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Cisco to retire Cisco Prime Infrastructure - what now?

Cisco to retire Cisco Prime Infrastructure - what now?

4 minute read
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Cisco to retire Cisco Prime Infrastructure - what now?
Updated: December 14, 2023
August 29, 2023
Updated: December 14, 2023
4 mins

Network Assurance can fill your compliance, device backup, and performance monitoring gaps economically and comprehensively.

With Cisco's recent announcement of End-of-life and End-of-support dates for the Cisco Prime Infrastructure network management tool, users are now faced with the task of finding suitable alternatives to ensure seamless business continuity during the transition away from Prime.

While a shift towards Cisco DNA Center may seem the automatic answer, it's crucial for users to take this opportunity to evaluate what truly aligns with their team's specific requirements. Is DNAC capable of meeting your needs while providing better value? The price tag associated with Cisco DNAC and limitations in scope may cause teams to pause when making the leap. For instance, if you're managing a complex multi-cloud or multi-vendor network, DNAC won’t address all your requirements effectively.

There’s also something to consider in a completely new approach to how you manage and operate your network. Traditional tooling views validation of your network as a device-level challenge. While it is certainly useful and necessary to validate the state of each network device, having the big picture – an end-to-end, complete network model – is where traditional tools fall short. Automated network assurance platforms like IP Fabric bring insight to the network as a whole and validate network health rather than just device state. The vast and complex nature of modern IT networks makes this big-picture view all the more necessary; you need to know the outcome of change across your entire network, not just per-device.

So, depending on how you use Prime, there could be other avenues to explore. Automated network assurance, for example, while not pushing config to devices, provides much of the necessary end-to-end network insight that teams rely on Prime for. In fact, a vendor-neutral, cloud-inclusive platform will prove a welcome one-stop shop for business-critical data collection and validation tasks.

Continuous Compliance: ISO 27001, PCI, and more

Cisco Prime Infrastructure allows users to define custom compliance policies, such as those needed to maintain ISO 27001 compliance and perform audits, evaluate the results, and run a fix job if necessary. Even if this is only done a few times a year, having a method to surface this information automatically avoids a time-intensive process of manually collecting configuration information from individual devices. Simply not a feasible way to work with a large network!

IP Fabric’s Network Discovery, Snapshot, and Intent Checks

During the network discovery process, IP Fabric uses SSH to collect configuration and state data from supported network devices (there are hundreds of supported models across an always-expanding list of vendors). This is interpreted, normalized, and visualized in flexible snapshots of your network that provide both a holistic overview and allow users to dig into granular detail where needed.

Additionally, for this use case in particular, you can make use of 150+ built-in or custom intent checks (in this case, compliance checks) to highlight drift from network intent, which is informed by your compliance rules. Every time you take a network snapshot, you can easily see misconfigurations that violate your own organizational standards or that of specific industry regulations like PCI or ISO 27001.

Groupe de masques 26

Try IP Fabric

Have a go at our self-guided demo in peace to see if automated network assurance is what you need.
Free Demo | Zero Obligation
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Once the correct config has been pushed, IP Fabric can take another snapshot to validate that the whole network, regardless of vendor or domain, is operating as intended. IP Fabric runs end-to-end path simulations and can validate that your security policies are being applied as you intend.

This means fast, accurate, and continuous compliance, giving you confidence when those security or regulatory compliance audits come around year after year.

Switch, Router, and Firewall Configuration Backups

Regularly scheduled backups of your switch, router, and firewall configurations are standard best practice to ensure easy rollbacks after that “oh no” moment when a change has unexpected consequences, for routine device upgrades, for disaster recovery, and of course, to ensure compliance. Cisco Prime Infrastructure allows users to backup and restore switch, router, and firewall configurations on a customizable schedule, and seamlessly migrating this process over to a new platform is essential.

Since all the network state and configuration info is collected in an IP Fabric network snapshot, and these snapshots can be scheduled as often as your team prefers (or be made on-demand), you’ll have access to a historical database of your switch and router backups at different times whenever you need them.

Note that this is for your whole network, end-to-end, all vendors, and through to the Cloud. Additionally, unlike platforms that offer similar functionality, IP Fabric has the benefit of keeping all these snapshots available on the platform for you to query at any time, making it a perfect resource for historical troubleshooting.

Monitoring: Memory, CPU, and more

You can’t escape that your enterprise network is subject to change, and as daily demands ebb and flow, you need to have a pulse on system health and performance. Cisco Prime Infrastructure collects real-time and historical data from network devices. It then presents key device health indicators like CPU and memory use in dashboards. Users can set thresholds for alerts and quickly identify potential issues.

Network engineers can leverage IP Fabric in a similar way to ensure their network infrastructure is performing optimally and swiftly address any anomalies that might affect performance or uptime. The in-depth, normalized data that IP Fabric collects via snapshots can be integrated via open API with real-time monitoring tools to contextualize and prioritize incoming alerts, ensure that you’re monitoring everything in your network, and give engineers what they need to proactively solve high-priority incidents. And, of course, this utility extends beyond just Cisco devices.

A step toward the network model approach

As Cisco sunsets an essential resource for key network data and operations, there’s no need to feel backed into a corner and buy an expensive, vendor-restrictive solution to cover these gaps. Automated network assurance gives you a normalized and consumable bank of network intelligence that allows you to cover many Cisco Prime Infrastructure use cases more comprehensively at a fraction of the cost. In addition, A move toward a network model-based approach can also open new doors to innovation that previously, traditional tooling focused on device-level validation simply didn’t consider.

Consider this moment – which could be a frustrating headache - an opportunity to optimize your network tolling ecosystem with a solution that grows in value over time with straightforward, per-device licensing and an open API.

