Cisco very quickly End of Lifed the IOS Content Filtering offering last year
For something with a minimum of a yearly lic involved, the EOL timing is shocking - you could have ordered product with a 1 year lic and come back now to find the offering is now dead (as in our case) so much for ROI !
Cisco are pushing Scansafe as their current offering, which has probably led toa falling out with Trend who provided the underlying service for
IOS Content Filtering. Scansafe does not economically cover the low end application, for which IOS Content Filtering was ideal i.e SMB space with 8xx or low end ISR routers. The Cisco answer is basically "perhaps you want to go and investigate solutions form other suppliers"
So we are left with a router platform which is fine and content filtering which was fine but are now unable to re-licence the URL filtering service and will stop working in about 30 days and there is apparently nothing we can do about it
Does anyone know if Trend still operate the URL filtering subscription service and whether theire is a way of geting a subscription renewal direct ?
(i'm not holding my breath on that - I am guessing the IOS content filtering hooks for the service being certificate based + Cisco license process will make that hard for anyone but Cisco)
Or of any alternative simple and cost effective solution we can configure the router to use
(please tell me we're not back to SurfControl/Websense solutions again..)
I would encourage you to go with your acount manager for this question,
If there is something else I can do for you technically speaking I will be more than glad to help
Approached the Cisco AM - frankly there was little or no interest in fixing such a low value problem. The spin was the Trend relationship ending was beyond Cisco control and Cisco hands tied - i.e. its not our fault (but strangely the problem is the customers)
Yes we could get some TMP discount - against the original hardware purchase but the hardware for lowend installs is negligible, it is the services time/cost in getting solution (and any replacement) into deployment which is the costly part and TMP makes no allowance for that.
Also scansafe solution is much more expensive, compared to IOS URL Filtering, so even taking off the minor TMP discount the answer form Cisco is basically - yep spend more money with us and we'll fix the problem we created for you. And why is there so little normal info on Cisoc.com for scansafe - i.e. covering SKU/ordering models etc... It always just ays 'ask your Cisco AM for details' - that may have worked when Scansafe was a separate company but a Cisco AM is unlikely to even answer the phone to talk about a $3K order
If Cisco really wanted to protect customer investment, why couldn't it provide through Scansafe a replacement service for IOS URL Filtering service, at similar cost and pricing model to that provided by the Trend integration? i.e. same kit, same config but pointed at scansafe cloud rather than Trend cloud. Then there would be no issue and a clean migration path provided for Ciscos valued customers
Probably answering my own question but scansafe appears to return to a cost related to the user count, whereas IOS URL Filtering service was a simple one off cost per router. This was ideal for low end application (the ISR800 series size of deployment) and comparable scansafe is way more expensive.
I have found we are not alone in this, most customers are only finding out about this mess when existing IOS URL Filtering licence's expire and go for renewal only to find the 3 month EOL process has stealthily boatanchored their implementation.