity
  Radio utilization

Network device monitoring

  Crash, AP join failure
  High availability
  CPU, memory
  Flapping AP, hung radio
  Power supply failures

Sensor issues

Sensor onboarding

  Association failures
  Authentication failures
  IP address failures
  Sensor exclusion
  Excessive onboarding time
  Excessive authentication time
  Excessive IP addressing time
  AAA, DHCP reachability

Sensor experience

  Throughput analysis
  Outlook web response time
  Web server response time
  SSH server response time
  Mail server response time
  FTP server response time
  Excessive radio interference

Routing issues

Router health

  High CPU
  High memory

Routing technologies

  BGP AS mismatch, flap
  OSPF adjacency failure
  Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP) adjacency failure


  Interface high utilization
  LAN connectivity down/flap
  IP SLA to SP gateway connectivity

Switching issues (non fabric)

Client onboarding

  Client or device DHCP
  Client or device DNS
  Client authentication or authorization


  CPU, memory, temperature
  Line card
  Power over Ethernet (PoE) power
  Ternary Content-Addressable Memory (TCAM) table

SD-Access issues

Border and edge reachability

  Control plane reachability
  Edge reachability
  Border reachability
  Routing protocol
  MAP server

Data plane

  Border and edge connectivity
  Border node health
  Access node health
  Network services DHCP, DNS, AAA

Policy plane

  ISE or pxGrid connectivity
  Border node policy
  Edge node policy

Client onboarding

  Client or device DHCP
  Client or device DNS
  Client authentication or authorization


  CPU, memory, temperature
  Line card
  PoE power
  TCAM table

Cisco DNA Automation Detailed Feature Description

Table 5.             Cisco DNA Automation Features and Benefits


Description and benefits

Network discovery

Automatically discovers and maps network devices to a physical topology with detailed device-level data. The discovery function uses the following protocols and methods to retrieve device information, such as IP addresses, neighboring devices, and hosts connected to the device:

  Cisco Discovery Protocol
  Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) for endpoints
  IP Device Tracking (IPDT) and ARP entries for host discovery
  LLDP Media Endpoint Discovery (LLDP-MED) for discovering IP phones and some servers
  Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) versions 2 and 3

Network Information Database (NIDB)

Periodically scans the network to create a “single source of truth” for IT. This inventory includes all network devices, along with an abstraction for the entire enterprise network. It keeps an updated inventory of devices and software images on that device for version control. The NIDB provides data to applications (such as SWIM, and EasyQoS) so that the correct device and image version are used. It allows applications to be device independent, so configuration differences between devices aren’t a problem.

Meraki discovery and integration

Provides for the discovery of all Meraki devices on the network and integrates them into the Cisco DNA Center dashboard. It provides for a single pane of glass for both Cisco and Meraki devices.

Network design and profile-based management

Allows you to manage your network in a hierarchical fashion by letting you add areas and buildings on a geospatial map. You can start by defining your sites, then add buildings to sites, and finally add floors with detailed floor plans to the buildings. Cisco DNA Center lets the user define profiles, which consist of common network settings such as device credentials, DHCP, DNS server, AAA server, IP address pool, etc., Wireless settings such as SSIDs and RF profiles can be created globally and customized at site levels. These profiles form the basis for network automation.

Network Plug and Play (PnP)

Zero-touch provisioning for new device installation. Allows off-the-shelf Cisco devices to be provisioned simply by connecting them to the network. Cisco Network PnP provides a highly secure, scalable, seamless, and unified zero-touch-deployment experience for customers across Cisco's entire enterprise network portfolio of wired and wireless devices. Deploy new devices in minutes, and without onsite support visits. Eliminate repetitive tasks and eliminate staging. Network PnP reduces the burden on enterprises by greatly simplifying the deployment process for new devices, which can significantly lower Operating Expenditures (OpEx) as well. For more details, refer to the data sheet for the Network Plug and Play application.


