Farewell to Cisco CPAR (AAA): Secure Your Network’s Future!

Cisco CPAR EOL, time to look for a Cisco CPAR (AAA) replacement.

Cisco has announced an end-of-life (EOL) for the Cisco AAA product named Prime Access Registrar (Cisco CPAR). In this blog post, Enea’s Product Management Director, Iftikhar Waheed, explains what this means to you as a CPAR user and how Enea can help you move on from here. Don’t miss the FAQ section , which will answer the most frequently asked questions about CPAR (AAA) replacement strategies. We have also summarize the Cisco CPAR EOL announcement in a table.


Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute Replacing Cisco CPAR (AAA)

In today’s digital age, networks are the backbone of our society. Ensuring the security of these digital assets is critical to always providing users with reliable and secure services. A service provider’s brand is never stronger than the level of security it can offer its subscribers. AAA (authentication, authorization, accounting) protocols are essential for enforcing the brand and maintaining secure network access. Cisco’s CPAR AAA functionality has been a cutting-edge solution for addressing these needs.

However, after October 28, 2024, the Cisco CPAR will be end-of-life (EOL), so Cisco will no longer offer software maintenance and updates. This announcement has caused concern among network stakeholders. The end-of-life of this core technology suite, widely used in the telecommunications (Telco) industry and by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), has left network administrators wondering how to ensure the stability and modernization of their networks, which are typically expected from a vendor-maintained product.

Let’s explore how Enea can offer a smooth CPAR replacement. Introducing the Enea Access Manager, a solution that meets all of Cisco CPAR’s capabilities and addresses your infrastructure’s current and future needs. With a robust roadmap for future evolution and innovation, Enea’s solution ensures the stability and modernization of your networks, just as you would expect from a vendor-maintained product.

What is the Enea Access Manager?

The Enea Access Manager is a cloud-enabled authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) solution for your infrastructure. It is in the same carrier class as Cisco CPAR and offers:

  • High standards compliance with 3GPP and IETF.
  • A rich feature set for various network use cases.
  • Support for bespoke solutions tailored to specific business and operational needs.

The Access Manager is also engineered with a microservices architecture, ensuring network resilience and scalability. It can be deployed as a Virtual Network Function (VNF) or Containerized Network Function (CNF), aligning with your network’s long-term platform strategy.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a meeting with one of our engineers to explore what Enea Access Manager can do for you.

The time plan

Cisco’s AAA – CPAR is About to Expire!

As discussed, the Cisco CPAR will end its software maintenance and renewal support on October 28, 2024. For planning purposes, your organization must review the key milestones in Cisco’s CPAR end-of-life (EOL) cycle. We have gathered all the CPAR EOL milestones in a separate tab here for your convenience.

Does CPAR Have a Continuity Plan?

No, Cisco will not offer any alternative or substitute to CPAR after the end dates. The last date Cisco CPAR can be used is October 31, 2025.

Enea Access Manager

The Best Alternative to replace Cisco CPAR (AAA)

Why is Enea Access Manager the best alternative for Cisco CPAR (AAA) replacement?

Enea Access Manager is a well-developed technology solution that has been commercially available for over twenty years. It is part of several large tier 1 networks and leading vendors’ end-to-end EPC and IMS solutions.

Enea Access Manager and Cisco CPAR are leading contemporary AAA solutions for access management needs.

Enea Access Manager features:

  • A state-of-the-art RADIUS server with deployment integrations with leading network functions like BRAS, BNG, ePDG, GGSN, PGW, and HSS/HLR.
  • Compliance with 3GPP and IETF standards, allowing integration with Diameter-based networks for services like Wi-Fi Calling in VoLTE and VoNR networks.
  • Future-proof microservices architecture, RESTful APIs, and integration with open-source tool suites like Prometheus and EFK for flexibility.
  • Supports various authentication methods, including EAP for mobile core, fixed line, cable, and other bespoke scenarios.

With operators transitioning to cloud-native infrastructure, Enea Access Manager focuses on long-term OPEX and CAPEX savings, CI/CD (Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment), and automation—essential for future networks. Enea has led these areas, working with tier-1 operators and partner vendors to streamline best practices.

In summary – Why Enea Access Manager?

  • Comprehensive and secure AAA solution.
  • Smooth transition while maintaining current network operations.
  • Active evolution path for future network requirements.

You are welcome to contact us to request an evaluation of your CPAR deployment (or any other AAA solution) and learn how Enea Access Manager will work as a perfect Cisco CPAR replacement and better serve your needs.

Source: Cisco’s end-of-life announcement of the Cisco AAA product CPAR
Milestone Description Date
End-of-Life Announcement Date Public announcement of the end of the product’s sale and end-of-life April 30, 2023
End-of-Sale Announcement Date: Application Software The last date to order from Cisco sales points is as follows: No sales after this date. October 29, 2023
Last Shipping Date: Application Software Last shipping date request from Cisco or manufacturers January 27, 2024
End Date of Maintenance Releases: Application Software The last date for Cisco Engineering to publish the final software maintenance releases or debugs is No further software repairs, development, or testing. October 28, 2024
Last Date of New Service Addition: Application Software Last date to order new service/support agreement or add to existing agreements. October 28, 2024
End of Service Agreement Renewal: Application Software The last date to extend or renew the service agreement. October 28, 2025
Last Support Date: Application Software The last date for service and support is in accordance with agreements or warranty terms. Product and support services become unusable. October 31, 2025

Why is the security of digital networks critical in today’s era?

The security of digital networks is crucial to ensure that users always receive reliable and secure services. This is why secure network access is critical to an operator’s brand.

What roles do AAA (Authentication, Authorization, Accounting) protocols play in cellular networks?

The 3GPP AAA provides a crucial and comprehensive role in providing a secure access management solution in cellular networks.

What Cisco AAA is going end-of-life?

Cisco Prime Access Registrar (CPAR), the high-capacity Cisco AAA used in service provider networks.

What is the significance of Cisco’s CPAR (Cisco Prime Access Registrar)?

Cisco’s CPAR is a cutting-edge technology solution that addresses the need for secure access management in networks.

When is Cisco CPAR’s end-of-support date?

Cisco CPAR’s end-of-support date is October 28, 2024.

What is the final date for Cisco CPAR software maintenance releases?

The final date for Cisco CPAR software maintenance releases is October 28, 2024.

What is the last date for Cisco CPAR support and service agreements?

The last date for Cisco CPAR support and service agreements is October 31, 2025.

What concerns have arisen due to Cisco CPAR’s end-of-life announcement?

The end-of-life announcement has caused concern among network stakeholders regarding the stability and modernization of their networks without a maintained product.

What alternative solution is recommended as a Cisco CPAR replacement?

As discussed in this blog post, we recommend the Enea Access Manager as a solution that meets all of Cisco CPAR’s capabilities and addresses future evolution and innovation needs.

What are some of the key features of the Enea Access Manager?

Enea Access Manager offers high standards compliance with 3GPP and IETF, a rich feature set for various network use cases, and support for bespoke solutions. It is also engineered using a microservices architecture and can be deployed as a VNF or CNF.

How does the Enea Access Manager ensure future-proofing for networks?

The Enea Access Manager ensures future-proofing through its microservices-based architecture, use of REST APIs, integration with open-source tool suites, and support for various authentication methods for different use cases.

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