Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series Switches

Software Activation and Return Merchandise Authorization

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Cisco® Catalyst® 3750-E Series Switches and Cisco Catalyst 3560-E Series Switches are enabled with Cisco IOS® Software activation. This means there is an electronic license that confers certain entitlement to the product owner and enables select Cisco IOS Software functionality within the switch. If one of these switches is returned to Cisco for replacement using the return merchandise authorization (RMA) process, some electronic license types require a process to transfer them from the returned switch to the new replacement switch.

Three license types are available for use in software activation with these switches: IP Base, IP Services, and Advanced IP Services. Depending on the type (product ID) of the returned switch, replacement from Cisco will come with the same type of feature license (either IP Base or IP Services). For switches upgraded to IP Services or Advanced IP Services in the field, the license must be transferred from the returned switch to the replacement switch. In other scenarios, license transfer is not necessary because the replacement switch comes with required feature licenses.
The transfer is performed by obtaining an RMA replacement license from Cisco and installing it on the replacement switch. Note that this replacement license can be generated for any available spare switch so long as it has the same product ID; it is not required to be generated and installed on the replacement switch sent from Cisco in the RMA transaction.

Obtaining a Replacement RMA License

An RMA replacement license can be obtained using the Cisco license portal on ( the "Register for an RMA License" hyperlink to access the RMA license transfer tool (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Cisco License Portal

Four pieces of information must be gathered before initiating the license transfer: the product identifier (PID) of the returned switch, the serial number of the returned switch, the PID of the replacement switch, and the serial number of the replacement switch. The required information is entered into the Web tool (Figures 2 and 3). For switches returned under the 90-day hardware warranty and not covered by a Cisco service contract, contact the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) for assistance.
The PID and serial number are printed on a label on the back side of every switch. In addition, this information can be accessed electronically through Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and the Cisco IOS Software command line (using show license UDI command). Cisco recommends recording this information when the switch is first received and storing it in a safe location. If the required information (PID, serial number, or contract number) is not available, contact the TAC for assistance.

Figure 2. Information for Returned Switch

Figure 3. Information for New Replacement Switch and License Recipient(s)

After the required information has been entered, one or more e-mail addresses can be specified to receive an electronic copy of the license. In addition, upon successful completion of this process, the license can be directly downloaded without waiting for the e-mail to arrive (Figure 4). The license must then be installed using either the switch's command-line interface or the Cisco License Manager.

Figure 4. Success Screen with Link to Download New License File

In summary, license transfer needs to be performed for returned switches if they were upgraded to IP Services or Advanced IP Services in the field. A replacement license can be obtained from the Cisco license portal and installed on the replacement switch.