Cisco Prime Infrastructure 3.x
One Management and One Assurance of Enterprise Networks from Campus/Branch to the Data Center
Cisco Prime Infrastructure is a network management tool that supports lifecycle management of your entire network infrastructure from a single graphical interface. Cisco Prime Infrastructure provides network administrators a single solution for provisioning, monitoring, optimizing, and troubleshooting both wired and wireless devices. Robust graphical interfaces make device deployments and operations simple and cost-effective.
To overcome these challenges, IT professionals need a comprehensive solution to manage, visualize, and monitor the network from a single graphical interface. Cisco Prime™ Infrastructure provides lifecycle management, assurance visibility, and troubleshooting capabilities network-wide - from the wireless user in the branch office, across the WAN, and to the data center. In essence, it is One Management and One Assurance, for One Network (Figure 1).
Cisco Prime Infrastructure
Cisco Prime Infrastructure highlights
Cisco Prime Infrastructure allows/helps you to manage your network more efficiently and effectively, thereby enabling you to achieve the highest levels of wireless and wired network performance, service assurance, and application-centric end-user experience.
● Single-pane-of-glass management: Cisco Prime Infrastructure delivers a single, unified platform for network service provisioning, monitoring and assurance, and change and compliance management. It accelerates the device and services deployment and helps you rapidly resolve problems that can affect the end-user experience. It minimizes the amount of time you spend managing the existing network so you can maximize the time you spend in supporting business growth.
● Simplified deployment of Cisco® capabilities: Cisco Prime Infrastructure makes the design and fulfillment of Cisco differentiated features and services fast and efficient. With out-of-the-box support for technologies such as Intelligent WAN (IWAN), Distributed Wireless with Converged Access, Application Visibility and Control (AVC), Zone-Based Firewall, and Cisco TrustSec® 6.4 Identity-Based Networking Services, it helps you get the most from the intelligence built in to your Cisco devices as quickly as possible.
● Deep Application Visibility: Cisco Prime Infrastructure configures and uses embedded Cisco instrumentation and industry-leading technologies for application visibility and network policy optimization. These technologies include NetFlow, Network-Based Application Recognition 2 (NBAR2), Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), and more. Cisco Prime Infrastructure also triggers the capture, processing, and drill-down into application performance and packet diagnostics data from distributed Cisco Network Analysis Module (NAM) deployments.
● Comprehensive coverage of enterprise mobility: Cisco Prime Infrastructure delivers pinpoint visibility into the who, what, when, where, and how of wireless access through its own data collection and key integrations. It includes 802.11ac support; correlated wired-wireless client visibility; unified access infrastructure monitoring; spatial mapping; integrated security and policy application and troubleshooting with Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) integration; integrated location-based tracking of interferers, rogues, and Wi-Fi client reporting with Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE) and Cisco CleanAir® integration; RF prediction tools; and more.
● Unified assurance across network and compute: Cisco Prime Infrastructure delivers scalable management and service assurance across the breadth of enterprise infrastructure in your branch office, campus, and data center networks including network equipment, UCS servers, and virtual machines. The ability to track a user in the branch connecting via a mobile or wired device, all the way to a compute resource in the data center, is essential for fast onboarding, remediation, and troubleshooting.
● Centralized visibility of distributed networks: Large or global organizations often distribute network management by domain, region, or country. Cisco Prime Infrastructure Operations Center helps you visualize up to 10 Cisco Prime Infrastructure instances, scaling your network-management capability while maintaining centralized visibility and control.
● What is new in Prime Infrastructure 3.x?
◦ Cisco Prime Infrastructure 3.x offers new capabilities and a few are highlighted below.
● Platform Enhancements:
◦ New User Interface: Modern user interface with HTML 5.0 (and removal of flash) provides operators with a quick and easy view to isolate issues in the network and identify root cause remediation. The new interface also allows customers to have a superior experience independent of/irrespective of whether they are using a tablet or a traditional PC.
◦ Alarm Customization: Network operators have the ability to customize alarms based on the operational needs of the enterprise. Customizable syslog-based alarms provide the ability to custom create new alarms and prioritize operator response.
◦ Correlated Performance Graphs: Correlated charts enable administrators to carry out comparative troubleshooting of network KPIs. The overlay of alarms and configuration change events in the correlated graphs helps connect network change events to performance degradation/improvements.
◦ Configuration Compliance: With the addition of a compliance engine, the product provides operators the ability to specify the golden network configuration and perform an audit of the network devices against the configuration archive or the device configuration. The audit report identifies devices that are out of compliance. Operators can remediate the devices that are out of compliance with the desired configuration. This engine also helps ingenerating reports for EoL/EoS/PCI for network device and Hardware modules. The CVE, CVSS, and Caveats fields are listed in the PSIRT report/page.
◦ Japanese Localization Support: Provides alternative UI support in Kanji.
