As an IT professional, you know how daunting it is to simplify your ongoing online responsibility. Also, scaling networks across wired, wireless, and virtual IT environments makes network management more complex by asking network admins to get as much help as possible.
Since networks play a pivotal role in serving the employees for administrative purposes and your clients across the continents, it is essential to manage them appropriately. And for this, you will need to select the appropriate network management tool like Cisco Prime Infrastructure.
This way, you can keep the information in a centralized location to provide access to those in need. It also enables you to secure your position on the top by keeping the connectivity up and running. This blog contains a detailed overview of the most appropriate management tool, Cisco Prime Infrastructure. So, without further ado, dive deep into it.
Overview Of Cisco Prime Infrastructure
Cisco Prime Infrastructure is a network management tool that provides you with network-related lifecycle management and services for both wired and wireless devices. It comprises REST API that assists you in collecting inventory information, deploying configurations to devices, adjusting Prime Infrastructure settings, and many more.
It also helps you acquire valuable information about the network while Prime Infrastructure is interacting with the devices. The nature of API makes the software easily accessible. It even provides documentation that helps you learn the steps involved in using the API or the specifics of resources. You can discover URL endpoints either programmatically or through the documentation.
It connects with XML and JSON, thereby providing you the flexibility to choose software according to your needs. You can also sort, filter, and page data according to the needs that will enable you to acquire the appropriate one immediately. The best part is that only authenticated users can access the resources.
Additionally, users should have a specific role to authorize to access the provided resources. All these connections to the API are through HTTPS to secure the data in transit. Furthermore, Cisco Prime Infrastructure comprises a modular structure with two graphical interfaces (i.e., lifecycle view and classic view) that make the operation straightforward and cost-effective.
CISCO’s Simplified Lifecycle Management
Cisco Prime Infrastructure aims at simplifying and automating tasks concerning the management and maintenance of network infrastructure. It uses strategies to improve customers’ experience and drive more ROI. Using this single solution helps users obtain access visibility, troubleshooting, reporting, wireless capabilities, configurations, integrated practices, and many more.
These lifecycle processes allow network operators to design, deploy, operate, and report network operations. It also enables them to create backups, administer software images, inventory, and configure hardware, filters, and incidents.
On the contrary, the graphical user interface enables the Network Operators to enhance the application and end-user experience. It is used as a rich source of performance. It delivers network-wide visibility embedded with industry-standard technologies, including NetFlow, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Application Visibility and Control (AVC), and much more. It delivers end-user experience and insight into network and application performance. This way, users tend to minimize instrumentation configuration and complex data collection. Also, when you integrate with the Cisco Prime Network Analysis Module (NAM), you can obtain deeper analysis and troubleshooting to solve the problem faster.
What Are The Task Areas Of Prime Infrastructure?
The Prime Infrastructure web interface is organized into a lifecycle workflow that comprises high-level task areas, which are described below:
- Home The home encompasses dashboards containing devices, performance information, and multiple incidents. Network Operators and Network Engineers mainly operate it.
- Design Also known as Design Pattern or template, Design enables you to create reusable patterns such as configuration templates in the Design area. It allows you to use the predefined template or customize your own. It is used during the lifecycle deployment and operated by Network Engineers, Designers, and Architects.
- Deploy Deploy features are used to establish defined designs or templates in the network. It allows you to push configurations applied in the template to multiple devices. NOC Operators and Service Operators usually perform the deployment.
- Operate The functional features enable you to monitor regular networks and perform other daily or ad hoc operations concerning network device inventory and configuration management. This includes the dashboard, the device action center, the mobile work center, and the tools required for regular monitoring, troubleshooting, maintenance, and operation.
- Reports The report feature allows the Network Engineers, NOC Operators, and Service Operators to create, view, and run scheduled reports.
- Administration By the administration, you can specify system configuration and data collection settings and manage access control. You can view and approve jobs, establish health rules, and manage licenses too. It also enables you to perform software updates and configure high availability. Network Engineers usually perform this process.
- Workflows Network Engineers use the workflows to configure new devices and allow newly connected Cisco IOS devices to be discovered, inventoried, and configured immediately. You can also set up switches or Cisco Wireless LAN Controller after being added to Prime Infrastructure.
Features and Capabilities Of Cisco Prime Infrastructure
Cisco Prime Infrastructure simplifies and streamlines the management process of networks using a single point of control. It enables the user to manage enterprise networks from the branch to the data center. The features and capabilities of Cisco Prime Infrastructure are:
Cisco Management provides a unified solution or One Management to control and view the managed application visibility and wireless lifecycle. It enables the users to monitor policies, track mobility, devices using Cisco MSE, and troubleshoot Cisco ISE. This way, users can manage all users, applications, devices, and networks from a single area.
With the help of this feature, users can consolidate all network management tools and products to minimize the time and effort required for managing each one of them distinctively.
The mobile collaboration feature of Cisco Prime Infrastructure enables the users to support spatial maps, wired or wireless client visibility, Radio Frequency prediction tools, 802.11ac, and several other capabilities. In addition, it offers management of simplified infrastructure of wireless networks, thereby solving issues quickly using fewer resources.
Streamlined Intelligent WAN Management
This feature takes the management simplicity to a whole new level. This new intelligent centralized WAN and workflow gives users converged access based on Cisco best practices. Hence, the workflows will make the new branch rollouts, like setting up devices or services and managing and monitoring them, effortless and instant.
Extend Management to the Data Center
Cisco Prime Infrastructure provides FCAPS (Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance, And Security) management with 360-degree views of Cisco Unified Computing System Series B Blade Servers and Series C Rack Servers and Cico Nexus Switches, including the Application-Centric Infrastructure. Since the data center is critical to service assurance, it is significant to manage it effectively with Cisco Prime Infrastructure.
Device and Technology Packs
The Device Packs of Cisco Prime Infrastructure offers ongoing support to new Cisco devices and software releases. It provides equality among every device family, eliminating gaps in management operations, mostly during service availability and troubleshooting. On the contrary, the technology packs deliver features between releases, accelerating time to value for high-demand functionality.
Large or global organizations often distribute network administration across domains, regions, or countries. Cisco Prime Infrastructure Operation Center enables you to visualize up to 10 instances and lets you scale your management and maintain central visibility and control.
Network Management was impossible before Cisco Prime Infrastructure was introduced in the market. Network administrators found monitoring of the network and infrastructure relatively arduous. They have to spend hours analyzing every network device manually to identify the error and locate the issue.
However, after the advancement of this tool, the IT department gets multiple options and time to focus on other business issues. Cisco Prime Infrastructure is a sturdy and comprehensive management tool that helps administrators to view and control networks, devices, and attributes from a central location. In addition, it simplified and automated the tasks performed for both wired and wireless devices.