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Beginner

Differences between APIC-EM and Prime Infrastructure 3.0

Hello Friends,

 

I am doing some research with respect to APIC-EM and Prime Infrastructure. I understand that both offer plug and play services as well as API programmability. Also from what I have read gives me the understanding that PI 3.0 is built upon APIC-EM in the sense that it uses the APIC-EM controller to facilitate its PnP service. Is this valid to say? Also if this is true, what is the true difference between both and what is the value of APIC-EM if Prime Infrastructure somewhat covers the major scope of what the average network administrator desires?

In other words, If I am investing in Prime Infrastructure, why should I also invest in APIC-EM? Does APIC-EM provide capabilities that cannot be achieved using PI?

 

 

Regards,
Lawrence Keston Henderson

13 REPLIES 13
Hall of Fame Cisco Employee

Re: Differences between APIC-EM and Prime Infrastructure 3.0

Yes, it is true that PI now uses APIC-EM for PnP.  In terms of differences, think of APIC-EM as a programmatic layer on top of the network (meaning you can extract things like topology, inventory, and network state programmatically).  Today, it does PnP, IWAN provisioning, and flow-based path trace.  All of these are also driven by a REST-based programmatic interface.  Think of PI as a network management application in that it does element, config, and fault management.  What you'll see is that more and more network services will be exposed from APIC-EM that PI can take advantage of, so that PI becomes a set of applications on top of APIC-EM.

I want to add that while you can use APIC-EM without PI to do PnP today, PI adds a layer of value on top of APIC-EM in that it manages the config templates and software images, and uses the APIC-EM REST interface to drive the provisioning of new devices.  Without PI, you'd likely have to build your own application to do this management.

In terms of investment, APIC-EM is freely available.  The IWAN feature, however, is cross-licensed with PI, so if you've invested in PI, then you have a license for the APIC-EM features as well.

TG Beginner
Beginner

Re: Differences between APIC-EM and Prime Infrastructure 3.0

Hi Joseph. Thanks for the information. Is it true that the IWAN feature is no longer a part of  APIC-EM? Is this a permanent or temporary change? If IWAN is not part of the APIC-EM solution, will there be another tool for IWAN automation? Thanks

Hall of Fame Cisco Employee

Re: Differences between APIC-EM and Prime Infrastructure 3.0

IWAN is part of APIC-EM.  I did not mean to give the impression that it was not.  It is, however, a separate license.  You get this by default if you have Prime Infrastructure or a Cisco ONE software license.

TG Beginner
Beginner

Re: Differences between APIC-EM and Prime Infrastructure 3.0

Oh. Thanks. With APIC-EM 1.2.1 there is no longer a tab for IWAN and the release notes say that the upgrade will disable the IWAN feature. I was just wondering if this was a permanent change.

Cisco APIC-EM, Release 1.2.1.x.


Caution


Installing this software upgrade release will disable the IWAN application on the Cisco APIC-EM controller. Do not install this software upgrade patch, if you use or require the IWAN application to monitor and manage devices within your network.

Cisco Employee

Re: Differences between APIC-EM and Prime Infrastructure 3.0

HI Tom,

that is temporary.

1.2.1 was a patch release.

1.3 the next major release is due in 4weelse and will restore IWAN.

there was a bug in Iwan 1.2.1 that needed more time to be resolved.

Rather than delaying the patch further and running up against the 1.3 release 1.2.1 patch was released without Iwan

adam

TG Beginner
Beginner

Re: Differences between APIC-EM and Prime Infrastructure 3.0

Great! Thanks - I was hoping that was the case.

TG Beginner
Beginner

Re: Differences between APIC-EM and Prime Infrastructure 3.0

What is the interplay between discovery and inventory between the two. If I discover a router in APIC-EM does that information get ported to PI (and v.v.)?

Cisco Employee

Re: Differences between APIC-EM and Prime Infrastructure 3.0

There is an API based integration today. 

PI uses APIC-EM credentials to get a list of network devices in APIC-EM and add them to the PI inventory.

It will also create sites etc in APIC-EM too

Beginner

Re: Differences between APIC-EM and Prime Infrastructure 3.0

Can this happen in reverse do you know? I already have PI running with a full inventory and I want APIC-EM to learn all devices from PI, I definitely don't want PI to pull 0 devices from APIC-EM and wipe it's existing inventory?

Thanks,

Dave

Beginner

Re: Differences between APIC-EM and Prime Infrastructure 3.0

I'm having the same question.

did you manage to import devices from prime to APIC ?

Thanks

Regards

Cisco Employee

Re: Differences between APIC-EM and Prime Infrastructure 3.0

Via a small python script it is pretty easy.

Did you want this as a one off, or as an ongoing sync?

The other option is to use discovery on APIC-EM to get the devices.

What is the reason for getting the devices into APIC-EM?

Beginner

Re: Differences between APIC-EM and Prime Infrastructure 3.0

Because prime is already set up

That is the main reason

Thanks for the reply, do you have the script ?

Beginner

Re: Differences between APIC-EM and Prime Infrastructure 3.0

I have set up PI, and added APIC-EM controller in PI, I also added all the sites manually to PI. my questions.

1- Do I need use Discovery on APEIC_EM, If yes, do I need to add all devices or only MC.

2- I do not see topology and path trace, what do I need to activate to see that?

thanks in advance for your reply

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