Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Cisco DNA Center

Last Updated on April 21, 2022

Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology corporation that focuses on networking hardware and software. It has over 75,000 employees with its headquarters in San Jose, California.

Cisco has been participating in open source development for almost 30 years including founding projects like OpenDaylight,, VPP, PNDA, SNAS, and OpenH264, and contributing to projects like OPNFV, Kubernetes, OpenStack, Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Maven, and many others.

Cisco has also been a key contributor to the Linux kernel over the years, accounting for about 0.5% of total kernel commits, and is a Platinum Member of the Linux Foundation and Premium Sponsor of the Open Source Initiative.

From a software perspective, Cisco’s main focus is developing proprietary programs. In this series we look at free and open source alternatives to their products.

Cisco DNA CenterDNA Center is a centralized automation and management platform for the entire network. What are the best free and open source alternatives?

1. Nagios Core

Nagios Core is a powerful monitoring system that enables organizations to identify and resolve IT infrastructure problems before they affect critical business processes.

The software offers good monitoring functionality with a centralized view of an entire monitored IT infrastructure. Nagios offers monitoring and alerting services for servers, switches, applications and services. It alerts users when things go wrong and alerts them a second time when the problem has been resolved.

The software is mature; it’s been in development for more than a decade and well maintained. There are hundreds of free addons which extend functionality.


There is also Nagios XI available which, unlike Nagios Core, is proprietary software. Nagios XI adds dashboards, web-based configuration, advanced reporting, and rich data visualizations.

2. OpenNMS

OpenNMS is an enterprise grade network monitoring and network management platform. It offers comprehensive fault, performance, traffic monitoring, and alarm generation in one place. Highly customizable and scalable, OpenNMS easily integrates with your core business applications and workflows.

The goal is for OpenNMS is to be a truly distributed, scalable platform for all aspects of the Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance, Security (FCAPS) network management model, and to make this platform available to both open source and commercial applications. while remaining free and open source.

The core of OpenNMS uses PostgreSQL.

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3. LibreNMS

LibreNMS is a fully featured network monitoring system that provides a wealth of features and device support.

It supports a broad range of operating systems including Linux, FreeBSD, as well as network devices including Cisco, Juniper, Brocade, Foundry, HP and many more.

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All articles in this series:

Alternatives to Cisco's Products
AnyConnect SSL VPNAnyConnect SSL VPN gives users secure access to the enterprise network, from any device, at any time, in any location.
DNA CenterDNA Center is a centralized automation and management platform for the entire network.
FirewallSecure Firewall is a complete security portfolio that protects your applications and users. It includes a Snort 3 next-generation intrusion prevention system.
Cisco Secure IDSSecure IDS is a network-based intrusion detection system that uses a signature database to trigger intrusion alarms. The major components are a sensor platform and a director platform.
WebexWebex offers calling, meetings, and messaging in the cloud for teams of all sizes. It offers a way of collaborating that focuses around the work you do, not your location.
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