Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

ncs for wired switches? ncs/lms overlap?

i'm considering purchase of ncs primarily to help tame our wifi net.  i noticed that in the ncs liturature they emphasize that it can

manage and monitor not just wireless equipment, but also regular switches. in determining how many licenses i need, i must know if i needj ust to count

wlc + ap's?

or if it can help me with regular switches also?

this is relavent because if it's just the former, i'm under 100 , if it's the latter, i'm well over 100.

this also raises the question of overlap between the ncs and lms.

if ncs also manages/monitors switches, what added features does the lms provide?

we are a small operation.  our wifi net at this time  is  1 wlc 4404 for 100 ap's.

we have 2 4510e-r chassis's and about 50 other cisco switches around our 3 sites.

i realize the we're at the low of the low-end for ncs, but the wifi support strains our human resources and i suppose that's what ncs is there for.




Accepted Solutions
Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend

This post deserves a +5 rating. 

View solution in original post



It sounds to me from your questions that NCS would fill your needs more effectively than LMS.  For NCS the APs and switches (that you wish to manage) are counted in regards to licensing.

Below is a high level comparison:

Cisco Prime NCS Features and Benefits

** Ease of Use **

• Simple, intuitive user interface eliminates complexity. Designed from the ground-up with focus on workflow optimization.

• Modularized interface supports user-defined customization to display only the most relevant information.

• Flexible platform accommodates new and experienced IT administrators, and provides an almost-zero learning curve for existing Cisco WCS users.

** Scalability **

• Complete lifecycle management of hundreds of Cisco wireless LAN controllers and 15,000 of Cisco Aironet lightweight access points from a centralized location. Additionally, manage up to 5000 autonomous Cisco Aironet access points.

• Manage up to 5000 switches for monitoring and troubleshooting functions.

• Scalable mobility and Identity service management are delivered through integration with the Cisco MSE and the Cisco ISE, respectively.

• Delivered as a physical or a virtual appliance allowing deployment scalability to help customers meet various deployment models.

** Wired Management **

• Comprehensive monitoring and troubleshooting support for Cisco Catalyst® switches allows for visibility into critical performance metrics for interfaces, ports, endpoints and users, and basic switch inventory.

** WLAN Lifecycle Management **

• Comprehensive wireless LAN lifecycle management includes a full range of planning, deployment, monitoring, and troubleshooting, remediation, and optimization capabilities.

** Planning **

• Built-in planning and design tools simplify defining access point placement and coverage.

• Information from third-party site survey tools can be easily imported and integrated into Cisco Prime NCS to aid in WLAN design and deployment.

• Specialized tools enable immediate assessment of the WLAN's readiness to support VoWLAN and context-aware (location) services.

• Support for on-demand coverage reassessments helps mitigate the effects of - and in many cases eliminate - improper RF designs and coverage problems.

** Deployment **

• A broad array of integrated controller, access point, and command-line interface (CLI) configuration templates deliver quick and cost-effective deployments.

• Network auditing is supported for effective configuration compliance and management.

• In-built, software-based, high-availability maximizes uptime for services delivery and improves operational efficiency.

• Secure wired and wireless guest access gives controlled wireless access to customers, vendors, visitors, and partners, while keeping the network secure.

• Tools and processes support monitoring, upgrading, and migrating selected Cisco Aironet standalone (autonomous) access points to operate as lightweight access points and run control and provisioning of wireless access points (CAPWAP).

• Role-based access control provides flexibility to segment the wireless network into one or more virtual domains controlled by a single Cisco Prime NCS platform.

• Power savings are delivered through Cisco EnergyWise technology with adaptive WLAN power management.

• Cisco Prime NCS maps, hierarchies, and network designs can be easily exported and imported between one or more Cisco Prime NCS servers.

• Virtual domains help deploy large, multisite networks and managed-services alike.

** Monitoring and Troubleshooting **

• Centralized monitoring of the entire LAN and WLAN helps maintain robust performance and an optimal access connectivity experience. Unified switch inventory, dashboard components, reports, and monitoring views help you quickly monitor the access network from a single pane.

