Cisco Prime Infrastructure
Converged Lifecycle and Assurance Management


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Cisco Prime Infrastructure:

Accelerate business and network transformation with unified lifecycle management and application visibility.

Business and network transformation brings new challenges to traditional IT network management organizations. The proliferation of mobile devices and pervasive voice and video collaboration, along with cloud and data center virtualization, is driving the need for higher levels of service, application delivery assurance, and improved end-user experience and quality of service (QoS). Today's IT organizations must maintain business continuity and lower operational expenses while supporting these major transformations.

Cisco Prime™ Infrastructure addresses these challenges by providing a single integrated solution for comprehensive lifecycle management and application visibility that helps enable network managers to maintain, operate, and deliver applications and services that meet the demands for a better end-user experience.

Cisco Prime Infrastructure accelerates the rollout of new services and provides secure access and tracking of mobile devices, making "bring your own device" (BYOD) a reality for corporate IT. Tightly coupling client awareness with application performance visibility and network control, Cisco Prime Infrastructure helps ensure uncompromised end-user quality of experience. Deep integration with the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) further extends this visibility across security and policy-related problems, presenting a complete view of client access issues with a clear path to solving them.

Converged Simplified Lifecycle Management

Cisco Prime Infrastructure simplifies and automates many of the day-to-day tasks associated with maintaining and managing the end-to-end network infrastructure. The new converged solution delivers all of the existing wireless capabilities for radio frequency (RF) management, user access visibility, reporting, and troubleshooting along with network infrastructure lifecycle functions such as discovery, inventory, configuration and image management, compliance reporting, integrated best practices, and reporting. A new operational workflow model based on lifecycle processes aligns the product functionality with the way network operators do their jobs:

  • Design - Assess, plan, and create configurations required to roll out new network services and technologies. Create templates used for monitoring key network resources, devices, and attributes. Default templates and best practice designs are provided for quick out-of-the-box implementation, automating the work required to use Cisco validated designs and best practices.
  • Deploy - Schedule the rollout and implementation of network changes. This may include rolling out new configuration or monitoring templates created in the design phase, software image updates, and support for user-initiated ad hoc changes and compliance updates. This accelerates service rollout, minimizes chances for errors, and is highly scalable. In addition, Cisco Prime Infrastructure provides a simple set of guided and advance flows to bulk provision new devices including the converged access switches on the network and to push initial configuration to get the device functional and operational within a few minutes thereby drastically reducing the IT operational expenses.
  • Operate - Predefined dashboards provide up-to-date status monitoring on the overall health of the network. Simple one-click workflows and 360-degree views enhance troubleshooting and reduce the time to resolve network issues. Unified alarm display provides actionable information and the ability to automatically open service requests with the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC).
  • Report - Provides a wide variety of predefined reports for up-to-date information on the network including detailed inventory, compliance, audit, capacity, end-of-sale, security vulnerabilities, and many more.

Improve Application Delivery and End-User Experience

By converging lifecycle management and assurance, Cisco Prime Infrastructure delivers a 360-degree experience that empowers network managers to more effectively manage their network as well as the services their network delivers. Bringing device management capabilities into operational monitoring workflows provide a holistic, multidimensional view of the user, client, application, and network. This 360-degree experience helps network managers improve their responsiveness to business needs, identify and remediate problems quicker, and lower incident and problem rates.

Cisco Prime Infrastructure both configures and uses as a source of rich performance data embedded Cisco instrumentation and industry-standard technologies, such as Application Visibility and Control (AVC), NetFlow, Flexible NetFlow, Network Based Application Recognition (NBAR2), Medianet, Performance Agent, and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), to deliver network-wide, application-aware visibility. It provides operations monitoring and quality of experience workflows that reduce instrumentation configuration and data collection complexity to quickly and easily gain insight into network and application performance. It also integrates with Cisco Prime Network Analysis Module (NAM) to permit the collection and correlation of granular flow- and packet-based data from one NAM or many, helping to enable deeper analysis and troubleshooting to rapidly solve challenging application and network problems.

Help Ensure Regulatory and Risk Compliance

Cisco Prime Infrastructure provides continuous compliance and auditing capabilities to help IT organizations monitor and assess their network and device configuration for out-of-policy configuration, and security and risk vulnerabilities. This includes Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) auditing of the wireless network, and network inventory auditing and reporting against Cisco advisories such as end-of-life and end-of-support for devices, OS versions and modules as well as Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) notifications.

Reduce Operational Expenses

Cisco Prime Infrastructure's scalable single-pane-of-glass solution significantly reduces operational costs by reducing the number of required management solutions.Cisco Prime Infrastructure scales to manage up to 13,000 devices of various types, including routers, switches, wireless controllers, autonomous access points, and the new Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series converged access switches and the Cisco 5760 Wireless LAN Controller. Ongoing support of new Cisco devices and software releases ensures device support parity within each device family, thus eliminating gaps in your management operations, especially when it comes to service availability and troubleshooting.