Software Image Management (SWIM)

Manages software upgrades and controls the consistency of image versions and configurations across your network. Speeds and simplifies the deployment of new software images and patches. Pre- and post-checks help ensure no adverse effects from an upgrade. This is an easy to way to build a central repository of software images and apply them to devices. Administrators can mark software images as golden for a device family, allowing them to upgrade devices to the software image and patch versions that are in compliance with the golden versions defined in the repository.

  Golden images: Intent-based network upgrades allow for image standardization, much desired by network administrators
  Pre- and post-checks allow network administrators more control over and visibility into network upgrades
  Patches are supported in Cisco DNA Center from intent to pre- and post-checks in the same way that we manage regular images

SMU patching

Provides patching for Software Maintenance Upgrade (SMU) recommendations and reduces the effort required to manually search for, identify, and analyze SMUs that are needed for a device. Cisco DNA Center automatically provides SMU management for multiple Cisco IOS® XR platforms and releases. Automates the patching process and allows most bug fixes to be patched with minimal network disruption.

Branch deployment automation

Simplified workflows for physical and virtual branch automation; day-0 router/NFV design. Onboard WAN devices and services via easy steps:

1. Configure network settings, service provider, and IP pools

2. Design a router or virtual profile

3. Assign to sites and provision network devices

Enterprise Network Functions Virtualization (ENFV) automation

Facilitates branch virtualization on any hardware device, Cisco or third party. Saves time in setting up network virtual services. Supports existing branch migration without hardware upgrade. This feature includes full NFV management.

Wireless automation

Intent-based workflows for simplified wireless deployment and automation

  Network profiles: A container of wireless properties that can represent single or multiple sites
  Simplified guest and SSID creation
  Advanced RF support for wireless networks
  A single workflow to enable flex or centralized wireless deployment
  PnP provisioning for APs
  IP ACL support
  Access and access control policy for SD-Access Wireless only

Device tagging

An administrator can tag network devices in order to associate devices that share a common attribute. For example, you can create a tag and use it to group devices based upon a platform ID, Cisco IOS release, or location. Allows for grouping of devices based on specialized needs.

Policy creation

Allows the creation of policies based on business intent for a particular part of the network. Users can be assigned policies for the services that they consume, and these policies follow them throughout the network. Policies are translated by Cisco DNA Center into network-specific and device-specific configurations that can be adjusted dynamically based on network conditions. Of foundational importance for intent-based networking, policies define the business intent that is desired and allow the network to guarantee services.

Application policy creation

Allows policies to be assigned to applications based on business relevance. These applications can then be attached to sites (locations) where the policy should be applied. This feature allows business-critical applications to have greater QoS priority in the sites where their use is relevant. It is important for mission-critical applications such as machine-to-machine control in manufacturing or life-saving devices in healthcare, as well as for business-critical applications such as video in customer experience centers or voice in support sites.

Cisco Software-Defined Access (SD-Access) 1.2 Key Features

Table 6.            SD-Access Features and Description



Fabric infrastructure

  Automated external connectivity handoff using Virtual Routing and Forwarding Lite (VRF-Lite), and BGP Ethernet VPN (BGP-EVPN)

Fabric assurance

  KPIs, 360-degree views for client, AP, wireless controller (WLC), and switch 
   Underlay and overlay correlation
   Device health: Fabric border and edge, CPU, memory, temperature, line cards, modules, stacking, PoE power, TCAM
   Data plane connectivity: Reachability to fabric border, edge, control plane, and DHCP, DNS, and AAA
   Policy: Fabric border and edge policy, ISE and pxGrid connectivity
   Client onboarding: Client and device DHCP and DNS, client authentication and authorization

Fabric wireless

  Wireless guest with ISE (Central Web Authentication) 
  Wireless guest support on separate guest border and control plane and wireless guest support as separate Virtual Network (VN) on enterprise border and control plane
  Same SSID for traditional and fabric on same WLC (mixed mode)
  WLC Stateful Switchover (SSO)
  Wireless multicast


