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Cisco Catalyst Center

Cisco Catalyst Center
Formerly Cisco DNA Center

Overview

What is Cisco Catalyst Center?

Cisco Catalyst Center (formerly Cisco DNA Center) is a network management system that leverages AI to connect, secure, and automate customer’s network operations. It harnesses the Catalyst family of switching and wireless through AI-enabled automation that simplifies the IT experience and streamlines complex…

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Recent Reviews

My Review

10 out of 10
June 05, 2024
Incentivized
Catalyst Center is used to manage switches and upgrades within the locations we have deployed
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Awards

Products that are considered exceptional by their customers based on a variety of criteria win TrustRadius awards. Learn more about the types of TrustRadius awards to make the best purchase decision. More about TrustRadius Awards

Reviewer Pros & Cons

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Video Reviews

5 videos

A Cisco DNA Center Review: University of Cambridge relies on Cisco
08:16
Cisco DNA Center Review
03:51
Cisco Catalyst Center Review
09:32
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Pricing

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What is Cisco Catalyst Center?

Cisco Catalyst Center (formerly Cisco DNA Center) is a network management system that leverages AI to connect, secure, and automate customer’s network operations. It harnesses the Catalyst family of switching and wireless through AI-enabled automation that simplifies the IT experience and…

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Product Details

What is Cisco Catalyst Center?

Cisco Catalyst Center (formerly Cisco DNA Center) is a network management system that leverages AI to connect, secure, and automate customer’s network operations.

It harnesses the Catalyst family of switching and wireless through AI-enabled automation that simplifies the IT experience and streamlines complex network operations.

Offering operational flexibility, Cisco Catalyst Center can be deployed on-premises on a physical appliance or in a VMware virtual environment, or in a public cloud service such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Whether scaling a network or simplifying IT operations, Cisco Catalyst Center helps to harness the full potential of the enterprise network—empowering IT teams to deliver unified experiences to users and measurable value to the organization.


Cisco Catalyst Center Video

Cisco DNA Center

Cisco Catalyst Center Technical Details

Operating SystemsUnspecified
Mobile ApplicationNo

Cisco Catalyst Center Downloadables

Frequently Asked Questions

Nagios Core, Zabbix, and SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) are common alternatives for Cisco Catalyst Center.

Reviewers rate Support Rating highest, with a score of 8.8.

The most common users of Cisco Catalyst Center are from Enterprises (1,001+ employees).
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Comparisons

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Reviews and Ratings

(366)

