Earlier this year Cisco announced the Cisco Prime Virtual Network Analysis Module (vNAM), an integral component of the Cisco Cloud Network Services portfolio. While a virtual NAM has been available on the Nexus 1100 Cloud Services Platform (a UCS appliance for virtual services), it has not been available in a generic VM form factor, which now provides greater deployment flexibility for NAM customers, as they look to monitor application and network performance in their virtual data centers. The result is greater visibility at more points in the network.

Cisco Prime vNAM combines application-awareness with the ability to look deeper into various network overlays, such as VXLAN, LISP, and CAPWAP, to deliver rich analytics that help assure services levels, accelerate operational decisions, and increase business agility. Its versatility permits it to be used to:

  • Monitor workloads in multi-tenant cloud deployments
  • Analyze network usage by application, host or virtual machine (VM) to identify unusual traffic patterns or bottlenecks that may affect performance and availability
  • Troubleshoot performance problems consistently across physical and virtual environments
  • Take advantage of an integrated web-based interface to remotely manage a site
  • Validate infrastructure updates such as WAN optimization, Cisco TrustSec, and quality-of-service policy changes

Prime vNAM can be deployed in the cloud to monitor hosted workloads, at remote sites to monitor the end-user experience, or almost anywhere in the network to eliminate blind spots.

Monitor Workloads in a Multi-tenant Cloud

Deployed in the tenant network container (Figure 1), Prime vNAM analyzes TCP-based interactions for the hosted workload, providing metrics such as transaction time, server response time, and application delay. Setting performance thresholds helps proactively detect performance problems, troubleshoot application response time concerns, and minimize the risks of violating service-level objectives. vNAM also provides insight into network usage by applications, top talkers, and conversations to help optimize use of the cloud infrastructure, including overlay technologies such as VXLAN and LISP.

Figure 1. Track Application Performance and Resource Usage with Cisco Prime vNAM

Simplify Remote-Site Manageability

When deployed at a remote site, Prime vNAM can help network administrators characterize end-user experience (Figure 2), profile application traffic, and troubleshoot performance problems to cost-effectively deliver services across Cisco Enterprise Networks. An integrated web-based interface allows administrators to access vNAM remotely at any time and from anywhere to glimpse the health of the network and applications. It eliminates the need to bring the data to a centralized location for analysis. Prime vNAM provides the ability to monitor all traffic entering and leaving the remote site, detecting the applications consuming the most bandwidth, proactively identifying when application performance is being affected, assessing whether control and optimization techniques are effective, and contextually troubleshooting performance problems.

Figure 2. Manage Remote Sites with Cisco Prime vNAM


Listen to a pre-recorded vNAM webinar on-demand here.  Learn how the Prime vNAM takes advantage of feature innovations in the new Prime NAM Software 6.0 release to address service delivery challenges in physical, virtual, and cloud networks. We discuss performance monitoring and troubleshooting use cases and best practices and demonstrate techniques that will help drive increased operational agility and improved IT service levels.

You can also experience the Prime vNAM for yourself. Download a free 60-day trial version at:

https://cisco.mediuscorp.com/market/networkers/homeWork.se.work (Cisco login required).

For more information, go here or to the overall NAM portfolio page at http://www.cisco.com/go/nam.


Gary Kinghorn

Sr Solution Marketing Manager

Network Virtualization and SDN