Cisco Prime Infrastructure offers both physical appliance and virtual appliance options for deployment flexibility without sacrificing scalability, ease of installation and setup, or serviceability and sustainability.

Features and Benefits:

Features Benefits
Global Platform
Operational efficiency
  • lexible virtual machine or appliance-based deployment models, easy to set up for quick time to value in small to global enterprise-class networks
  • Manage up to 13000 routers, switches, ASAs and access points, including the new Cisco Catalyst® 3850 Series Converged Access switch and new Cisco 5760 Wireless LAN Controllers
  • Streamlined workflows facilitate design, deployment, and operational lifecycle tasks that align with user roles
  • Contextual dashboards and 360-degree User and Device views display only the most relevant information for fast and efficient troubleshooting and remediation
Integrated Cisco best practices
  • Integration with Cisco knowledge base helps to ensure optimal service and support, product updates, best practices, and reports to improve network availability, including simplifying TAC interactions, notification and downloading software updates, network inventory end-of-life milestone (EoX) auditing, and assessing Cisco Product Security Incident Report Team (PSIRT) exposure
  • Ongoing support of new Cisco devices and software releases ensures device support parity within each device family, and is provided through the Incremental Device Updates (IDUs)
Improved operations
  • Built-in high availability maximizes uptime for services delivery and improves operational efficiency
  • Cisco Prime Infrastructure Mobile application for Apple iOS devices helps enable fingertip access to view, troubleshoot, and resolve network issues anywhere and anytime
  • Role-based access control provides flexibility to segment the network into one or more virtual domains controlled by a single Cisco Prime Infrastructure platform. Virtual domains help deploy both large, multisite networks and managed services
  • Flexible authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) allow for local, RADIUS, TACACS+, or single sign-on options
Converged management Single pane-of-glass solution for complete end-to-end infrastructure management, reducing the need for multiple tools and lowering operating expenses and training costs
Complete lifecycle management
  • Extensive discovery protocol support helps improve accuracy and completeness, including ping, Cisco Discovery Protocol, Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP), Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), and route table lookups
  • Flexible grouping and site profiles help to manage large networks by associating network elements to user definable groups or to a hierarchical campus, building, and floor model
  • Device Work Center simplifies access to the tools and features necessary to easily manage the network inventory, including discovery, configuration, manual and bulk import, and software image management
  • Customizable predefined Cisco best practices and validated design configuration templates help enable quick and easy device and service deployment
  • Composite templates allow greater flexibility and packaging of individual templates into larger, reusable, purpose-built configurations for more consistent and quicker network designs
  • Model-based simplified workflow to assess the network for Cisco TrustSec® 802.1x readiness and facilitate the deployment of network technologies and solutions, such as one-click AVC Configuration from device work center, Cisco TrustSec® 802.1x and Zone-Based Firewall (ZBF), all based on Cisco best practices
  • Flexible plug and play functionality to simplify the rollout of new devices and sites, accelerating service availability
  • Centralized health and event monitoring of branch, campus, and WLAN access networks helps maintain robust performance and an optimal access connectivity experience
  • Integration with Cisco ISE and Cisco Secure Access Control Server (ACS) View provides a simple way to collect and analyze additional data relevant to endpoints
  • Integration with Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE) for location-based tracking services for discovered end points
  • Integrated workflows and tools help IT administrators quickly assess service disruptions, receive notices about performance degradation, research resolutions, and take action to remedy non optimal situations
  • Feature configuration templates provided to facilitate Application Visibility and Control (AVC), Zone-Based Firewall, Easy VPN (EzVPN), dynamic multipoint VPN (DMVPN), Group Encrypted Transport VPN (GETVPN), access control lists (ACLs), and ScanSafe deployment and management
  • Device-level support is provided for ACLs, Enhanced Interior Gateway Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol (RIP), OSPF, static routes, Ethernet interfaces, and Network Address Translation (NAT) configuration
Complete lifecycle management Converged solution delivers all of the existing wireless capabilities for radio frequency (RF) management, user access visibility, reporting, and troubleshooting along with network infrastructure lifecycle functions such as discovery, inventory, configuration and image management, compliance reporting, integrated best practices, and reporting
Support for Wireless LAN Controller (WLC) Release 7.4 Support for new hardware and software features introduced in WLC Release 7.4. This includes WLC 5760 controller, 3850 switch, virtual WLC platforms, AP 2600, AP 1550 with EPON interface, High Availability (HA) with sub-second failover, Proxy Mobile IPv6, and other features
Next-generation maps New maps engine supports high-resolution images with much improved pan and zoom controls. Search within maps is also supported. The new maps combined with search offer a faster and smoother navigation experience with quicker access to information
Automatic hierarchy creation Automatically create maps and assign access points to maps using regular expressions. This feature automates the tedious work of creating campus, building, and floor hierarchies and assigning access points to the floor
Automatic switch port tracing Ability to automatically identify the Cisco switch and port information for a rogue access point connected to the Cisco switch, which allows quickly identifying and mitigating the threat posed by a rogue access point and attached end clients
Third-party support Ability to discover and monitor third-party (non-Cisco) switches that support RFC 1213 and wireless controllers/access points from Aruba Networks

