June 5, 2016
Network management has never been an easy task. It often requires the dedicated attention of a team of personnel to properly maintain performance and spot issues when they occur. Yet, the network is perhaps the most important aspect of a company’s IT environment. Without a thriving network, applications, data, and business operations will grind to a halt. It is vital that the enterprise leverage any available tools and software that ensure success. Cisco Prime for IT is a suite of software that consolidates network management and monitoring into a single, unified platform. In this blog we will discuss the top five network management problems solved by Cisco Prime.
The Cisco Prime Software Suite
Cisco Prime is not a single entity, but a collection of powerful network administration tools designed to work in concert to transform network administration. Its components include:
- Cisco Prime Infrastructure: A comprehensive network lifecycle management platform.
- Cisco Prime Network Analysis Module: Provides network analytics and actionable insight into network performance.
- Cisco Prime IP Express: The IT team can leverage Domain Name System (DNS), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and IP address management services with Cisco Prime IP Express.
- Cisco Prime Collaboration: Another centralized management program, much like Cisco Prime Infrastructure, but Prime Collaboration focuses on voice and video collaboration networks.
- Cisco NetFlow Generation Appliance: Delivers network visibility for application performance, capacity planning, and security monitoring.
- Cisco Prime Data Center Network Manager: An application that improves uptime and reliability of the network.
Top 5 Network Management Problems Solved by Cisco Prime
- Locating an Issue: When a bottleneck, attack, or other issue strikes the network, the first challenge is often locating the source of the problem.
- Cisco Prime: The Cisco Prime Virtual Network Analysis Module (vNAM) gives the administrator full visibility into the network, application, and virtual machine performance. Using this depth of insight, the IT team can pinpoint bottlenecks and issues early and take action to return network traffic to its optimal flow.
- Transparency at Scale: By placing sensors throughout the network, the administrators can achieve visibility and transparency, but when the network expands, tools that can comfortably monitor dozens or even hundreds of nodes will reach their limit. At this large scale, achieving full visibility across the entire breadth of the network can become impossible.
- Cisco Prime: Cisco Prime Infrastructure is designed to function well at all size deployments. The Cisco Prime Infrastructure Operation Center centralizes management of multiple instances of Cisco Prime Infrastructure to facilitate visibility and enable sweeping control across the expanse of the network. In total, the Cisco Prime Infrastructure Operations Center can be connected to up to ten different Cisco Prime instances.
- Privacy: This issue becomes more dire the larger the networking team becomes, because it is not uncommon for network monitoring software to lack privacy rules and user roles. Anyone using the tool is able to wield complete administrative control over the whole network, and for large IT departments, this can conflict with policy and security considerations.
- Cisco Prime: Cisco Prime includes User Group capabilities. The IT director or CTO can create groups of network privileges and conveniently move the application users from one group to another to adjust the team’s access to network tools.
- Knowledge Management: The network can be tapped for a wealth of analytics and performance data. It is the network analyst’s responsibility to translate that data into usable information. Depending on the platform in use, data analysis can prove a serious challenge.
- Cisco Prime: Using the Cisco Prime vNAM, network analysts can decipher network usage data from applications, hosts, and virtual machines and use that information to make improvements to the network.
- Platform Overload: Networks in use today are often composed of disparate pieces of hardware from multiple manufacturers with multiple points of management. As further issues arise, problems can be solved with more equipment, but the growing number of vendors influencing the network can create integration and management issues and inefficiencies.
- Cisco Prime: Cisco Prime Infrastructure offers a comprehensive and unified network management platform. Administrators can control policies, provide lifecycle management as well as manage devices, applications, and users from a single, intuitive interface.
Cisco Prime for IT: Centralize Your Network Management Operations
The task of managing a network requires a commitment to efficiency. Without a concentrated effort to streamline the network as it grows in scale and complexity, it can quickly overwhelm the networking team. Cisco Prime offers that streamlining ability. By consolidating your network tools into a unified product suite, management centralizes into a single interface as well, and your IT team can transition from a troubleshooting operation to one that works strategically towards meeting business goals.
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