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Cisco Prime OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Cisco Prime is #4 ranked solution in top Network Management Applications. IT Central Station users give Cisco Prime an average rating of 8 out of 10. Cisco Prime is most commonly compared to Cisco DNA Center:Cisco Prime vs Cisco DNA Center. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 30% of all views.
What is Cisco Prime?

Cisco Prime products deliver next-generation management by supporting an intuitive workflow-oriented user experience and integrated lifecycle operations across Cisco architectures, technologies, and networks.

Cisco Prime is also known as Cisco Prime Infrastructure.

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Download the Cisco Prime Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

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Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Cisco Prime pricing:
  • "Cisco Prime is an expensive solution."

Cisco Prime Reviews

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FA
Networks Lead Engineer at a mining and metals company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good management capability and wireless heatmap, but NetFlow needs to be improved

Pros and Cons

  • "It gives you the ability to upgrade switches remotely, schedule the upgrade time, perform backups, and monitor the health of all networks."
  • "If you think about a centralized monitoring system, Cisco Prime is not good because it does not support third-party vendors like Palo Alto or FortiGate."

What is our primary use case?

This solution is being used for managing Cisco access points and managing network switches.

What is most valuable?

Cisco Prime is very good management-wise. It gives you the ability to upgrade switches remotely, schedule the upgrade time, perform backups, and monitor the health of all networks.

The wireless heatmap is very good.

What needs improvement?

The NetFlow is very limited, which is a disadvantage to this product. NetFlow is a very important tool that gives you a lot of information about what is happening for each device, including all of the hosts that are connected and what they are doing. For example, it will tell you if devices are accessing an on-premises application and you can use that information to help build usage statistics. With Cisco Prime, it is not reporting all of the Cisco devices. In particular, some of the access point devices are missing. NetFlow is about network visibility, so it should definitely not be limited to Cisco products.

If you think about a centralized monitoring system, Cisco Prime is not good because it does not support third-party vendors like Palo Alto or FortiGate.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco Prime for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is always stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If you consider scalability from the point where it can be used with everything, then it is not scalable. It cannot monitor all of the devices in your network, as a normal monitoring system would.

We have more than 1,000 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Cisco's technical support is very good for all of its products and in all aspects. You get a very good response from them. I have no doubts about the OEM because they are really very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used SolarWinds and Microsoft SCOM in the past.

SolarWinds is used on the networking side and can also be used for monitoring the health of the hardware. SCOM was being used for maintaining Microsoft products, such as keeping track of the number of licenses they have, performing health checks on Windows systems, and other monitoring tasks.

How was the initial setup?

I did not personally set up this device, although it is a Cisco product, which normally comes ready to use. With a Cisco product, you just need to switch it on, put in a username and password, and then you have access. It's straightforward. I think that it is probably an easy setup, and not difficult to do.

What about the implementation team?

We have two in-house engineers who take care of all of the network setup and maintenance. They are also responsible for operating all of the monitoring systems, network devices, firewalls, etc.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is considering this solution is to look carefully at your infrastructure. Our plan is to take Cisco Prime out because we do not have a fully-Cisco infrastructure and it is not compatible with all of the devices.

It is very good for Cisco products and if your entire infrastructure is Cisco, or you want to monitor a specific section that is entirely Cisco, then it will work well. However, if you have a mix of devices from different vendors and you want to centralize then this is not the right solution. Also, I would not recommend using two different solutions for the same purpose. Find one that works with everything, like SolarWinds or Netskope.

Ultimately, I think that Cisco Prime will be taken off the market and replaced with Cisco DNA. It has all of the features such as NetFlow, monitoring, and smart analytic systems. It is another Cisco product doing the same job and much better. 

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
DR
Wireless IT Manager at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Enables oversight so we can tweak and tune in order to successfully manage the company

Pros and Cons

  • "Enables oversight in order to tweak and tune."
  • "The solution can be slow at times."

What is our primary use case?

We use Cisco Prime to manage all of the wireless infrastructure in our stores and campus distribution centers. In our distribution centers we also monitor switches so we can do rogue AP detection. I'm the IT wireless manager and we are customers of Cisco Prime. 

What is most valuable?

I'm required to produce a rogue report once a quarter and also to provide a summary. The map overview of our campus environment shows the distribution of RF frequency channels and the distribution of a client. It provides us with a great idea of where the busier areas are within our environment to allow us to tweak and tune. The reporting is also a great feature because everyone sees which APs and which clients are the busiest, as well as the busiest applications. This solution enables us to do that.

What needs improvement?

Cisco is currently moving to DNA Center which has a lot of extra features we're looking forward to using. I think many of the gaps currently in Cisco Prime will be implemented in DNA Center. For now, because there are more and more devices in enterprise organizations that are wireless, it's the platform that's depended on. Cisco Prime is slow at times, we often have to restart the database to run reports or to gain access. We have it deployed on a VM, and that was a mistake, because when you put it on VM, the resources and management don't function well. The good still outweighs the bad, but when we have these ongoing problems, performance is not ideal. 

