dslreports logo

    All FAQs Site FAQ DSL FAQ Cable Tech About DSL Distance DSL Hurdles »»


how-to block ads

Suggested prerequisite reading
»Cisco Forum FAQ »What to expect from Cisco new product lines

Router/Switch License Concept Introduction

Those routers and switches that run with IOS image file called Universal IOS is considered the new router and switch platform. For routers that run IOS 15.x and switches that run 12.2 showing Universal on the IOS image file are part of this discussion. To verify whether your router or switch run Universal IOS, simply issue show version which display IOS image it runs.

Starting with this Universal IOS concept, Cisco introduces IOS licensing. By default, all new routers and switches only need single IOS image file for any purposes. Gone the days when you have to download Advanced IP Services IOS, Advanced Security IOS, or the like whenever you need the router or switch to do certain functionality. With this Universal IOS concept, you need to provide license to the routers or switches for those functionality that come with advanced services such as OSPF, BGP, EIGRP (part of Advanced IP Services); IPSec VPN (part of Advanced Security). For basic security such as capability to ssh into routers or switches, you may need UniversalK9 IOS image file which can be downloaded from Cisco website.

Depending on your situation, you may or may not be required to install licenses. Some routers and switches already come with appropriate license. If you recently buy a new router or switch, by default they will come with basic license which the license upgrade fee may cost you more in total (license upgrade fee + basic hardware price) compared to those that are already equipped with proper license.

License Installation

Here is a list of steps

1. Prepare the following

* Router/Switch UDI (Unique Device Identifier) which are the PID (the router/switch model) and the serial number. These info can be obtained from either show version, show diag, or in some cases the show running-config where the PID is the Product (FRU) Number (provided by show diag) or the model number (provided by show version while the Serial Number is the Chassis Serial Number (provided by show diag) or the System serial number (provided by show version). Another way is to simply issue show license udi which will show PID, SN, and the UDI (the union of PID and SN) in the same line.
* Product Authorization Key (PAK), which is obtained from any local Cisco reseller to provide entitlement of the license installation
* Internet access, active Cisco Smartnet contract, and active Cisco online account to request the license file

* TFTP Server to store the license file

2. Request License File online from Cisco

* Open up the following link http://www.cisco.com/web/go/license/index.html
* You will be asked to enter the appropriate PAK in addition to the router/switch PID and serial number
* You will also be asked to provide email address of which Cisco would email the license file to. By default, Cisco used the email address provided in the online account however you could change the email address into something else
* Verify all info and click submit

3. Getting and Downloading the License file

* Cisco would then email the appropriate license file to install. You may note that the license file only works for the device with matching PID and serial number
* The license file is sent as attachment, so make sure your mail firewall does not block any attachment file with .lic as file type
* The license file size is very small (around 2 KB) therefore the Cisco license file email should not cause issue with "attachment file size too big" error situation
* Once you receive the email, download and save the license file into appropriate folder/sub-directory and store it to some TFTP server

4. Installing the License file
* Log into the router/switch and issue copy tftp flash using the TFTP server IP address and the license file name as source IP address and file name respectively. Make sure there is enough room in the flash to store the license file.
* Issue license install flash:[ENTER THE LICENSE FILE NAME HERE]
* You will get message of either Successful or Failed. If you receive Failed message, make sure you read and understand the error message; and re-mediate. If you receive Successful message, proceed to the next step
* Issue show license to verify the newly-installed license
* To activate the license, reload the router/switch

5. Verification
* When the router or switch boots up, notice a statement saying License Level, License Type, and Next reload license Level where the License Type should say Permanent with the new License Level. In addition, the License Level and Next reload license Level should mention the same License Level.
* Should you miss such statement during router or switch boot up, a show version and show license should display a same or similar output

Features and Memory Requirements

Cisco IOS Release 15.0 Feature Sets and Memory Recommendations for Cisco 1900, 2900 and 3900 Series Routers

ASR 1000 series

An ASR 1001 is a nice box, capable of 2.5 Gbps esp -- unlockable to 5 Gbps. The router has been the next evolution (sort-of) to the 7200vxr chassis.

There has been a large discussion about the deeper dive into their architecture on c-nsp. Quite the read if you have the time to dig through gossamer-threads.

The biggest thing is likely to be the router ability to turn off stuffing of routes into TCAM. As illustration with the RP2, the router essentially takes upwards of 12 million routes into RAM as an BGP Route Reflector which makes the box very attractive for the Service Provider or large enterprise environment by having a few boxen sitting out there for BGP especially as VPNv4/VPNv6 aren't required to be in the forwarding path for best-path computations.

Another nifty feature is the vasi interfaces which is allowing a virtual interface pair to create a connection between vrfs for things like ACL, nat, ipsec that all while allowing label imposition towards the core. More info can be found here.

With things like mac-sec, otv, and voice-related features being added into the code trains, this router has been attractive to be phasing out 7200 VXR series.

Virtualization in phasing out HSRP, GLBP, VRRP approaches

New router and switch platform such as Nexus 7000 switch and ASR 9000 router comes with the following.

• vpc -- Nexus 7000 multichassis etherchannel. By default a pair of these provide dual-active paths, with dual active hsrp forwarding, breaks forwarding simplicity, as northbound path is determined by layer-2 hashing algorithm.

• mc-lag -- multichassis etherchannel generic term, though generally referred to on asr9000 series. mostly same as above, though forwarding is performed only by fhrp-active device. Traffic destined towards fhrp-standby is forwarded over iccp (inter-chassis) link. This solution is generally recommended to use lacp commands to create hot-standby lacp links facing the operarional secondary, thus creating config and operational overhead.

• nv -- network virtualization. In a pair of ASR 9000, such technology acts of taking (2) asr9000 chassis and of forming a single control plane (vss for asr9000). Similar to previous technology mentioned, this virtualization creates non-trivial forwarding design decisions, due to both chassis being 'active' especially when port channels are in use.


»Router Porn for the Day (3925 show tech)
»Cisco 3925 web traffic slows to a crawl
»Cisco 2921 Throughput
»3750 series breakdown
»[H/W] 3750G Lockup
»[H/W] (Maybe late, but...) New Cisco Products
»Accidental Discovery - A Mistake to Possibly Learn From

Expand got feedback?

by aryoba See Profile
last modified: 2013-12-31 10:22:55