Cisco Nexus 1000V License Configuration Guide, Release 4.2(1)SV2(2.1)
Licensing Terminology
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Licensing Terminology

Licensing Terminology

This chapter contains the following sections:

Licensing Terminology

Term Definition

Advanced Features

Features that are available only in the Advanced edition.

Default license

A license bundled with the software that is installed automatically when you install the software.


Essential and Advanced switch editions.

Evaluation license

A temporary license. Evaluation licenses are valid for a specified number of days and are tied to a host ID (device serial number).

Host ID

A unique chassis serial number that is specific to each device.

Incremental license

A license for additional CPU sockets that were not included in the initial license file. License keys are incremental—If you purchase some CPU sockets now and others later, the license file and the software detect the sum of all sockets for the specified device.

License enforcement

A mechanism that prevents a feature from being used without first obtaining a license.

License key file

A file that specifies the total licensed CPU sockets for your system. Each file is uniquely named and is specific to a VSM. The file contains digital signatures to prevent tampering and modification. License keys are required to use the product and are enforced within a specified time span.

Licensed application

A software application or component that requires a license to be used.

Licensed feature

Permission to use a particular feature through a license file, a hardware object, or a legal contract. This permission is limited to the number of users, number of instances, time span, and the implemented device.

Missing license

If the bootflash has been corrupted or a supervisor module replaced after you have installed a license, that license shows as “missing.” The product still works. You should reinstall the license as soon as possible.

Node locked license

A license that can only be used on a particular device that uses the unique host ID for the device.

Overdraft license

Overdraft licenses are used when the installed licenses are used up. Overdraft licenses can prevent a service disruption if you exceed the number of permanent or evaluation licenses specified in your license file.

The number of overdraft licenses provided is based on the number of licenses ordered.

Permanent license

A license that is not time bound is called a permanent license.

Product Authorization Key (PAK)

A unique code, provided in the software license claim certificate, that allows you to obtain a license key. You use this key at a website to register for your license. After you register, your license key file and installation instructions are sent to you in an e-mail.


The process of changing a license to reflect a different device serial number or host ID. A host ID is unique to each device.

Software license claim certificate

A document that entitles its rightful owner to use licensed features on one device as described in that document. This document provides the product authorization key (PAK).


If you purchased Cisco support through a Cisco reseller, contact the reseller directly. If you purchased support directly from Cisco, contact Cisco Technical Support.


The process of adding multiple license files on a single VSM.

Volatile licenses

A feature that automatically captures unused licenses when a VEM is taken out of service and adds them to the VSM license pool so that they can be reused by another VEM.

In contrast, if its licenses are nonvolatile, the VEM does not release them during a loss in network connectivity with the VSM. When connectivity is returned, the VEM can resume normal activity without further interruption.

Volatile licenses are disabled by default. The licenses in VEMs are nonvolatile and are not released when a VEM is removed from service.