Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

What is the difference between an IP base image and an IP services image



The IP base is for the Standard Multilayer Software Image (SMI) switches, and the IP services image is for the Enhanced Standard Multilayer Software Image (EMI) switches in Cisco IOS  Software Release 12.2(25)SEB and later.

For the Catalyst 3750 and 3560 switches, Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(25)SEA and earlier referred to the image that provides Layer 2+ (L2) features and basic Layer 3 routing as the Standard Multilayer Image (SMI). The image that provides full Layer 3 routing and advanced services was referred to as the EMI.

The inter VLAN routing feature is supported on both IP base or SMI and IP services or EMI image Layer 3 switches. For Layer 2-only switches, you require a Layer 3 routing device with any of the previous images.

The IP Base feature set includes advanced quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) functions. Dynamic IP routing protocols (Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), BGPv4, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP)) are available only on the IP services image.

The IP Services image provides a richer set of enterprise-class features, which includes advanced hardware-based IP unicast and IP Multicast routing. Support for IPv6 Layer 3 switching in hardware is also available with the addition of the Advanced IP Services license to either the IP Base or the IP Services images. Both the IP base Image and the IP services image allow for Layer 3 and Layer 4 lookups for QoS and security.

Refer to Cisco Catalyst 3750 Q&A for more information.


Informative, but as per Cisco Feature Navigator, IP Base supports EIGRP and OSPF. I am confused now!


You are right, EIGRP is supported in IP BASE but it only supports EIGRP STUB, which means that this SW will be the last SW connected to the EIGRP topology.

About OSPF I'm pretty sure that is the same which only supports the very basic OSPF.


Yogesh Ramdoss
Cisco Employee

Can NAT be done with the IP Based IOS


In Catalyst Switches except Cat 6500, NATing is not supported. It is only supported in Routers, and if you mean that IP Base IOS in routers, YES it does support NAT.

Community Member

Can I upgrade the WS-C3560-24TS-S with IP Base IOS image to IP Services as well as to Advance IP Services? Sorry for the ignorance. Thanks in advance.

Roger De Couto

Hi Adrian, Yes you can upgrade from IP base to IP Services or Advance IP Services.

Tony Ardueser

You may want to find out your current version by looking to output of command show version for line starting with System image file.

Also you may look to list of files stored in your flash by command dir flash: (there could be stored more images).


Is there a table or list of features or commands that one supports and the other doesnt.


For Cisco 3850 switch, can we go from IP Base to IP service ? 


wow. thank you. this EIGRP point which I was looking which related only EIGRP protocol with IP base. We have the same scenario where MPLS cloud connection via BGP connects our site and we use EIGRP on internal site. 

But, point is, this stack is the origin point of EIGRP network because this stack is our core switch from site. Still IP base is enough in my case ? 


Yes, you just need the feature license. The IOS on Cat 3850 is universal, to unlock features you need the feature license installed. You can do an evaluation prior buying the license.

Thanks for this helpful note!

Is there a way to determine, by reviewing the configuration, whether a given switch is "using" any feature that needs the IP Services license? Or does it need runtime-anaylsis to be sure? If only possible with runtime-analysis, what would be a reliable indicator of use of features that require IP Services license?

Thanks in advance,

/Baktha Muralidharan

mohammad saeed

My question here Can I made redundancy between IP based and IP service? will work? or it has to be the same software license ?