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Rising star

Catalyst 3650/3850 16.9.1 Smart Licensing the only licensing option?

Just read the release notes for 16.9.1 and it seems smart licensing is now the only licensing option on these platforms.

Why?  This is a pain to maintain for customers and requires the switches to have Internet access.

The majority of installs are physical work, software configuration and then done and signed off.  Smart licensing now requires the customer to create smart accounts, assign licenses, allow Internet accces etc.  A lot of the customers we deal with don't want or even have the ability/knowledge to do this.

Looks like we won't be going beyond 16.8.1 for a while on any installations.

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Hall of Fame Community Legend


@andrew.butterworth wrote:

This is a pain to maintain for customers and requires the switches to have Internet access.

The majority of installs are physical work, software configuration and then done and signed off.  Smart licensing now requires the customer to create smart accounts, assign licenses, allow Internet accces etc.  A lot of the customers we deal with don't want or even have the ability/knowledge to do this.

Looks like we won't be going beyond 16.8.1 for a while on any installations.


Talk to your Cisco AM/SE.  There is a Smart License appliance that needs to be installed in the network.  All the Cisco platforms that operate on Smart License will then talk to this appliance.

Another thing to look out for is CSCvh85225

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Cisco Employee

Andrew,

That's true that starting 16.9.1 Smart Licensing is the only option to register the license. It is not necessary to have direct access to the internet from your Cisco devices. Customers can setup an HTTP Proxy or a Satellite Proxy server to connect their devices to register the license.

Customers can work with their Cisco Account team to get help to set up Cisco SSM account on their behalf (if does not exists already) which will be located at software.cisco.com and all your purchased licenses will appear under the Smart account.

We understand that it is an added step to register the license but it gives the customer the ability to keep a track of all the purchased licenses and CSSM gives you granularity (how many licenses you purchased, how many are in use, how many are left).

Earlier when you use to purchase the license it was limited to only one product and if the device was decommissioned then that license was of no use. The beauty of Smart license is that you can reuse the license on any other devices (as long as it support those licenses) once you decide to decommission the device from your network. After a certain time period if your devices are not able to communicate to the smart account (direct or through proxy) then CSSM thinks that device is dead and it pulls the license back in the Smart Account pool and is good to reuse which is cost-effective.
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Hi viveks,

 

What happens if the evaluation period expires, will it default back to base licenses? for C9500-40X. 

In our case, I believe we have DNA-advantage term license and network advantage. I believe network advantage, a base license is perpetual right?

 

Thank you

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Hi Mark,

When the evaluation period expires at the end of 90 days, the device goes into evaluation expiry mode, however, there is no functional impact or disruption in functionality, even after reload. There is no enforcement in place currently. And, yes network advantage is perpetual.

We have an event coming up next week if you have any questions regarding Smart License please feel free to join the open discussion.
https://community.cisco.com/t5/networking-events/ask-the-expert-event-smart-licensing-in-enterprise-switches-and/ba-p/3857947


Regards,
Vivek Sharma
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Hi,

and when I buy Essentials then enable advantage license. After 90 days, advantage is still operational but with warnings. The question is, will I be able to configure anything else from the advantage license suite? Then after 90 days, I put it back to essentials (original license) and one day later I decide to try advantage again. Will it be possible?

 

thank you

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more questions here:

What licenses will a 3650/3850 switch be entitled after a conversion from LAN Base, IP Base or IP Service?

Is the following Perpetual conversion correct?

   LAN Base -> Network Essentials

   IP Base / IP Service -> Network Advantage

 

How does the conversion to DNA Subscription work? do these DNA subscriptions need to be purchased?

  LAN Base -> DNA Essential

  IP Base -> DNA ???

  IP Service -> DNA ???

 

Thanks

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Beginner

We have the same problem.most installation of the lower end devices like C2960 and C800 and even lower end ASA/Firepower are just one operation as install devices , config those devices and make it work for a while until we patch/upgrade device OS on regular basis .most of our customer located on remote , hard to reach with limited IT infra and it is not feasible for them to have a new server , virtualization and have a satellite server as VM just for SL.and we don't want any DIA in those facility.as some  customers are happy with old school PAK , why we need to break that? 

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@ab_ahmadi wrote:

We have the same problem.most installation of the lower end devices like C2960 and C800 and even lower end ASA/Firepower are just one operation as install devices , config those devices and make it work for a while until we patch/upgrade device OS on regular basis .most of our customer located on remote , hard to reach with limited IT infra and it is not feasible for them to have a new server , virtualization and have a satellite server as VM just for SL.and we don't want any DIA in those facility.as some  customers are happy with old school PAK , why we need to break that? 


For Catalyst 2960 & C800 series routers there is (currently?) no Smart License requirement and these are hardware-locked (C2960), right-to-use or license key file.  As is the ASA when running ASA/FirePOWER softwar.  FTD needs smart licensing though (however FTD software on this platform is, well you know....).  So if its just these platforms then you should be OK.

 

The C1100 series routers and the Catalyst 9x00 series its all Smart Licensing and there is no alternative (unless you stay below IOS-XE 16.10.x on the C1100).  I have now had to build a 'Cisco Smart Licensing' section into any design documents I write that explains to the customer their requirements.  This covers us somewhat and forces the customer to 'embrace' smart licensing...

 

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Its a real pain, just to add any 9k NX over 9.2.3 requires smart license but there is an option on the EA workspace allows you to convert from traditional to smart license and back to traditional if required to avoid the upgrade , we did that on some of our switches as we had a batch of available smart licenses

and also the 9ks are honor based so you could prob get away without it too
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Beginner

The Smart License is a major headache for engineers and customers that just want to buy switches, use their perpetual licenses they purchased with the hardware and leave them alone.  I can understand for subscription based services, but there should be no need for smart licensing setups for perpetual licenses.  

 

Honestly, it makes customers want to buy older/used gear that doesn't have this requirement.  It is another layer of aggravation to have to manage smart licenses for hardware that doesn't even use subscriptions.

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Can the satellite server be the DNA Appliance or do you really need to purchase the Cisco satellite Smart License appliance ?

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The Cisco satellite server (Smart Software Manager On-Prem) is available for free and kann be installed on any hardware or virtualisation platform.

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We are running Cat 9k switches in our network without any Smart Licensing.

 

As per my conversation with Cisco TAC it is not mandatory to enable smart licensing.

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What release of IOS you're running?

In every release notes I can see that starting from 16.9.1 smart licensing is the only offered way to license the device and that's what I've seen on any device I had hand on.

Yes you can stay on releases before 16.9.1, but have in mind the impact on security and reliability.

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