● Wireless Management: Simplified client troubleshooting enables network operators to easily identify the root cause of client issues in a graphical format, speeding up problem identification and resolution. Rogue management and troubleshooting is simplified with enhancements to Switch Port Tracing (SPT) to identify rogue devices on the wire in the network.
● Routing - Intelligent WAN (IWAN) management: Guided workflows based on Cisco Validated Designs and best practices radically simplify deployment and management of Cisco IWAN devices and services. The workflow speeds up provisioning of services such as Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN) and Performance Routing (PfR) and simplifies Quality-of-Service (QoS) configuration and monitoring. The new PfR monitoring dashboard provides visibility on how application path optimization is working on alternative transport routes and aids troubleshooting of route change events driven by IWAN.
● Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0): Runs all the PI 3.x WCAG tests according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/) checklist.
● Cisco DNA Center (Cisco DNAC) Co-Existence: Objective of the Co-Existence is to enable Prime Infrastructure customers to jump-start with Cisco DNA Center using minimal efforts. To help Migrate Devices, Location Groups, Maps, and CMX Servers from Prime Infrastructure to Cisco DNA Center seamlessly using the workflow. Allow Incremental updates to the migrated dataset and start using Cisco DNA Center Assurance for the migrated sites from Day 1. Refer Cisco DNA Center and Prime Co-Existence for more details.
● Device Support in Wired and Wireless devices: In Prime Infrastructure it covers almost all categories of network devices on Routing, Switching, IoT device, Wireless device with access points, and Mobility Express Mode. Refer Cisco Prime Infrastructure 3.6 Supported Devices and Cisco Wireless Solutions Software Compatibility Matrix.
Ordering and licensing information
For details, refer to the Cisco Prime Infrastructure 3.x Ordering and Licensing Guide. This guide also provides information about obtaining an evaluation copy of Prime Infrastructure 3.x.
Table 1 provides product specifications for the various virtual and physical appliance deployment options supported by Cisco Prime Infrastructure.
Prime Infrastructure is available on the Prime Infrastructure Physical Appliance and Cisco Digital Network Architecture Center (Cisco DNA Center) Appliance. Prime Infrastructure 3.6 is not supported on the PRIME-NCS-APL-K9 (also known as “Gen 1”). Prime Infrastructure 3.6 is supported on PI-UCS-APL-K9 (also known as the Gen 2 appliance), PI-UCSM5-APL-K9 (also known as Gen 3 appliance – 44 core only for Cisco DNA Center) and DN1-HW-APL (also known as Cisco DNA Center Appliance). You can upgrade a Prime Infrastructure Physical Appliance running Prime Infrastructure 3.4.x or 3.5.x to Prime Infrastructure 3.6. You can upgrade the older versions to 3.4.x or 3.5.x to upgrade to the Prime Infrastructure 3.6.
Table 1. Product specifications for Cisco Prime Infrastructure 3.x
VMware ESXi Version 6.0, 6.5, or 6.7
Virtual appliance resource requirements
Recommended Virtual Appliance
vCPU (Virtual CPUs)
Minimum Hard Disk Drive Size**
Disk Input/output Bandwidth
Physical appliance specifications
Hard Disk Drive Size
Disk Input/output Bandwidth
(Gen 2) Cisco Prime Appliance*
10 Core Physical CPUs
- 20 Threads
4 x 900GB RAID10
(Gen 3) Cisco Prime Appliance
20 Core Physical CPUs – 40 Threads
4x1.2 TB RAID 10
Gen 1 Cisco DNA Center Appliance
44 Core Physical CPUs – 88 Threads
6 X 1.9 TB;
4 X 2 480 GB
* Hard Disk Drive sizes mentioned above are the VM sizes for thick allocation. It is recommended to leave an additional 50% of space free in the data-store of the VM, to allow taking snapshots of the VM when required, as snapshots will take additional space.
** Customers upgrading from PI 2.2 to PI 3.x are recommended to configure Disk I/O Bandwidth to 320 Mbps to minimize performance degradation.
* Gen-3 Appliance are supported starting Prime Infrastructure 3.5. End-of-Sale and End-of-Life Announcement for the Cisco Prime Infrastructure HW Gen2 Appliance and 3.1 and 3.2 Software.
Cisco Prime Infrastructure 3.x is available with the new Cisco Software Support Service (SWSS), which provides reactive maintenance support in the form of technical support, access to Cisco.com, software support, and access to major and minor upgrades from the Cisco.com software download site during the service contract term. For more information, please refer to the Cisco Software Support Service description.
The Cisco Prime Appliance option comes with a Cisco 90-day hardware warranty. Adding a contract for a technical service offering to your device coverage, such as Cisco SMARTnet® Service, provides access to the Cisco TAC and can provide a variety of hardware replacement options to meet critical business needs, updates for licensed operating system software, and registered access to the extensive Cisco.com knowledge base and support tools.