Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Prime LAN Management Solution
Currently, we use Cisco Prime LAN Management across the whole organization. We deployed it in our HQ, and from there we manage all the LAN and remote location's sites. It's obvious that for us, having multiple sites in different countries, Cisco Prime gives us a huge advantage. We can deploy our configuration, monitor equipment, and generate reports in one single pane of glass. Regarding business aspects, we can save a lot of money on consulting services remotely, at the same time increasing performance solving issues and getting business online much faster.
- You can deploy from simple snippets of config to a whole template to multiple devices at the same time. That saves us a lot of time (remember that time is money) when we need to change some setting globally, like adjust a ACL or add new global policy. Doesn't matter how many models of the same equipment you have.
- The Network Topology map is also a great tool for troubleshooting. You can check several aspects of the topology, the connection between the equipment, the status of the connections and even check specific alarms related to that part of the topology (or map). Again, consider that in a multi site, global environment and you'll see the benefits.
- Inventory and firmware updates are also great tools inside the solution. You have check exactly what equipment is outdated and schedule an update with a couple of clicks. You can do that also in a batch, saving a lot of time (and money) and avoid to go handle the equipment one by one, sometimes even needing to have physical access to those equipment.
- Maps. One thing that I miss is the fact that you can't see both wired and wireless equipment in the same topology map. For visualization and troubleshooting purposes, that would help a lot, and I honestly don' t think it's that much harder to implement.
- I'd love to see an option to show 'live dashboards,' maps, or other visual tools to publish in a NOC room, or even just to broadcast in a big monitor to allow multiple workmates to check that information. Again, I don't think that would be too hard to implement. I remember a similar feature was available in the first versions of the product, way back in the 90's (yes, I'm that old :-) )
- Sometimes, depending on what screen you are, the solution can be a little slow. I'm not saying the whole system is slow, but sometimes that slowness can bother a little.
- Talking about areas for improvement, one area I think can be improved is the upgrade process. Even for not so large deployments, it can take a lot of time. Having this time decreased would be the right thing to do.
- Has increased our ability to solve issues much faster, especially in distributed or global environments.
- Saves a lot of money on consultancy services. If you need to dispatch an employee or a third-party contractor to do things, you can do them remotely with Cisco Prime.
- The inventory tool also gives us a great overview of the whole infrastructure, and it can be very useful to keep up with what areas need investment, etc. Capacity planning is very important nowadays.
It's obvious that Cisco has all the knowledge of their own products, such as switches, routers, etc., and Cisco Prime LAN Management Solution works well integrated with them. Also, you can use Cisco Prime with non-Cisco products and have some benefits. No other product can have that level of integration and advanced features, like checking for firmware upgrades, knowing the out of the box equipment model, etc., without having to crack SNMP OIDs, etc.
One thing is clear: Cisco Prime LAN is well suited for an enterprise environment. If you have enterprise-class network equipment, you'll be well served. If you only use or have a mix of SMB class equipment and enterprise, maybe you won't see the true value. Also, if you only use Meraki equipment, you also probably won't see much value.