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Cisco Prime vs Cisco DNA Center

Hi All,


I have some queries about DNA and PI



what is so special about the Cisco DNA which is not there in Cisco PI. ? 

Also is there anything which is there in Cisco Prime and not in DNA- C ?

The Cost of Cisco DNA Appliance is very very expensive.!! Do we need to have Separate licence per device which we want to monitor, like we do in Cisco PI 3.x ?

what all are the Part/ Service/ License that i need to buy along with DNA ?





Hi Rick,

Although there are feature parity between, DNAC and PI, both are very different devices and have different purpose.

when you login to DNAC, you will find 2 major sections.

At top you have applications which includes design, policy, provision, assurance, platform.

At bottom you have tools, which includes discovery, PnP, topology, etc.


In my opinion tools in DNAC can more be related to PI but DNAC is much more advance there, since you have PnP capability (originally APIC-EM feature) but the application part is unique for DNAC which you dont have on prime.

To give few example :


In DNAC you can design your entire network define configurations like AAA, DHCP, DNS, IP POOL, username and password, SNMP etc and associate it to a site when the deice is assigned to a site, all this configuration can be pushed to the site directly.

In DNAC you can integrate with ISE and define the policy on DNAC and it will be pushed to ISE and eventually to switches, which you can't do in prime.

You can do LAN automation and have your underlay configured for ISIS routing automatically, which you cant do in prime.

DNAC is centralized control for software define access which is an overlay technology reducing need to complex routing with VLAN and ACL based segmentation, you can do macro segmentaion on top on overlay using VRF and microsegmentation within VRF using SGTs, which prime does not do.

DNAC have many API available which can be potentially used by other tools to consume data from DNAC


I can go on and on but best would be you refer to Cisco documentations, you can start with DNAC design guide.


If you are in US and need some specific questions to be answered feel free to personal message me.


Thank you

-Rate helpful posts-


could you please tell me anyone.


how can we Cisco prime  Infrastructure  migrate to Cisco DNA..which feasibility are need.


Farhan Mohamed
Cisco Employee

If you see, mostly all the features of DNAC is similar to what prime offer, but there is thin line of difference between them, There is no official announcement but after a period of time Prime will be merged to DNAC, and you will have one single dashboard for everything.

In DNAC you get the following:-

design, policy, provision, assurance, platform along with some tools in the interface to complete various tasks.

DNAC is advanced verion of PI, Automation and PNP capabilities are much more enhanced in DNAC.

Yes we do have separate license as in PI, but DNAC has much more enhanced capabilities licenses you purchase you will get ISE base, plus and stealthwatch for free, if you are going for advanced where most folks go.

Please let me know if you need more details on liensing as it is huge, so we can have a webex to discuss more.


Cisco Prime Network is a cost-effective device operation, administration, and network fault-management solution. It supports the physical network components as well as the computer infrastructure, and virtual elements found in data centers.

Cisco DNA Center is the network management and command center for Cisco DNA, your intent-based network for the enterprise. Use advanced analytics to proactively monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize your network. Integrate with third-party systems for improved operational processes.