For additional features, I'd like to see support for Ekahau Site Survey maps. Some competing companies allow you to import that together with its AP attributes, so you can perform your predictive, or post site surveys and incorporate them into their management system. It ensures you don't have to start from scratch and then import a new map and new APs with all of the attributes. Having some level of ability to work with either AirMagnet or Ekahau, the two top wireless analysis tools on the market, is where you can gain great benefit for supporting large deployments.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for 12 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

If you're using a VM, stability is iffy, probably around 80% stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We currently have 10 Prime servers and when I compare it to the competition, it can handle more devices than competing companies. From a scalability standpoint, it seems to be able to support more devices. We have our operations department which troubleshoots on a daily basis. Our wireless engineering team set up new facilities, put in new maps and AP placements. There are two groups - operations and engineering. We have a few people involved in that area. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very helpful and very knowledgeable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Working for a larger company, we were using Wavelink to manage our first and second generation access points. Wavelink is a vendor-agnostic management tool to manage APs. When you choose a more sophisticated solution, such as Cisco, as our vendor for deploying nationwide, it made sense to select a management tool that's going to allow us to manage, deploy, report, and provide PCI requirements. Those are the main reasons we switched. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We're not like a normal company, we get steep discounts from Cisco, although they do compete well on a pricing level with other similar solutions. 

What other advice do I have?

Anyone wanting to implement this now should deploy DNA Center and I would recommend against using VMs if possible.

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Cisco Prime. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
552,136 professionals have used our research since 2012.
GE
Network-Engineer at a aerospace/defense firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Lots of features and excellent stability but a bit too complex

Pros and Cons

  • "The hardware Cisco provides is excellent. It's a well-made product."
  • "The solution is not easy to configure."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for wireless and to do backups on switches and routers. In addition, we're using it for the deployment of our new software versions.

What is most valuable?

The product has a lot of features and capabilities. It's very flexible. It's a big tool with lots of useful pro features.

The initial setup isn't too complex. We have a good in-house team that can manage it.

The stability has been quite good overall.

The solution has scaled as much as we have needed it to.

The hardware Cisco provides is excellent. It's a well-made product.

What needs improvement?

We tried here to use it as a bigger monitoring tool. However, the problem is that a lot of new products from Cisco are not supported by Prime anymore.

The solution is not easy to configure. It's not user-friendly for admins. It's quite a complex solution.

The strategy from Cisco doesn't seem to be well defined. We need to figure out how to properly integrate everything together, and right now, that's not exactly clear.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about two years at this point. It's been a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been good so far. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. For how we are using it, we haven't had issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability fits our needs. For how we are using it, the scalability has been fine.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have direct technical support from our supplier here in Germany if we need it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not so complex. It's pretty straightforward. We had a lot of people in-house that were proficient in Cisco. It was not very complicated.

What about the implementation team?

The initial implementation was done here within the company. We did not need to hire any consultants or integration partners. We handled it ourselves.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We're looking at Cisco DNA. Prime, for the things we're using it for, is too big for us. This is why we want to compare it with Cisco's DNA Center. Cisco creates very good hardware solutions. However, we need some time here to integrate products into software solutions from Cisco. 

What other advice do I have?

We are a customer and an end-user. We do not have a professional relationship with Cisco.

We will not keep using this solution. I'm only keeping Prime Infrastructure at the moment for coexistence purposes as we have not yet created some functionalities elsewhere. 

I'd rate the solution at a six out of ten, mostly due to some issues we have surrounding its overall complexity that hinders us a bit.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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LX
Network Specialist at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Provides us with real-time monitoring but could benefit from more visibility

Pros and Cons

  • "Cisco Prime is helpful as it provides us with real-time monitoring. This allows us to be proactive in our environment."
  • "The overall management capabilities of Prime need to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We use Cisco Prime to manage and monitor our banking app devices and other wireless devices.

Within our company, there are seven employees that use this solution. We have plans to increase our usage of this product. 

How has it helped my organization?

Availability and uptime. Cisco Prime helps us a great deal with reports.

What is most valuable?

Cisco Prime is helpful as it provides us with real-time monitoring. This allows us to be proactive in our environment.

What needs improvement?

When compared to DNA, I think DNA has a lot of improvements over Cisco Prime. I think going forward, it's best to move towards Cisco DNA instead of trying to improve Prime.

The overall management capabilities of Prime need to be improved. With Cisco DNA, you get total visibility of your environment. Not only can you manage the uptime, but you can also apply recommendations. Cisco Prime doesn't allow you to do this.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Cisco Prime for seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise, it's great. We don't have any complaints. Once it's installed, it functions well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Cisco Prime is scalable.

How was the initial setup?

The installation of Cisco Prime is very easy.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Cisco Prime is an expensive solution.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend Cisco Prime — it's a good product; however, I would suggest you go with Cisco DNA instead. 

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of seven. If it provided us with true visibility, I would give it a higher rating.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
VA
Infrastructure Engineer at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
MSP
Great for network management, good interfaces and simple deployment

Pros and Cons

  • "The interfaces are a valuable feature."
  • "Lacking in integration with a SIEM tool."

What is our primary use case?

Prime is geared towards medium and enterprise size companies and that's where we deploy it. I don't think it's a suitable solution for small companies. We've used the product for several projects, providing solutions to our customers and managing it for them. We've  been dealing with Cisco for the past 10 years. One of our current projects is with one of the leading hospitals here. We are premier partners and we also resell Cisco products. I'm an IT specialist. 

What is most valuable?

The interfaces are a valuable feature and the product is easy to deploy. We receive a lot of good support from Cisco. 

What needs improvement?

I can't really come up with anything that needs improvement in the solution, the technical team might be able to comment on that. 

If my understanding is correct, Cisco doesn't have a SIEM tool. Prime is used for managing all the infrastructure and if it can be integrated with the SIEM tool it could be well managed. That's my personal opinion. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for about four years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Our clients are happy with Prime, the stability is good and it's easy to manage.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We receive partnership support and it's very good.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is very straightforward, it only takes a short time. 

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend Cisco Prime.

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
Buyer's Guide
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