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What are the major differences between Cisco DNA Center and Cisco Prime?


Hi Everyone!!

What are the major differences between Cisco DNA Center and Cisco Prime? What do you prefer between these two options?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

ITCS user
11 Answer

author avatar

Although there are feature parity between, DNAC and PI, both are very different devices and have different purpose.

when you login to DNAC, you will find 2 major sections.

At top you have applications which includes design, policy, provision, assurance, platform.

At bottom you have tools, which includes discovery, PnP, topology, etc.

In my opinion tools in DNAC can more be related to PI but DNAC is
much more advance there, since you have PnP capability (originally
APIC-EM feature) but the application part is unique for DNAC which you
dont have on prime.

To give few example :

In DNAC you can design your entire network define configurations like
AAA, DHCP, DNS, IP POOL, username and password, SNMP etc and associate
it to a site when the deice is assigned to a site, all this
configuration can be pushed to the site directly.

In DNAC you can integrate with ISE and define the policy on DNAC and
it will be pushed to ISE and eventually to switches, which you can't do
in prime.

You can do LAN automation and have your underlay configured for ISIS routing automatically, which you cant do in prime.

DNAC is centralized control for software define access which is an
overlay technology reducing need to complex routing with VLAN and ACL
based segmentation, you can do macro segmentaion on top on overlay using
VRF and microsegmentation within VRF using SGTs, which prime does not

DNAC have many API available which can be potentially used by other tools to consume data from DNAC

I can go on and on but best would be you refer to Cisco documentations, you can start with DNAC design guide.


Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco DNA Center vs. Cisco Prime and other solutions. Updated: November 2021.
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