Do you recognize this situation? The network is growing and becoming more complex, but it is managed by a collection of narrowly focused management tools that can’t keep up.

This is the situation we faced in Cisco IT. Our previous network management systems were a mixed bag: A few Cisco products here, a few third-party products there, along with many homegrown scripts for “special” network elements and management tasks.

For the most part, these tools weren’t integrated. For example, we had separate management systems for the wired and wireless networks. We also needed new network management capabilities to keep up with growing demands for more network services and more connectivity, especially as we move toward the Internet of Everything (IoE).

Clearly, it was time for a change in how we approached network management. We looked for a new system that would take us into the future.

Today, Cisco Prime Infrastructure is at the core of our new strategy for network management. We are deploying Cisco Prime Infrastructure as an incremental transition from the previous, separate network management systems.

When this transition is complete, Cisco Prime Infrastructure and its “manager of managers” design will allow us to manage both wired and wireless devices from a “single pane of glass” view. We will also be able to tightly integrate other Cisco Prime tools so that the network operations teams can access them on a single management interface.

We are still in the early stages of deployment. The Cisco Prime Infrastructure software runs as virtual machines in a three-tier, distributed cluster of Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) blade servers. This design gives us the benefits of efficient data collection across our global network as well as essential system redundancy and a disaster recovery site.

When fully deployed, we expect that Cisco Prime Infrastructure will give us multiple benefits including lower costs and resource requirements, faster deployment times for network services and sites, faster recovery from network problems, and readiness for IoE.

Learn more about this deployment and the lessons we’ve learned in the full case study: Single Management with Cisco Prime Infrastructure. Additional insight is also available from our recent CiscoLive sessions: Cisco IT Future Network Management and Automation Strategy (2014 San Francisco) and Cloud Assurance Strategy & Automation (2015 Milan).

Are you moving to integrated network management? What strategies and lessons have you discovered so far?