I do a lot of my work as a consultant remotely. So when I need to submit a TAC case on a piece of gear, it is handy to be able to do a "show version" to get the serial number of a device to open a TAC case for my customer. Sometimes the sites are closed and no one is even on site.
I just ran into an issue with the new ASA 5506 units where the "show version" serial number is different than the serial number on the sticker on the outside. Since the sticker was used to register SMARTnet by the distributor when purchased, the ability to get support can be "difficult" when you only have the "show version" number.
In researching this here, I see others seeing this issue many years ago with some ASAs and some saying the "show version" number is the "motherboard serial number" used for software upgrades and the "chassis serial number" is on the outside. Some said that a software fix (before 9.x) corrected this and either both were shown or just the "chassis" was shown.
Is this intentional? Is this a software bug? I am running 9.3 (according to "show version" but maybe that is wrong too ... LOL), shouldn't that be fixed or is the bug back?
I think there was a bug in an earlier version of 9.4 and I believe some 9.3. In those versions "show version" and "show inventory" reported the same number.
The latest version on one of my customers ASA 5006-x (184.108.40.206) shows the two number correctly - show ver = license serial number while show inv = chassis / smartnet serial number.
Now if they would list both in "show ver" like they do in so many of their other products (switches for example).
This is vital information for ASA 5506 users...
show inventory instead of show version will get you the chassis serial number you need to open a TAC case, get support, etc...I am not sure why they wouldn't list both under the same command.
Here's the definitive way to get the stinking serial number:
sh inventory | i SN
show inventory (pipe character) i (search term after i) SN
Here's the output:
PID: ASA5506 , VID: V06 , SN: JMX23XXXX (I've replaced numbers with X's for security).
PID: ASA5506-SSD , VID: N/A , SN: xxxxxxxxx (I've replaced numbers with X's for security).
God knows why Cisco couldn't make this simpler. My show run and the chassis match but they are for the "child" serial number. The "real" serial number or "parent" serial number required for support is on the show inventory near keyword SN.