  Pre-check and post-check workflow validations
  ISE Primary Administration Node (PAN) High Availability (HA) support (includes pxGrid, Monitoring and Troubleshooting [M&T])
  Distributed ISE Policy Service Node (PSN) support (two per site)
  Same ISE instance for fabric and traditional (brownfield) deployments
  Cisco Secure Access Control System (ACS) and ISE for TACACS+ authentication of network devices
  HA support for Cisco DNA Center
  Policy-protected Command-Line Interface (CLI) configuration
  Software image and patch management
  License management
  Backup and restore
  Task scheduler

Distributed campus

  Automated intersite connectivity
  End-to-end policy and segmentation

Fabric infrastructure optimizations

  Device sensor for host onboarding
  Server connectivity for fabric edge
  Support for up to six control plane nodes
  LAN automation hardening
  Cisco DNA Center template-based configurations in fabric deployments for key use cases

Simplified migrations

  Layer 2 handoff at border: Common subnet inside and outside fabric for SD-Access migration in brownfield network
  Layer 2 flooding: Fabric support for end hosts that require Layer 2 flooding, for example, building management systems, audio-visual equipment, etc.

For more details on Software-Defined Access, visit SD-Access solution on Cisco.com.

Cisco DNA Center System Capabilities

Table 7.             System Capabilities


Description and benefits

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

Allows users to be mapped to one of the four predefined roles. The role determines what types of operations a user can perform within the system.

Backup and restore

Supports complete backup and restore of the entire database for added protection.

ISE integration

Integrates with ISE through pxGrid or API for fabric overlay support.

Cisco DNA Center Platform Capabilities

Table 8.            Platform Capabilities


Description and benefits

Northbound REST APIs

The Cisco DNA Center platform supports Representational State Transfer (REST) APIs at the northbound layer for programmability. The Cisco DNA Center 1.2 API provides support for the following features:

  Discovery, device inventory, network topology
  SWIM, Plug and Play (PnP)
  Template programmer, command runner
  Assurance: Site, device, and client health monitoring, path trace
  NFV provisioning

IT Service Management (ITSM) integration

The ITSM integration minimizes the need for handoffs, deduplicates issues, and optimizes processes for proactive insights and faster remediation. Out-of-the-box integration exists with ServiceNow. The generic APIs exposed by the Cisco DNA Center platform enable partners and developers to integrate with any ITSM system.

IP Address Management (IPAM) integration

This integration allows for a seamless import of IP pools for Cisco DNA Center workflows from external IPAM systems and the synchronization of IP pool and subpool usage information between the two systems. Out-of-the-box integration exists with Infoblox and Bluecat. The Cisco DNA Center platform provides generic APIs to integrate with any IPAM system.

Events and notifications

The Cisco DNA Center platform webhooks allow third-party applications to receive notifications and listen to any events detected by Cisco DNA Assurance, Automation, and other task-based operational workflows.

Multivendor SDK

The Cisco DNA Center Multivendor Device Pack SDK allows partners to add support for managing third-party devices directly via Cisco DNA Center.

Meraki Visibility in Cisco DNA Center

For existing Meraki branch customers that want to explore using Cisco DNA Center and Cisco Catalyst 9000 family switches, or for customers with mixed environments, Cisco DNA Center now offers a single management pane of glass. This is an API-driven dashboard integration that supports all existing Meraki hardware and software at no additional license cost.


Figure 4.           

Meraki and Cisco DNA Center Integration

Features and Benefits

     Single dashboard inventory across all platforms (Meraki, Cisco Catalyst, ISR, Aironet)

     Up-or-down status of all devices in a single platform

     Use existing Meraki API keys; no additional license required

     Combined topology mapping of hybrid environments

Cisco DNA Center 1.2 Appliance: Scale and Hardware Specifications

Table 9 captures the scale information for Cisco DNA Center Release 1.2.

