Last week, I discussed with you how to set up and managed converged wired and wireless access with Cisco Prime Infrastructure. Here, as the 3rd post of our 5-part blog series, I’ll focus on how to ensure application performance for your branch site users with Prime. Again, here’s my blog series plan on how to set up networking with Prime for a new branch site.

WAN deployment – blog 1
Converged wired and wireless  – blog 2
Application performance – blog 3 (This blog)
Troubleshooting – blog 4
Network health – blog 5

Your new branch network is up and running as planned.  Everything for your WAN, wired and wireless access is working beautifully. But how is your business application performance? At the end of the day, it’s all about the applications and user experience.

A recent study on network management megatrends shows that application performance degradations are often difficult to diagnose. This is because there are many potential contributing factors ranging from the application itself to back-end data systems to general network issues. However, the study reveals that the top 2 leading factors are network congestion and network configuration changes.

Cisco Prime Infrastructure provides powerful application assurance capabilities for full visibility and controls from users to applications, from branch office to data center. With Prime, you can
– simplify QoS deployments,
– perform in-depth traffic analysis, and
– enable multi-device Application Visibility and Control (AVC).
These capabilities help you reduce data collection complexity and accelerate your time to deliver high performance applications.

If you ever manually configured QoS for your networks, you know that it may take days or weeks to do QoS right, depending on the scope of your work and how much time you can dedicate to the project every day. Prime does the hard work for you. Whether you need to mark, classify or police your network traffic, you just need to run through the QoS work flow as seen in the chart below.

workflowIf you have a network analysis module (NAM) deployed, you can integrate it with Prime to do in-depth traffic analysis. You will get granular insight of your network and application performance. The chart below shows such an example.

prime integrationYou can use Prime to customize your AVC configurations for multi-site deployments. A simplified AVC configuration template for multiple devices allows you to easily finish your workflow that corresponds up to 700 lines of CLI commands per site. You can get abundant data from Network-Based Application Recognition (NBAR), Flexible NetFlow, SPAN/ERSPAN (NAM), SNMP/CLI polling and other sources generated by access switches, wireless LAN controllers, branch routers, headquarters routers and core switches in one place for end-to-end visibility.   As seen in the chart below, you can monitor applications such as Citrix, SharePoint, WeBex and so on, or any custom applications that you add.

applications management

Ease of use with full visibility and end-to-end application performance assurance. This is what you can get from Prime Infrastructure. Prime makes application assurance an easy task.

I’ll talk to you next week about how Prime helps you with network troubleshooting.




Steven Song

Business Manager