Attribute Ratings

Reviews

(1-25 of 144)
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Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
ResellerIncentivized
We, as a Cisco partner, install Cisco DNA Center for our customers as well as in our lab. We have been with it since the earlier 1.1 on the M4 server (we got our server after the issue with the partitioning on the hard drives), and dealt with many of the bugs throughout 1.2, and are currently on 1.2.8. We have evaluates the auto-provision and PnP functionality, SD-Access with fabric at a single site, API and API integrations with custom software, and Assurance modules both within DNA Center and integrated into ticketing systems.
  • PnP is absolutely amazing. The idea that the server need only boot up and get a DHCP address (with DNS or Option 43) greatly increases the deployment speeds, especially tying to golden standard images and configuration templates.
  • API documentation and integration is better than any other Cisco product I have seen, and in the top 3 of any product I have worked with. The Developer toolkit was able to not only show configuration examples, but also show you the actual feedback from that call to assist in quality testing.
  • ISE integration with the auto-provisioning makes a zero-touch deployment seemless across multiple platforms. Having the DNA Center contact the ISE environment greatly assists in speed-to-deployment of new gear.
  • The overall UI is very intuitive and walks you through each piece of a new deployment. Whereas in products like ISE, I always talk about working backwards (define the result, the conditions, and then add to policy - but the tabs are listed in reverse order), DNA Center provides the step-by-step boxes to take a new deployment to a fabric-enabled campus to assurance and monitoring.
  • The configuration templates, with ability to add variables, allow engineers to create the one golden standard configuration for a particular switch type, and supply the variables to that particular switch. This has been a large limiting factors with many customers, as the templates were not dynamic enough.
  • The PnP holding area for switches allows the switches to boot up and contact DNA Center, but will sit in an unprovisioned state until ready.
  • Allowing templates to only be available for particular network devices or line of network devices prevents engineers clicking without thinking.
  • The DNA Center provides a dot1X configuration to the switch that I have never seen before. It seems overly complex and may be hard to troubleshoot from the CLI.
  • Documentation needs to be much more available through the Cisco website. Contacting TAC for every issue and upgrade is quite honestly unacceptable. Calling TAC undermines the trust of a product and I have had customers steer away from DNAC for that exact reason.
  • Explaining the DNA Center "magic" to CLI needs to be documented in much greater detail. When I hit the bug in 1.2.6 which evaporated my fabric, I was desperate to get it back up. It was an issue with my LISP underlay, but unfortunately, I didn't know LISP at the time. Again, this is increasing the fear with the customer base (especially the senior engineers), who need to know "what happens when DNAC goes down".
  • Cisco continues to push customers to their in-house resources with their seeding programs. This makes it difficult as a partner to sell services with DNA Center to assist. In one instance, we worked with the customer for 3 days on their DNA Center, and when we went to make a service sales attempt, we were cut short by the Cisco SE saying "don't forget you get a free X number of hours with our team". What is our motivation for being so invested if Cisco seeds the device and the services? We are not making any money on the deals.
  • I am hopeful about the 1.3 train, but 1.2 was so plagued with bugs that customers were jumping minor releases way too often. The same problem happened with Firepower. I am not sure if these were not unit tested because there wasn't enough resources or time, but jumping from failed minor release to failed minor release is a great way for customers to lose faith in the product.
  • The documentation of what the initial set-up *does* needs to be better documented. There are 4 ports, but only 2 are necessary (cluster and enterprise). This needs to be better explained that only one interface can get a default route, so that needs to be taken into account. Also, why the service subnets exist needs to be better explained. I have dealt with way too many customers who fumble past the address space needed for DNA Center because no one puts on the web site "these are tunneled IPs used by Docker." Again - very poor public documentation is available.
  • DNA Center needs to be advertised as what it is. It is an absolutely amazing product, which needs ISE for the SDA. For ETA, Stealthwatch can report back to ISE. That has nothing to do with DNA Center. This is only causing confusion. When I finally de-tangle the Cisco products for a customer, they generally are willing to sign off on more of the products than the campaign of DNAC, ISE, Stealthwatch, Threat-Grid, Firepower, and Cat9K -or- nothing.
Cisco DNA Center can be a pricey option to install. If customers are looking to just do Prime or PnP features, there are a million products, and most are cheaper. I would at least tell them the benefits that DNA Center provides with the PnP functionality, because it certainly provides a step above, but not enough to justify the price point. For Prime (or SolarWinds) functions, we are being promised most of the necessary features in version 1.4, so I would only recommend for that case on a roadmap from Cisco. However, for customers who are looking for the benefits of SD-Access, I would highly recommend this product. Cisco got the SDN right on this one. The DNA Center pushes the configuration, but allows access to the switch in case you need to manually change something. The SD-Access deployment with the concept of the OOB network being the default VRF is absolutely outstanding. The DNA Center alleviates the strain of manual configuration, but provides the functionality with tested protocols such as LISP and VXLAN.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Mainly used for vulnerability management and software upgrades.
  • Software upgrades
  • Inventory management
  • System heath monitoring
  • Vulnerability management
  • Vulnerability reporting accuracy
  • Software upgrade automation
  • Support of nexus switches
Good for software upgrades but does not accurately report vulnerabilities.
Jason Haroldsen | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use Cisco Catalyst Center to ensure network endpoints are all configured securely, the same way every time.
  • Switch and router templates
  • Image management
  • Wireless assurance
  • Initial configuration
  • ISE integration difficulty
  • Menu navigation
Cisco Catalyst Center is the only way to manage Cisco campus and branch switching and routing hardware in our day and age. It's appropriate for any medium to large business.
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We started out by deploying all of our new 9200 Series Switches using the plug-and-play. After that, it was mostly the assurance that we were using, just monitoring port configuration errors, performance, and metrics throughout the network. We also use a little bit of the wireless features, but we are not fully Cisco Wireless, so we're only able to use a little bit of that, but that's really just for our switch infrastructure.
  • I really like the assurance. I like that I can go through and find problems on the network that could be a mismatch VLAN between two interfaces, port errors, like physical errors that we otherwise probably would need to wait for a customer to complain or we have that we can see that ahead of time and be proactive and say, Hey, I'm noticing that this port is having some errors on it. We might want to check that out ahead of time before it becomes an issue. So that's really useful. And then also being able to configure the network. I think that the programmability part of it, I think I have, I've been having some struggle with that initially, just having to apply. So I have my script, my template that I want to deploy, but in order to deploy it, I have to apply it to a template or a profile and then I have to assign that profile to a group of switches that I want to program. I think it gets a little bit messy and a little bit convoluted, but other than that, I mean it's really helpful. It does automate right now, I think it seems a little convoluted with the process.
  • Kind of just like what I just covered where pushing out the configuration, it can be a little bit tedious to go through those steps to apply the template to a network profile and then apply that network profile to a group of switches at a specific site where I want to make a change, and I'm looking at this as more of a, it's a small change where I feel like the switch profiles in the network profiles are more of a grand template for the entire switch. Where I'm going testing, I'm just trying to make a minor adjustment to one little configuration, it becomes a little bit tedious.
I think if you have Cisco infrastructure and you are looking to do a big hardware install per se, the plug-and-play feature is really helpful to be able to really quickly push out a config to a bunch of switches. That was really helpful for us. It really sped things up. If you need to push out configuration changes to a bunch of switches at once, it can be helpful, I guess if you plan it out. I guess that's the part I'm struggling with is trying to figure out how to streamline that process, but it has the potential there to be really helpful.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use it currently for software image management, so we push a lot of our updates to our switching gear, a lot of the access layer at the campuses, and then the campus cores. We plan on using it this summer to perform upgrades to our data center equipment. That's the 9606 cores and, we're going to use it on our edge, internet, transportation switches, stuff like that. So all data center gear will be upgraded through Catalyst Center.
  • I want to hammer home this swim process. It is amazing how you can upgrade something. It does all the readiness checks for you, does all the compliance checks for you, and it eliminates a lot of potential human error. Maybe you won't copy a file correctly, maybe you didn't check your MD five hash properly. There's a lot of things that if you're doing 50, 60, 70 upgrades over the course of a week or two weeks, you might try to cut corners, or not intentionally, but just human error. You do something repetitive, maybe you skip a step with swim, there is no skipping a step. It checks compliance, it checks your iOS, you download your iOS straight from Cisco from Catalyst Center. It eliminates any fatigue that you might have whenever it comes to doing repetitive things for weeks on end.
  • The one thing that we had to get used to was really breaking down our wireless. We integrated our 9800 controllers into it, and the breakdown of our tags being floor specific and not just being campus specific was a challenge for us. And so we had to create all new tags and it wasn't necessarily a problem, it just required a little bit redesign on our wireless. And so it would've been nice for us to be able to assign a tag to an entire campus versus a floor, but that's a small complaint.
Well suited. I would say just any type of repetitive task that you as a human would have to do. Logging into switches and adding a single line of code to a switch, you're prone to mistakes. And so being able to push configs out through Catalyst Center at mass with no fatigue and it's done within a few minutes at times or maybe an hour that, and just the ability of just mass upgrades with consistency, I think that's been the most valuable for us.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Manage Cisco network devices, IOS upgrades, code deployments.
  • Snmp monitoring for device health
  • Pushing out code to devices
  • Maintaining config compliance
  • Manage more Cisco devices (nx os)
  • Real-time alerting on device health
Very useful for managing configuration of hundreds of Cisco devices.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Use case for us
1. Onboarding a new site with day-0 implementation
2. Manage configuration changes on our retail stores router/switch
3. Network assurance
  • Ease of use, the menu is pretty well organized
  • Simplifies some network configuration automation
  • Even easier process to automate network operation
  • Make the platform more stable, we had a couple of crashes
To manage the Catalyst Switch, to on board new site, this is good tool. But as I mentioned earlier, the platform is not stable, we had a couple of crashes and the upgrade takes long time.
June 07, 2024