Table 9.            Scale and Hardware Specifications


Appliance specifications

Single-node deployment supported in Cisco DNA Center 1.2

  Number of devices: 5000 (Network Devices and Access points)
   Number of network devices: 1 1000
   Number of access points: 4000
  Number of clients and hosts: 25,000 (Max wired hosts 5000)

1 Network devices include routers, switches, and WLCs.

Single appliance for Cisco DNA Center (Automation and Assurance)

  Centralized deployment, cloud tethered
  1RU small form factor
  2x 10-Gbps data links
  Built-in network telemetry collection (FNF, SNMP, Syslog)
  Built-in contextual connectors (ISE or pxGrid, IPAM, location)
  64-bit x86 processors
  Solid-state disks in RAID 10
  Hardware MRAID controller
  Dual power supplies

Roles and Privileges

Table 10.          Role-Based Access Control




Users with this role have full access to all of the network-related Cisco DNA Center functions. They do not have access to system-related functions, such as app management, users (except for changing their own passwords), and backup and restore.


Users with this role have view-only access to all Cisco DNA Center functions.


Users with this role have the ability to perform system-level functions within Cisco DNA Center. 


Users with this role have full access to all of the Cisco DNA Center functions. They can create other user profiles with various roles, including those with the Super-Admin-Role.

Device Support

Cisco DNA Center provides coverage for Cisco enterprise switching, routing, and mobility products. For a complete list of Cisco products supported, please download our support spreadsheet, which is
regularly updated.


Cisco DNA Center Appliance Physical Specifications

The Cisco DNA Center appliance is available in a single form factor and comes with the Cisco DNA Center application preinstalled on it. Table 11 shows the appliance specifications.

Table 11.          Physical Specifications

Part number for ordering


Hardware series


Power supply

Dual 770W AC

Physical dimensions (H x W x D)

Height: 1.7 in. (4.32 cm)

Width: 16.89 in. (43.0 cm); including handles:18.98 in. (48.2 cm)

Depth: 29.8 in. (75.6 cm); including handles: 30.98 in. (78.7 cm)

Temperature: Operating

1° to 95°F (5° to 35°C)

Derate the maximum temperature by 1°C per every 1000 ft. (305 m)

of altitude above sea level

Temperature: Nonoperating

-40° to 149°F (–40° to 65°C)

Humidity: Operating

10% to 90%, noncondensing at 82°F (28°C)

Humidity: Nonoperating

5% to 93% at 82°F (28°C)

Altitude: Operating

0 to 3000 m (0 to 10,000 ft)

Altitude: Nonoperating

0 to 12,192 m (0 to 40,000 ft)

Network and management I/O

Supported connectors:

One 1 Gigabit Ethernet dedicated management port

Two 1 Gigabit BASE-T Ethernet LAN ports

One RS-232 serial port (RJ-45 connector)

One 15-pin VGA2 connector

Two USB 3.0 connectors

One front-panel KVM connector that is used with the KVM cable,

which provides two USB 2.0, one VGA, and one serial (DB-9) connector

Cisco DNA Center 1.2 Device-Aware Fabric VN Llimit (Fabric VN Scale)

Table 12 captures the fabric VN limits for devices in the fabric when deploying Cisco DNA Center Release 1.2.

Table 12.       Fabric VN limits (the current maximum VRF validation is based on a lower limit of 1 and an upper limit of 128, even if the device can support more than 128)

Device series

Max VRFs

Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Switches


Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series Switches


Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series Switches


Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches

1000 (128)

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches

1000 (128)

Data center switches (Cisco Nexus® 7000 Series Switches)

4000 (128)

Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V Series

4000 (128)

Cisco ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers

4000 (128)

Cisco 4000 Series Integrated Services Routers

4000 (128)

Cisco 4400 Series Integrated Services Routers

4000 (128)

Cisco 4200 Series Integrated Services Routers

4000 (128)

Cisco 4300 Series Integrated Services Routers

4000 (128)

Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series Switches

256 (128)

Cisco Catalyst 9500 Series Switches

256 (128)

Cisco Catalyst 9500H Series Switches

256 (128)

Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches

256 (128)

Cisco Catalyst 9200-L Series Switches


Cisco Catalyst 9200 Series Switches


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