Cisco Prime Review

Good management capability and wireless heatmap, but NetFlow needs to be improved

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?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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