• Cisco CleanAir technology provides detailed information about RF interference events, air quality, and interference security threats to help more efficiently assess, prioritize, and manage RF interference issues. Easy-to-use graphical displays serve as a starting point for maintenance, security, troubleshooting, and future capacity planning.

• Graphs, charts, and tables are interactive for quick configuration and reconfiguration.

• Hierarchical mapping trees, color-coding, and icons support quick visualization and status assessments of the network, devices, and air quality.

• Ever-present alarm summary and alarm browser provide robust fault, event, and alarm management.

• Google Earth integration helps visualize and manage outdoor wireless mesh deployments.

• Cisco Spectrum Expert® can be utilized for Cisco Aironet access points that are enabled with Cisco CleanAir technology and configured for Cisco Spectrum Expert.

• You can troubleshoot large-scale LAN and WLAN networks with minimal IT staffing.

• The Client Troubleshooting tool supports a step-by-step method to analyze problems and misconfigurations for all client devices across all connection media, with support to troubleshoot issues such as 802.1X (for wired and wireless networks), and identify RF interferers that are affecting client devices.

• The ever-present search tool facilitates cross-network access to immediate and historic information.

• Integration with Cisco ISE and Cisco Secure Access Control Server (ACS) View provides a simple way to collect and analyze additional data relevant to endpoints.

• Specialized diagnostic tools support enhanced analysis of connection problems occurring with Cisco Compatible Extensions clients Version 5 or later.

• Radio resource management (RRM) tools provide visibility into performance, RF statistics, and air quality.

** Remediation **

• Integrated workflows and tools help IT administrators quickly assess service disruptions, receive notices about performance degradation, research resolutions, and take action to remedy nonoptimal situations. The Client Troubleshooting tool provides guidance on where the access problem may be.

• Alerts, summaries, and reports about air quality and interferers are included with Cisco CleanAir technology to help diagnose the RF environment and mitigate interference from Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi sources.

• The security dashboard and the security index provide a quick assessment of network security, and ways to improve it.

• Voice tools support customizable queries to address VoWLAN problems.

** Optimization **

• Extensive on-demand and automated reports can be run on immediate and historic network activity, performance, usage, devices, inventory, compliance, security, and air quality.

• Payment Card Industry (PCI) report analyzes WLAN for potential noncompliant events.

• Alarms and events can be forwarded to third-party, northbound receivers and Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance, and Security (FCAPS) applications that understand traps such as HP OpenView or IBM Tivoli Netcool.

• You can customize report data, report timeframe, and report format.

• Display options for charts, graphs, and tables provide enhanced flexibility.

• Output reports in CSV or PDF format can be saved as a file or as email.

• Capacity planning is supported by developing trends from multiple reports for analysis.

** Centralized Security and Network Protection **

• Cisco's unified wireless security solution integrates security alerts, alarms, adaptive wireless intrusion prevention system (wIPS), and Cisco CleanAir technology into a single unified platform, from a centralized view - making it unprecedented in the industry.

• Cisco CleanAir technology provides critical information about RF interferes that are potential security threats.

• Robust adaptive wIPS supports quick detection, location, and containment of unauthorized (rogue) devices,

• Customized signature files protect against unauthorized intrusion and RF attacks.

• Automated alarms enable rapid responses to mitigate risks.

• Robust service policy engine supports multiple unique service set identifiers (SSIDs) with customizable security and enforcement parameters.

• Management frame protection (MFP) monitors the authentication of 802.11 management frames.

• Access point wired port authentication with 802.1X validates all access point credentials.

• Network security can be enhanced and power costs can be reduced by turning access points on or off at scheduled intervals.

• Unified wired and wireless security is delivered though integration with Cisco Self-Defending Network and Cisco Network Admission Control (NAC).