Excellent Product

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use Cisco Catalyst Center for SDA access and assurance.
  • Assurance
  • Firmware management
  • Configuration standardization
  • Integration of other Cisco productions
It makes managing and maintaining Cisco products easy.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use it for wireless only, but will at the switches later. We have around 3000+ AP and 12 C9800 WLCs.
  • The troubleshooting in the past with the client time line
  • The issue events
  • And the health score
  • It could be nice to have a view or a report for all the AP LAN speeds
Because it's so much better the Prime
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We are rolling out DNA Center. I found out it was been re-branded Cisco Catalyst Center. It took a long time on June 4th to find an expert in the Cisco Networking area. We finally found someone to review with us, but only had a demo on Automation.
  • Automation
  • Not sure
  • Seems like it needs to be show cased a bit more.
We are looking to replace SolarWinds NCM and use Cisco Caytalist Center instead but have lots of questions still.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
ResellerIncentivized
I'm a partner running Cisco Catalyst Center in a University. We set it up from ground up, green field.
  • Observability
  • Scalability
  • Automation
  • Visual Guidance
  • More affordable for smaller customers
  • Don't change the name of the product
  • GUI Changes (old -> new) are often not great
It's a great platform, easy to use, scalable and has useful assurance tools to boot.
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use it to manage 95 Catalyst 9300s. We utilized Plug and Play for initial configuration, with Day 0 and Day N templates. We use it to alert us for issues with these switches and our topology. I would like to better utilize configuration compliance and management. When we had a failed device it was easy to replace it through the RMA process within Cisco Catalyst Center. It is also helpful seeing the port utilization along a timeline and see health scores for the network.
  • Onboard new devices using Day 0 templates
  • Push new configuration to multiple devices through Day N templates
  • RMA devices
  • Training. There is a significant learning curve for using Cisco Catalyst Center efficiently
  • Navigation not intuitive
  • Remote CLI has too many limitations
  • Should have SAML integration
The larger the deployment the better Cisco Catalyst Center will help. Smaller deployments will spend more time learning how to use the product than just managing devices directly. When it was only a physical appliance the size of device itself was especially limiting. Not sure how VM options are but this could also impact smaller businesses.
June 05, 2024

