Cisco licenses are essential for operating Cisco networking devices, and they are required to unlock advanced features and capabilities of the equipment. In this article, we will explore Cisco license management, covering the types of licenses, license activation, and the Cisco Smart Software Manager (CSSM) used for managing licenses.
Types of Cisco Licenses
There are several types of Cisco licenses, including perpetual licenses, subscription licenses, and feature licenses. Perpetual licenses provide customers with the right to use a product version indefinitely, while subscription licenses provide access to the product for a specified period. Feature licenses allow customers to activate specific product features that are not available with the base product license.
Cisco licenses are activated using a unique Product Authorization Key (PAK) that is provided by Cisco or its authorized resellers. Once a PAK is received, it can be activated through the Cisco License Registration Portal (CLRP) or the CSSM. The CLRP is a web-based interface that allows customers to register, activate, and manage their licenses, while the CSSM is a cloud-based license management platform that offers additional functionality and features.
The CSSM allows customers to manage their licenses from a central location, view license usage, and allocate licenses to devices. The platform also offers license usage tracking and license compliance monitoring, allowing customers to ensure they are using their licenses correctly and avoiding non-compliance penalties.
Benefits of Cisco License Management
Effective license management is critical to ensure that customers have access to the advanced features and capabilities of their Cisco equipment. By managing their licenses effectively, customers can avoid penalties associated with non-compliance, reduce the risk of licensing errors, and minimize the potential for downtime caused by license issues.
Additionally, license management enables customers to monitor and optimize their license usage, ensuring they are using their licenses effectively and minimizing unnecessary expenditures. By monitoring usage and allocating licenses only to devices that require them, customers can ensure they are getting the most value from their license investment.
Cisco Smart license
Cisco Smart License is a new licensing platform that allows customers to manage and deploy their Cisco software licenses in a more efficient and flexible manner. In the following, we will take a deep dive into the technical aspects of Cisco Smart License, including its architecture, deployment, and management.
Architecture of Cisco Smart License
The Cisco Smart License architecture consists of three main components: the Cisco Smart Software Manager (CSSM), the License Authority (LA), and the Smart License-enabled devices.
The CSSM is a cloud-based license management platform that provides customers with a centralized location to manage and track their licenses. The LA is responsible for enforcing license compliance and providing license usage data to the CSSM. Smart License-enabled devices communicate with the CSSM and the LA to retrieve licenses and report usage data.
Deployment of Cisco Smart License
To deploy Smart License, customers must first register their devices and licenses with the CSSM. This can be done through the Cisco Smart Licensing portal or through the Cisco Smart Licensing Satellite. Once registered, the devices can then retrieve licenses from the CSSM or from the LA.
Smart License-enabled devices communicate with the CSSM using a secure HTTPS connection. When a device requests a license, the CSSM authenticates the device and returns a license entitlement. The device then communicates with the LA to confirm that the license is valid and to report usage data.
Management of Cisco Smart License
Cisco Smart License provides customers with a range of tools for managing their licenses, including the CSSM, the Cisco Smart Licensing portal, and the Cisco Smart Licensing Satellite.
The CSSM allows customers to view and manage their licenses from a centralized location, as well as to generate usage reports and receive license compliance notifications. The Cisco Smart Licensing portal provides a web-based interface for customers to register their devices and licenses, as well as to manage their account information. The Cisco Smart Licensing Satellite provides a local license management solution for customers who require offline licensing capabilities.
Benefits of Cisco Smart License
Cisco Smart License offers a range of benefits to customers, including greater flexibility and control over license management, simplified license deployment, and enhanced license compliance. By utilizing the cloud-based CSSM, customers can easily manage their licenses from a centralized location, reducing the potential for licensing errors and optimizing license usage.
Cisco PLR License
Cisco Permananet License Reservation (PLR) is a licensing method that allows customers to deploy their Cisco software licenses in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.
The Cisco PLR License is an offline solution for highly secure and restricted environments in which out band connections are not allowed.
To deploy Cisco PLR License, customers must first purchase license entitlements from Cisco or an authorized reseller by providing and authentication code to them and receiving an authorization code. These codes are device-specific and will be provided only for your Cisco device.
Benefits of Cisco PLR License
Cisco PLR License offers a range of benefits to customers, including permanent and full feature activation capability, simplified license deployment, and offline installetion method.
In conclusion, Cisco license management is an essential aspect of operating Cisco networking devices. Effective license management enables customers to ensure they have access to advanced features and capabilities, avoid non-compliance penalties, and optimize their license usage. By utilizing the Cisco Smart Software Manager and other license management tools, customers can effectively manage their licenses and ensure they are getting the most value from their investment.