Cisco Prime Infrastructure is a Network Management software suite by Cisco Prime (under the name of Cisco Works earlier) that allows you to manage the complete lifespan of your network infrastructure from a single Graphical User Interface (GUI)
This network infrastructure lifespan includes the lifecycle of wired and wireless access and Campus and Branch Networks. In addition, the Cisco Prime Infrastructure gives the network managers a single point of control for deploying, monitoring, optimizing, and troubleshooting physically wired and wirelessly connected devices.
Due to robust Graphical User Interfaces, the operations and device deployments have become very cost-effective and effortless. In addition, Cisco ISE aids Prime Infrastructure in monitoring and troubleshooting client data by displaying all essential data for a client in a single interface.
- Cisco Prime Infrastructure provides complete control of wired/ wireless access, campus, and branch networks, as well as rich visibility into end-user connection and assurance of application performance.
- This Graphical Interface is a self-service portal that allows users to order and control any IT service, from data centers to desktops. So whether the end-user wants to order a mobile device, a virtual desktop, or a whole application development environment in the private cloud, Cisco Prime Service Catalog makes the process easier and streamlined.
- The Cisco Prime Infrastructure provides the network administrators with deep application-aware network visibility and detailed performance metrics, allowing them to pinpoint and fix problems while improving the user experience quickly.
- For the enterprise network, it provides integrated, high-performance, and dependable Domain Name System (DNS), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), and IP Address Management (IPAM) services.
- Using Cisco Prime Infrastructure, you can configure and monitor one or more controllers, switches, and related access points. The Prime Infrastructure adds a graphical view of many controllers and managed access points and includes the same configuration, performance monitoring, security, fault management, and accounting options available at the controller level.
Cisco Prime Infrastructure offers two different Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs). You may switch between them by clicking the downward arrow next to your login name.
- Lifecycle View The different stages of the Lifecycle interface are Home, Design, Deploy, Operate, Report, Administration, and Workflow menus. A detailed user guide has been designed that describes the features available in Lifecycle View.
- Classic View This interface is consistent with the graphical user interface in the Cisco Prime Network Control system 1.1 or Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS). Like WCS, it has tools to monitor and control large systems easily.
A fully functional command-line interface can also configure the individual controllers. WCS’s communication with the controllers is based on the industry-standard protocol called SNMP. Similarly, the Prime infrastructure uses the same protocol for communication.
Prime Infrastructure Organization – Lifecycle Workflow
The high-level task areas specified in the Prime Infrastructure web interface are arranged into a lifecycle workflow. The infrastructure organization described in this article follows the same hierarchy of main task areas elaborated further.
Before starting the Cisco Prime Infrastructure Web interface, It is recommended that you disable all the third-party browser extensions. Procedures for disabling in different browsers are provided as:
- If you use Internet Explorer, the third-party browser extensions can be disabled by choosing Internet options in the tools menu. Then you have to uncheck the Enable third-party browser extensions check box in the Advanced tab. Then you‘ll have to restart your browser to make the changes work.
- For Microsoft Edge, select Settings and More at the top corner of the browser. In the menu, click extensions and then select the toggle next to all the extensions already installed. Please observe the extension icons as they disappear from the address bar for confirmation.
- For Google Chrome, enter the following in the address bar and click enter key on the keyboard: Chrome://extensions. Next, click disable beside all the items. Then restart the browser so that the changes may take effect.
- For Mozilla Firefox, click on the Tools menu, then select the Add-ons option. Then click on the Extensions button on the left side of the page that appears. Then you have to click the disable button beside each of the items on the shown list. Then you have to restart your browser for the final effect.
Cisco Prime Infrastructure Task Areas
The respective task areas for Prime Infrastructure Organization are discussed each one by one in detail:
The Network Administrators and Network Engineers use it to view dashboards, which give at-a-glance views of the network’s most critical and essential data. In addition, they provide information regarding the connected devices, performance metrics, and status of any alerts or events.
Prime Infrastructure offers a variety of dashboards with graphs and visual indicators. These include:
- Network summary – Gives a high-level overview of your network, including status metrics and a page dedicated to incidents, which contains graphs of alarms and event types and their counts as well.
- Overview – Includes tabs for clients, network devices, network interfaces, and service assurance, as well as summary information.
- Wireless – Provides wireless security, mesh, clean air, and context-aware information.
- Performance – Includes tabs for sites, devices, access points, interfaces, apps, voice/video, end-user experience, and WAN optimization, as well as a summary of performance indicators.
- Data Center – Includes tabs for Compute and Host and general information regarding the Data Center.
Network Engineers, Architects, and Designers use the Design area to develop reusable design patterns like configuration templates. They have the option of using pre-made templates or creating their own. In the deployment step of the lifecycle, patterns and templates are employed. Plug and Play profiles and mobility services can also be created. It can be used for:
- Creating Configuration Templates at the Feature Level
- Making Templates for Monitoring
- Creating Policy Objects That Can Be Shared
- Creating Wireless Configuration Templates
- Creating Controller Configuration Groups
It is used by Network Operation Center (NOC) Engineers and Service Operators to deploy designs or templates that have been previously defined in your network. Using templates generated during the design phase, you determine how to deploy features. In addition, you can use the deploy phase to push configurations from your templates to one or more devices.