My Review

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Catalyst Center is used to manage switches and upgrades within the locations we have deployed
  • Software Upgrades
  • Assurance
  • Wireless
  • Troubleshooting
  • Alerting in real time like solarwinds
it is great to manage the switches in one location
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Building automation configuration and application monitoring.
  • Building template
  • Define policies
  • Implement configurations
  • Multivendor support
  • Setup and configure
  • Documentation
Automation is a key feature
Lack of orchestration
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Our enterprise network environment is connected mostly with Cisco hardware and software. We love to see our network health and suggested solutions for any problems that Cisco Catalyst Center solves!
  • Monitoring
  • error reporting
  • solutions options
  • wireless integration
  • training
best scenario - Cisco centric environment
less appropriate - Juniper hardware environment
Fritz Trappey | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Use it mainly for inventory control and ios upgrades. Would like to use it for more, but don't know much.
  • Love the IOS maintenance
  • Inventory control
  • Initial setup took forever
  • No education on how to use product. Spent a ton f money, but doesn't include how to really use it. Almost worthless. Almost..... definitely not used to its potential.
More appropriate at large companies with tons of inventory. Less appropriate at smaller company. JMO. Expensive and not worth the investment in time or money for small company.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Helpful in day to day operations and administration.
  • Patch network devices
  • Wireless Assurance
  • Network Inventory
  • More Assurance Videos and Webinars
  • Prime to DNA to Cisco Catalyst Center Migration
Helpful in daily operations.
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
ResellerIncentivized
We have Cisco Catalyst Center deployed for several customers. We mostly use it for network inventory and SWIM.
  • SWIM - It's made easy and now when it's possible to choose which devices to upgrade in which order on a site, the upgrade does not fail as often.
  • Network inventory - It's easy to get a good overview of all network devices, and especially the EoS feature is nice.
  • ZTP - This takes a lot of time and effort to implement. Sometimes the templates are too long to run and you have to do several iterations.
  • WLC integration - It's a little flaky when you add the WLC to Cisco Catalyst Center. Sometimes after WLC failover or upgrade you have to remove and add it again.
SWIM and network management. And also the assurance feature, but it's too expensive for most company's because of the license cost.
February 13, 2024

Cisco Catalyst Center!

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use Cisco Catalyst Center for a variety of NOC activities and inventory management. We have had great success using the SWIM feature upgrading the IOS across 500+ switches.
  • SWIM
  • Inventory
  • Analysis and insights
  • XFSU IOS upgrade
Well suitable to enterprise level organization was 100/1000s of device that need to be managed.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Easy deployment of the specific software upgrade kit. Nice history and compare of specific config. Archive of config and change audit.
  • Software upgrades
  • Config management
  • Audit
  • We are using it for short time so I am not aware of any
For now it more than adequate change for Cisco prime.
February 12, 2024

Cisco Catalyst Center

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
ResellerIncentivized
Supporting customers to understand the benefits of what Cisco Catalyst Center can offer from automation through to device deployment, helping with reviews of estates and lifecycle journey to enable them to maximise benefits and ensure relevant utilization. This covers all areas of Cisco Catalyst Center and supporting business cases that the customer would be interested in.
  • Assurance to support troubleshooting
  • Device details
  • Version control
  • Timelining
  • Complicated menu options which makes finding things difficult
  • License management which has option to open sync’ed smart account
  • Device details require a lot of clicking through new windows to see everything
Well suited to support engineers with seeing latest issues within the network to be able to drill in and resolve effectively.

Mixed vendor environment with little to no functionality or definitions available.
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