In my last blog, I talked about the new 15 IOS code and discussed the reason why they jumped from 12 to 15 in their code—well, my theory of why they did anyway. I also started a discussion about the new licensing they will be using, plus, their newest Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2). But right now, the types of licenses that Cisco will be providing with their new routers are what I really want to focus on.
Types of Licenses
First and foremost, how does this change what you need to buy? Answer… That depends on exactly what you need from the router. And to answer that question at all, you just really need to know about the types of licenses that will be available regarding them.
Okay, Licenses are first categorized by their time frame, or how long they are good for. Check out the following figure—the time frame is either specified as permanent or temporary as shown by the top green boxes:
Just as you would think, a Permanent license is good for the life of the device on which it is installed.
A Temporary license can be used for evaluating new capabilities or an emergency situation. A temporary license allows a feature set to be used for 60 days of actual usage. When the 60-day period expires, the device will continue to operate normally until reloaded. After the reload, the device will default to the original functionality before the temporary license was enabled. Only the actual time that the temporary license is enabled counts towards that 60-day limit. The Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) can provide an extension license for longer trials or other circumstances. Or, you could opt to just never reboot your router, and you’re golden!
Technology Package License
A technology package license is similar to the current image and licensing types that you are used to (i.e. advanced IP services, advanced security, etc.). however, instead of the many types that you have now, there are now just four:
- IPBase – basic entry functions
- DATA – includes MPLS, ATM, Multi-protocols, IBM support
- UC – unified communications, VoIP, IP Telephony
- SEC – security, IOS Firewall, IPS, IPSEC, 3DES, VPN
Software Licensing Framework
Alright, last thing before we tie this post off. We mentioned the Cisco Licensing Framework and Cisco Software Activation. This is the primary control part of this whole scheme to “help the customer track hardware, software, add services, upgrade images, and transfer licenses easier”. Oh, and it ensures that Cisco gets paid for every little thing too.
So let’s go through the whole process here. You go out and by a new ISR G2 router, it works the same way if you own one already and are buying new features as well. Ok, so you have it or buy it, first thing you get with the purchase is a Product Authorization Key (PAK). The PAK is an 11 digit alphanumeric key.
With the PAK you access the Cisco Licensing Portal, www.cisco.com/go/license and provide the PAK, serial number, and Product ID of the device. hA license file will then be generated for that specific device and that device only. You can download the file or have it emailed to you. Finally, you have to install the license file onto the router. This is much more complicated and time consuming than anything we’ve ever had to do before. However, Cisco doesn’t want to discourage you and make you complain.
So, to further “help” you in keeping track of all this licensing and to make it easier for you download and install the licenses. Cisco has made a handy application that you can install on a management workstation. This program is called Cisco License Manager (CLM). It is does some similar discovery functions and operates a lot like the Cisco Configuration Assistant (CCA).
Be sure and stop often as I update my blog with the latest and greatest Cisco intel. In the meantime, be sure and check out our end of year specials on Todd Lammle Authorized training!