Groupe de masques 26

Try IP Fabric

Have a go at our self-guided demo in peace to see if automated network assurance is what you need.
Free Demo | Zero Obligation
Online Demo

Cisco to retire Cisco Prime Infrastructure - what now?

Network Assurance can fill your compliance, device backup, and performance monitoring gaps economically and comprehensively.

With Cisco's recent announcement of End-of-life and End-of-support dates for the Cisco Prime Infrastructure network management tool, users are now faced with the task of finding suitable alternatives to ensure seamless business continuity during the transition away from Prime.

While a shift towards Cisco DNA Center may seem the automatic answer, it's crucial for users to take this opportunity to evaluate what truly aligns with their team's specific requirements. Is DNAC capable of meeting your needs while providing better value? The price tag associated with Cisco DNAC and limitations in scope may cause teams to pause when making the leap. For instance, if you're managing a complex multi-cloud or multi-vendor network, DNAC won’t address all your requirements effectively.

There’s also something to consider in a completely new approach to how you manage and operate your network. Traditional tooling views validation of your network as a device-level challenge. While it is certainly useful and necessary to validate the state of each network device, having the big picture – an end-to-end, complete network model – is where traditional tools fall short. Automated network assurance platforms like IP Fabric bring insight to the network as a whole and validate network health rather than just device state. The vast and complex nature of modern IT networks makes this big-picture view all the more necessary; you need to know the outcome of change across your entire network, not just per-device.

So, depending on how you use Prime, there could be other avenues to explore. Automated network assurance, for example, while not pushing config to devices, provides much of the necessary end-to-end network insight that teams rely on Prime for. In fact, a vendor-neutral, cloud-inclusive platform will prove a welcome one-stop shop for business-critical data collection and validation tasks.

Continuous Compliance: ISO 27001, PCI, and more

Cisco Prime Infrastructure allows users to define custom compliance policies, such as those needed to maintain ISO 27001 compliance and perform audits, evaluate the results, and run a fix job if necessary. Even if this is only done a few times a year, having a method to surface this information automatically avoids a time-intensive process of manually collecting configuration information from individual devices. Simply not a feasible way to work with a large network!

IP Fabric’s Network Discovery, Snapshot, and Intent Checks

During the network discovery process, IP Fabric uses SSH to collect configuration and state data from supported network devices (there are hundreds of supported models across an always-expanding list of vendors). This is interpreted, normalized, and visualized in flexible snapshots of your network that provide both a holistic overview and allow users to dig into granular detail where needed.

Additionally, for this use case in particular, you can make use of 150+ built-in or custom intent checks (in this case, compliance checks) to highlight drift from network intent, which is informed by your compliance rules. Every time you take a network snapshot, you can easily see misconfigurations that violate your own organizational standards or that of specific industry regulations like PCI or ISO 27001.

Groupe de masques 26

Try IP Fabric

Have a go at our self-guided demo in peace to see if automated network assurance is what you need.
Free Demo | Zero Obligation
Online Demo

Once the correct config has been pushed, IP Fabric can take another snapshot to validate that the whole network, regardless of vendor or domain, is operating as intended. IP Fabric runs end-to-end path simulations and can validate that your security policies are being applied as you intend.

This means fast, accurate, and continuous compliance, giving you confidence when those security or regulatory compliance audits come around year after year.

Switch, Router, and Firewall Configuration Backups

Regularly scheduled backups of your switch, router, and firewall configurations are standard best practice to ensure easy rollbacks after that “oh no” moment when a change has unexpected consequences, for routine device upgrades, for disaster recovery, and of course, to ensure compliance. Cisco Prime Infrastructure allows users to backup and restore switch, router, and firewall configurations on a customizable schedule, and seamlessly migrating this process over to a new platform is essential.

Since all the network state and configuration info is collected in an IP Fabric network snapshot, and these snapshots can be scheduled as often as your team prefers (or be made on-demand), you’ll have access to a historical database of your switch and router backups at different times whenever you need them.

Note that this is for your whole network, end-to-end, all vendors, and through to the Cloud. Additionally, unlike platforms that offer similar functionality, IP Fabric has the benefit of keeping all these snapshots available on the platform for you to query at any time, making it a perfect resource for historical troubleshooting.

Monitoring: Memory, CPU, and more

You can’t escape that your enterprise network is subject to change, and as daily demands ebb and flow, you need to have a pulse on system health and performance. Cisco Prime Infrastructure collects real-time and historical data from network devices. It then presents key device health indicators like CPU and memory use in dashboards. Users can set thresholds for alerts and quickly identify potential issues.

Network engineers can leverage IP Fabric in a similar way to ensure their network infrastructure is performing optimally and swiftly address any anomalies that might affect performance or uptime. The in-depth, normalized data that IP Fabric collects via snapshots can be integrated via open API with real-time monitoring tools to contextualize and prioritize incoming alerts, ensure that you’re monitoring everything in your network, and give engineers what they need to proactively solve high-priority incidents. And, of course, this utility extends beyond just Cisco devices.

A step toward the network model approach

As Cisco sunsets an essential resource for key network data and operations, there’s no need to feel backed into a corner and buy an expensive, vendor-restrictive solution to cover these gaps. Automated network assurance gives you a normalized and consumable bank of network intelligence that allows you to cover many Cisco Prime Infrastructure use cases more comprehensively at a fraction of the cost. In addition, A move toward a network model-based approach can also open new doors to innovation that previously, traditional tooling focused on device-level validation simply didn’t consider.

Consider this moment – which could be a frustrating headache - an opportunity to optimize your network tolling ecosystem with a solution that grows in value over time with straightforward, per-device licensing and an open API.

Groupe de masques 26

Try IP Fabric

Have a go at our self-guided demo in peace to see if automated network assurance is what you need.
Free Demo | Zero Obligation
Online Demo
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