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Updated:December 16, 2013
Q. What is Cisco Prime
™ for Enterprise?
A. Cisco Prime for Enterprise is an innovative strategy and portfolio of management products that empower IT departments to more effectively manage their networks and the services they deliver. Cisco Prime is built on a network services management foundation and a set of common attributes. It delivers an intuitive workflow-oriented user experience across Cisco architectures, technologies, and networks. Cisco Prime simplifies network management, improves operations efficiency, reduces errors, and makes the delivery of network services more predictable.
Q. Is Cisco Prime a product?
A. Cisco Prime is a portfolio of integrated management products that are each licensed separately. The portfolio includes three solution families and their associated products:
• Cisco Prime Infrastructure includes Cisco Prime Network Control System (NCS) and Cisco Prime LAN Management Solution (LMS)
• Cisco Prime Assurance includes Cisco Prime Assurance Manager (AM) and Cisco Prime Network Analysis Module (NAM)
• Cisco Prime Collaboration includes Cisco Prime Collaboration Manager (CM) and Cisco Prime Unified Communications Management Suite
Q. Where can I get more information about Cisco Prime products?
A. Cisco Prime AM is a web-based application for network service assurance and performance management. Cisco Prime AM uses network sources like NetFlow and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) polling, traps, and syslogs, and uses Cisco NAM to aggregate and provide the following functionality to end users:
• Centralized performance monitoring: Cisco Prime AM provides dashboards and reports to view performance data at varying levels of granularity and aggregation, both spatial and time based.
• Service assurance: Cisco Prime AM identifies running applications and network services automatically, correlating these services with its performance and fault data.
• Troubleshooting: Performance events can trigger packet capture and decoding that can be used to troubleshoot network performance problems and faults.
• Traffic Analysis: Data collection from different sources can be used to analyze traffic for the purposes of capacity planning and optimization.
Q. How is Cisco Prime AM licensed?
A. Cisco Prime AM is licensed based on the number of interfaces. Interface count licenses are sold in bundles of 50, 100, 500, 1000, and 5000 as either a base license or add-on licenses. Purchase of a single base interface count is mandatory to use AM. To increase the license counts, customers can order add-on interface licenses.
Q. What are the supported browsers?
A. Cisco Prime AM is supported on the following browsers:
• Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 or later with the Flash plug-in
• Mozilla Firefox 7.0 & 8.0
Note: You are strongly advised not to enable third-party browser extensions. In Internet Explorer, you can disable third-party browser extensions by choosing
Tools > Internet Options and unselecting the
Enable third-party browser extensions check box on the
Q. What platforms does Cisco Prime AM support?
A. Cisco Prime AM is delivered in a soft appliance format that can be installed as an Open Virtualization Archive (OVA) on a Cisco Unified Computing System
™ (Cisco UCS
™) virtual machine (VM).
Q. Where can I find the supported list of devices for Cisco Prime AM?
A. Please check the Cisco Prime AM data sheet for a full list of supported devices.
Q. What are the minimum & maximum system requirements to install Cisco Prime AM?
A. See Table 1 for the system requirements.
Table 1. System Requirements for Cisco Prime AM
Min 200 GB, Max1.2 TB
Virtual appliance (OVA)
Min 8 GB, 24 GB
Min 4 cores, Max 8 cores
Q. Can Cisco Prime AM manage multiple NAMs as well?
A. Yes. Cisco Prime AM can centrally discover, configure, and manage hundreds of NAMs in the first release. Please refer to the user guide for more details on Cisco Prime AM's capabilities to manage multiple NAMs. How many NAMs can be managed would depend upon the type of assurance license (the number of interface licenses) you have.
Q. Does Cisco Prime AM monitor the health of devices?
A. Yes. Cisco Prime AM monitors the health of the devices that host the interfaces exporting NetFlow to Cisco Prime AM.
Q. How do I use NAM information in Prime AM?
A. Cisco Prime AM discovers NAMs in the network as sources of performance data, which is centrally reported in the Cisco Prime AM UI as part of the dashboards available under
Operate > Monitoring Dashboards > Performance and
Operate > Monitoring Dashboards > Detail Dashboards. You can see the list of NAMs available in the network from the "Data Collectors" screen.