Cisco Prime LAN Management Solution Major Functional Areas

** Monitoring and troubleshooting **

Quickly and proactively identify and fix network problems before they affect end users or services

• Centralized fault and event browser (consolidated, syslog, traps, and events and alarms)

• Quick navigation and "hover-over" to identify problem areas

• Embedded troubleshooting workflow for quick problem isolation and remediation

• Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)-based polling to identify availability and performance issues

• Medianet dashboard provides fault and availability statistics of medianet endpoints and devices

• IPSLA video operations help validate whether the network is ready for video and rich media applications

• Smart Interaction for contextual Cisco Service Request creation and Cisco Support Community searches

** Configuration management **

Configuration backup, software image management, compliance, and change management required to maintain and update network devices

• Cisco best practices configuration templates - deploy full or partial configurations based on Cisco validated designs and Cisco Smart Business Architecture recommendations

• Dynamic guided workflows reduce chance for errors

• Extensible configuration library, new updates, and configurations templates can easily be downloaded from, including the SBA templates

• Integration with Cisco Configuration Professional to assist with multidevice deployment of configuration files generated by Cisco Configuration Professional through LMS configuration templates and scheduler

** Inventory **

Complete and thorough inventory of all Cisco equipment details - chassis, module, interface

• Provides a single menu for discovery status, device status, user tracking, and inventory dashboards

• Support for more than 600 Cisco device types

• Day-one device support allows new device packages to be downloaded the day the platform ships

** Reporting **

All reports are centralized in a single menu, simplifying navigation and access to detailed reports and information

• Inventory, end-of-sale, Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT), configuration and compliance, user tracking, and all other Cisco Prime LMS reports are represented in a consolidated menu

• Reports can be easily scheduled to run immediately or daily, weekly, or monthly and can be viewed online or optionally exported to a file or comma-separated value (CSV) file

** Work Centers **

End-to-end lifecycle management of Cisco value-added technologies - deployment, monitoring, and management of medianet, EnergyWise, TrustSec/Identity, Auto Smartports, Smart Install

• Getting started workflows provide simplified configuration and setup of infrastructure for supporting Cisco technologies

• Dashboards provide up-to-date status on configuration, inventory, and monitoring for troubleshooting purposes

** Administration **

Getting started and improved workflows simplify application setup and administration

• All administrative functions for setting up and configuring the application are centralized for easier access

Release Notes for Cisco Prime Network Control System, Release

NCS License Information

NCS is deployed through physical or virtual appliance. Use the standard License Center Graphical User Interface to add new licenses, which are locked by the standard Cisco Unique Device Identifier (UDI). When NCS is deployed on a virtual appliance, the licensing is similar to physical appliance, except instead of using a UDI, you will use a Virtual Unique Device Identifier (VUDI). The NCS license is recognized by the SKU, which is usually attached to every purchase order to clearly identify which software or package is purchased by a customer.

For more detailed information on license types and obtaining licenses for NCS, see the "NCS and End User License" chapter of the Cisco Prime Network Control System Configuration Guide, Release 1.0.

For detailed information and license part numbers available for NCS, including licensing options for new installations as well as migration from an existing Cisco product like Cisco Wireless Control System, see the Cisco Network Control System Ordering Guidelines at

Determining Which License To Use

You should select the correct license based on your deployment situation, the number of access points to be supported, and Cisco NCS options. Only one type of license can be used on the NCS at one time. For example, if your NCS has a NCS-1.0-X license, you cannot add a NCS-1.0-X-LIC license. You can add to the current license by purchasing a license to increase the access point count. For example, if you have a NCS-1.0-50 license with an access point count of 50 and in a year you need to add more access points, you can buy another NCS-1.0-100 license with an access point count of 100, apply it to the NCS, and have a NCS with license for 150 access points. You can add a license to increase the number of access points in increments of 50, 100, 500, 1000, 2500, 5000 or 10000.

What is Cisco Prime?

NCS 1.0: Unified access management for wired and wireless networks

LMS 4.1: Enhanced Borderless Networks services management and Smart Interactions

NAM 5.1: Integrated application and performance visibility across the network

Collaboration Manager 1.0: Medianet monitoring and troubleshooting

Cisco Prime for Enterprise Overview

Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend

This post deserves a +5 rating. 

View solution in original post

Yes!! I found it really helpful!

Content for Community-Ad