Technical Specifications:

Cisco Prime Infrastructure is designed to suit a wide range of operational needs and deployment scenarios, ranging from modest-sized, single-location network environments with a centralized IT organization to extremely large, multisite networks with geographically and functionally distributed IT operations.

Hardware Specifications
Virtual appliance resource requirements
Virtual Appliance Size Virtual CPU Memory (DRAM) HDD Size Throughput
(Disk I/O)
Concurrent Users
API Clients
Express 4 12 GB 300 GB 200 MBps 5 2
Standard 16 16 GB 900 GB 200 MBps 25 5
Pro 16 24 GB 1200 GB 200 MBps 25 5
Custom*Express 8 16 GB 600 GB 200 MBps 10 2
Product Specifications
Minimum client requirements
  • Client hardware: A Mac or Windows laptop or desktop compatible with one of the supported browsers and running 1 GB RAM, 2 GHz or better processor
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 9.0 and above with Google Chrome plug-in (plugin not needed by Lobby Ambassador users), Mozilla Firefox ESR 10 and ESR 17 (ESR 17 is recommended), Mozilla Firefox 22 or later, Google Chrome 27.0 or later
  • Resolution: Screen display resolution is recommended to be set to 1280 x 800 or higher
Management and security SNMPv1, v2c, v3, and Cisco TACACS+, PNG, JPEG, and AutoCAD (DXF and DWG) import file types supported
Supported device types
  • Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISRs)
  • Cisco Aggregation Services Routers (ASRs)
  • Cisco Carrier Routing System (CRS)
  • Cisco Gigabit Switch Routers (GSRs)
  • Cisco Universal Broadband Routers (uBRs)
  • Cisco Catalyst Switches
  • Cisco Network Analysis Modules
  • Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS)
  • Cisco Nexus® Switches
  • Cisco MDS 9000 Series Multilayer Switches
  • Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASAs)
  • Cisco Mobility Service Engine (MSE)
  • Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
  • Cisco Lightweight Access Points
  • Cisco Autonomous Access Points
  • Cisco Small Business 300 and 500 series Switches
* Custom Express is not available as a separate OVA download. You will need to download the Express OVA and customize it for Custom Express. Please contact your Cisco Sales Representative for details/procedure on customization.


Supported Scale for Express/Standard/Pro Configurations

Parameter Express Custom Express Standard Pro
Max Unified AP 300 2500 5000 20,000
Max Autonomous AP 300 500 3000 3,000
Max Wired 300 1000 6000 13,000
NAMs 5 5 500 1,000
Wired Clients 6,000 50,000 50,000 50,000
Wireless Clients 4,000 30,000 75,000 200,000
Changing Clients 1,000 5,000 25,000 40,000
Events Sustained Rate (events/sec) 100 100 300 1000
Netflow Rate (flows/sec) 3000 3000 16,000 80,000
Max Interfaces 12,000 50,000 250,000 350,000
Max NAM Data Polling Enabled 5 5 20 40
Max Number Sites/Campus 200 500 2,500 2,500
Max Groups:
(User Defined + Out of the Box + Device Groups + Port Groups)
50 100 150 150
Max Virtual Domains 100 500 1,000 1,000
Concurrent GUI Clients 5 10 25 25
Concurrent API Clients 2 2 5 5
* A device constitutes a supported device type. NAM management requires that the Assurance feature be set. For best practices recommendation of when to use the different appliance sizes, please refer to the Cisco Prime Infrastructure Best Practices whitepaper.
** Events are either syslogs or SNMP traps received from managed network devices.

An Integrated Solution:

Cisco Prime Infrastructure is a single installable software package with tiered licensing options to expand and grow functionality and coverage as needed. Simply install the base software license and one or more of the following feature set options:

  • Lifecycle management - Simplifies the day-to-day operational tasks associated with managing the network infrastructure for all Cisco devices including; routers, switches, access points, and more.
  • Assurance management - Delivers application-level visibility through the normalization, aggregation, and correlation of rich performance instrumentation data to help ensure application delivery and an optimal end-user experience.
  • Plug-and-Play Gateway - This optional feature complements the plug-and-play functionality available through lifecycle management. It enables the remote plug-and-play functionality for large-scale environments and DMZ implementations.


Download the Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.0 Datasheet (PDF).

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