Q. What do I have to turn on in the network to see information in the dashboards and reports?
A. To view and manage the devices in your network, the devices should be enabled for SNMP (read/write community strings) and Telnet/Secure Shell (SSH) Protocol. Cisco Prime NCS must first discover the devices and collect inventory data. Cisco Prime AM uses SNMP to connect to the support devices and collects information about them.
Q. I don't see data in some of my dashlets/reports.
A. This happens when certain data sources are not available or configured in the network. For example, you need Cisco Performance Agent or Cisco Prime NAM to see data on application response time for various applications discovered.
Q. How do I contact support if I run into issues?
A. Use the feedback tool, which comes with the application.
Q. What are the primary use cases of NCS?
A. Primary use cases for Cisco Prime NCS include the following:
• Simplifying branch provisioning: Customers need to easily, cost effectively, and consistently provision new (or replacement) devices and network services.
• Diagnosing site-down events: Network operators need to quickly and reliably troubleshoot and remediate the branch connectivity issues to the central office.
• Sensor monitoring: Network operators need proactive alerting of network device issues (CPU, temperature, and memory) before they affect service.
• Simplifying branch image updates: Network administrators need to perform remote software updates to their branch devices to address Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) issues.
• Application visibility: A network administrator wants to turn on application visibility (AV) at a site aggregation point (ASR) and have reports generated on Layer 4-Layer 7 visibility.
Q. What are the primary use cases of Cisco Prime AM?
A. Primary use cases for Cisco Prime AM include the following:
• Proactive site monitoring: Network operators need to determine the network cause of application performance problems.
• Isolating rich-media issues in a branch: For users who complain of bad voice quality, network administrators need to quickly identify and resolve the problem.
• Branch application rollout planning: Business needs to deploy more users to a branch; network engineering needs to monitor key interfaces for utilization and overages.
• Multibranch troubleshooting: Network administrators need immediate and broad visibility of network activity to identify and pinpoint network issues.
Q. How is the menu organized - where do I get started?
A. The menu is organized around Design, Deploy, Operate, and Administration functions, as follows:
• The Design submenu provides options for the user to design configuration and monitoring templates.
• The Deploy submenu provides options for the user to manage the deployment of designed configuration or monitoring templates on a set of selected devices/device groups or port groups.
• The Operate submenu provides options for the user to view monitoring dashboards, manage network infrastructure, view alarms and events, and manage site profiles, software images, and configuration archives.
• The Administration submenu provides options for the user to perform administrative tasks such as license management, access management, logging, and so on.
Q. How can I get all device-specific information in a concise manner?
A. Cisco Prime
AM allows the network operator to get concise summary information regarding any device through a 360-degree view of the device. In order to launch the 360-degree view, hover your mouse over a device IP address, then click the icon that appears. In addition to viewing device information such as status, location, software deployed, utilization information, and so on, you can also view modules, alarms, neighbors, and interfaces on the device from the 360-degree view. From the 360-degree view, the user has the option to cross-launch into the alarm browser and the device work center. The user also has the ability to invoke tools like ping, traceroute, and Telnet to the device.
Q. Can I see wireless devices in Cisco Prime AM?
A. Wireless controllers and APs are not part of the first release of Prime AM.
Q. How many devices and sites does Cisco Prime AM support in one box?
A. Cisco Prime AM supports 5000 devices and sites in one box. Please note that the NAM is not included in this list.
Q. Does Cisco Prime AM support Flexible NetFlow?
A. Cisco Prime AM supports Flexible NetFlow by letting the users create new, custom collection plans based on learned Flexible NetFlow templates and running reports on the data collected as part of these custom aggregation plans. Users may also extend prepackaged aggregation plans to include a limited number of additional fields defined in the incoming Flexible NetFlow templates.
Q. What is Medianet and how does Cisco Prime AM support it?
A. Medianet is a network optimization technology for rich media that provides intelligent services in order to scale, optimize, and enhance the performance of video, voice, and data. Cisco Prime AM supports some of the performance fields, which are exported by a Medianet-capable device, in some of the prepackaged performance templates and also by supporting Flexible NetFlow.
Q. How do I contact support if I run into issues?
A. Please open a Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) case or submit feedback using the feedback tool.