This Menu allows you to deploy previously configured tasks, profiles, and software immediately or at future times. The functions that can be done using this menu are:
- Deployments of Templates in the Planning Stage
- Monitoring and Deployment Automating Device Deployment with Configuration Tasks
- Deployment of Controllers Configuration
- Organizing and Managing Scheduled Configuration Templates for Tasks
- Template Deployment Troubleshooting
Network Engineers use it, Network Operation Center (NOC) Engineers, and Service Operators daily to monitor your network and execute additional day-to-day or ad hoc network device inventory and configuration management tasks. Dashboards, the Device Work Center, the Mobility Work Center, and the tools you need for day-to-day monitoring, troubleshooting, maintenance, and operations are all found under the Operate tab. The primary operations include:
- Monitoring Background Tasks
- Device Work Center
- Using Packet Capture to Monitor and Troubleshoot Network Traffic
- Securing Network Services
- Import Policy Updates
- Monitoring Jobs
Network Engineers, Network Operation Center (NOC) Engineers, and Service Operators use this to create Reports, view saved report templates, and run scheduled reports. This is necessary to monitor the system and network health and troubleshoot problems.
The reports might be in summary, tabular, or mixed (tabular and graphical) format. The reports can be saved for future diagnostic use or scheduled to run regularly once they’ve been defined. Reports are saved in CSV or PDF format and delivered to a specific email address or saved to a file on Prime Infrastructure for downloading later.
The following are some of the reports:
- Current—Provides a time-independent snapshot of data
- Historical—Retrieves data from the device and regularly stores it in the Prime Infrastructure database
- Trend—Generates a report based on data that has been aggregated. Data from devices can be collected regularly, and a report creation schedule can be defined
Network engineers use this task area to manage access control and specify system configuration and data collecting options. For example, licenses can be managed, jobs can be viewed and approved, upgraded software, and established health standards. It can also be used to:
- Configure guest account settings
- Add users and manage user accounts
- View the Tasks performed by users
- Add users and manage the accounts
- Set up a maximum number of sessions per user
To set up new devices, network Engineers use the workflows for Plug and Play capability, which allows any newly connected Cisco IOS device to be immediately detected, inventoried, and configured. After the switches or Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers have been added to Prime Infrastructure, network engineers also configure them.
Simplified Management from Branch to Data Center
Cisco Prime Infrastructure makes wireless and wired network management more effortless. From the branch to the data center, it provides Day 0 and 1 provisioning and Day N assurance. It’s referred to as One Management. You may benefit from One Management across both networks and compute with this one view and point of control.
Overview of the Enhanced Capabilities of Cisco Prime Infrastructure
Cisco Prime Infrastructure gives you everything you need to streamline and automate administrative activities while using the intelligence of Cisco networks. Product features and capabilities help you to:
Realize One Management
Wireless lifecycle management and application visibility and control provide one single, unified solution. The Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) also provides policy monitoring and troubleshooting, as well as location-based tracking of mobile devices with the Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE). You can control the network, devices, apps, and users from a single location.
Organize Your Products
Reduce the number of tools needed to manage the network by consolidating management packages. Cisco Prime Infrastructure provides you with more insight and control over your network, as well as speedier deployment and troubleshooting. Now, you can spend more time transforming your business through innovation and adaptability to change.
Manage Your Network to Facilitate Mobile Collaboration
Support for 802.11ac, correlated wired-wireless client visibility, spatial mapping, Radio Frequency prediction tools, and more is available through Cisco Prime Infrastructure. As a result, wireless infrastructure management has been simplified while solving problems faster and with lesser resources.
Decrease Time to Value with Device and Technology Packages
Device Packs provide ongoing support for new Cisco hardware and software applications. It ensures device family parity, removing gaps in management processes, particularly in service availability and troubleshooting. In addition, technology Packs bring new features in between releases, reducing time to value for high-demand functionality.
Intelligent WAN Management Simplified
Based on Cisco best practices, Cisco Prime Infrastructure offers new, guided workflows for the Intelligent WAN and Converged Access. These workflows make new branch rollouts quick and straightforward, from setting up devices and services to automatically managing and monitoring them.
Management Extended to Data Center
Cisco Prime Infrastructure provides 360-degree views of Cisco Unified Computing System Series B Blade Servers and Series C Rack Servers and Cisco Nexus switches, including the Application-Centric Infrastructure–ready Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches. These are offered under Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance, and Security (FCAPS) management.
Network administration is frequently delegated by domain, region, or nation in large or global enterprises. Up to ten, Cisco Prime Infrastructure instances can be visualized using Cisco Prime Infrastructure Operations Center, allowing you to scale your management infrastructure while maintaining central visibility and control.