Cisco License Manager 3.0

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Last Updated: October 2009

Cisco announces Cisco ® License Manager 3.0 for managing Cisco IOS ® Software activation and license management for a wide range of Cisco platforms running Cisco IOS Software as well as other operating systems.

Product Overview

Cisco License Manager is a secure client/server-based application to manage Cisco IOS Software activation and license management for a wide range of Cisco platforms running Cisco IOS Software as well as other operating systems. It automates the workflow associated with Cisco IOS Software activation through its wizard-based GUI and scales for large network deployments. Cisco License Manager accelerates deployment of feature licenses with its intuitive GUI and a brand-new, simple, rule-based policy interface, helping enable you to rapidly roll out advanced services in your networks.
Cisco License Manager 3.0 offers an optional, full-functionality Java-based Software Development Kit (SDK) for integration with your existing license and asset management products and protects your investment in these assets. In addition, Cisco License Manager 3.0 integrates and coexists with CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution (LMS) 3.1 and later and with Cisco Configuration Professional.
Cisco License Manager has enhanced security, with role-based access control, and it limits access for each user to managed devices and Product Authorization Keys (PAKs) through access control lists (ACLs). Improved reporting capabilities aid in audit compliance.
Table 1 lists the major features for this release.

Table 1. Key Features of Cisco License Manager 3.0


Description and Benefit

Autodiscovery and building of an inventory of licensed features

Automatically discovers all devices with license enforcement capabilities. In addition

Enhanced device and PAK search capabilities and management

Cisco License Manager provides users with enhanced and faster search capabilities in the list of devices and list of PAKs and highlights the matches to effectively manage devices and PAKs. In addition

Enhanced security and virtualization

Cisco License Manager user-security model supports role-based access control and provides the following five user roles:

• Administrator: Can access all functionality
• Inventory Manager: Can update inventory, device access information, and all functionality available to roles below it
• PAK Manager: Can view and manage PAKs and all functionality available to roles below it
• License Manager: Can obtain and deploy licenses and all functionality available to roles below it
• Reports Manager: Can only view and generate license reports

Cisco License Manager allows you to restrict access to managed devices and PAKs through access control lists for each user. With this feature, you can virtualize one Cisco License Manager installation into multiple user views. Cisco License Manager can be deployed in the VMware ESX Server 3 Virtual Machine environment.

Obtain licenses from

With a Cisco supplied PAK, you can associate feature SKUs with devices and securely connect to the license server to automatically get license keys. This reduces the complexity associated with software activation. You can also obtain licenses for predeployed or offline devices. Cisco License Manager resides at the customer premises and has access to the customer network and needs Internet connectivity to for many of its features. For isolated networks, it supports two-stage license deployment where customers can move Cisco License Manager to a network domain with Internet connectivity and obtain and save licenses to its database by securely communicating with the license server at Cisco License Manager can then be moved back to the original isolated network domain to deploy previously obtained licenses to network devices. Please see the Deploying Cisco License Manager in Isolated Networks white paper located at for more details.

Rapid license deployment

Simple rule-based policy language completely automates software activation and license management. You can create a simple rule-based policy using common device attributes such as device model, device group, and IP address range and assign a PAK to this policy. This policy can be executed on an on-demand basis, and Cisco License Manager will automatically obtain and deploy the appropriate licenses to the managed devices, matching against the rules in the policy. This helps enable you to focus more on rolling out advanced services in your network using the licensed features.

Transfer licenses from one device to another

You can rehost your licenses by selecting the source and destination devices. Cisco License Manager simplifies this procedure by securely obtaining rehost permission from, revoking the license from the source device, and obtaining and installing the transferred license to the destination device as well as installing a temporary license for the feature being transferred to give you enough time to migrate all connections or traffic to the destination device.

RMA license transfer functionality

Cisco License Manager supports return materials authorization (RMA) license transfer functionality and allows users to transfer licenses from a failed device that is being returned through the RMA process to a new device.

Agentless device management

You can use Cisco License Manager to manage licenses on Cisco devices using a command-line interface (CLI) with Secure Shell (SSH) Protocol/Telnet without needing to configure or enable any agent. In addition, Cisco License Manager can communicate with the license agent in Cisco IOS Software using Extensible Markup Language (XML) over HTTPS.

Detailed reporting

Helps you know exactly which licensed software features you have purchased, how many licenses you have obtained, and which licenses are not yet deployed as well as identify licensable features on devices and check to see whether those features are activated by license. It also aids in audit compliance through its licensing reports indicating proof of purchase. It saves costs by generating redeployable license reports listing licenses that are deployed on devices but are not needed there. The Return Merchandise Authorization Discrepancy report helps you identify inadvertent license discrepancies that can fail audits. Also, Cisco License Manager provides improved reporting with device capabilities and filtering based on various attributes.

Software asset management

Cisco License Manager has improved software asset management and can help you report when your managed assets are end of sale or end of life or if there is a PSIRT advisory active against them.

Java SDK

Allows you to integrate your license and asset management software with Cisco License Manager and help protect existing investments. Java SDK is available for purchase.

Faster failure recovery and troubleshooting

Helps enable you to redeploy licenses from the Cisco License Manager database in case a license is accidentally removed or is corrupted. It also provides the capability to resend licenses from the license server for the device with failed storage and redeploy them. This results in less network downtime. Cisco License Manager also provides the capability to back up and restore its database and configuration files. In addition, Cisco License Manager provides detailed troubleshooting and diagnostic capabilities to identify the root cause of connectivity failure to devices and the license server. Cisco License Manager presents alerts from devices with ITU X.733-based severities.

Broad OS support

Cisco License Manager supports the following operating systems:

• Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition
• Windows XP Professional
• Solaris 10
• Red Hat Linux Enterprise 5
• VMware ESX Server 3 virtual machine environment

(English version only)

Improved scalability

A single installation of Cisco License Manager 3.0 will support up to 500,000 devices and provides improved performance and search capabilities.

Supported Network Elements

Cisco License Manager supports the following devices:

• Cisco 1900, 2900, 3900 Series Integrated Services Routers G2 (modular)-Cisco IOS Software Release 15.0(1) and later

• Cisco ACE Application Control Engine Module-Software Release 3.0.0A1(3) and later

• Cisco Catalyst® 6500 Series Firewall Services Module-Software Release 3.1 and later

• Cisco Unity® Express Network Modules-Software Release 7.1.1 and later

• Cisco ASR 9000 Aggregation Services Routers-Cisco IOS XR Software Release 3.9 and later

• Cisco Application eXtension Platform (AXP)-Software Release 1.5 and later

• Cisco uBR10000 Series Universal Broadband Routers-Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(33)SCC and later

• Enhanced EtherSwitch® Service Modules for Integrated Services Routers (ISRs) starting with Release 12.2(52)SE and later

• Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series Switches-Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(35)SE and later

• Cisco Catalyst 3560-E Series Switches-Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(35)SE and later

• Cisco Catalyst Blade Server (CBS) 3100 Series Switches-Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(35)SE and later

• Cisco 2811, 2821, 2851, 3825, and 3845 Integrated Services Routers (modular)-Cisco IOS Software Release 12.4(15)XY and later

• Cisco 1861 Integrated Services Router-Cisco IOS Software Release 12.4(11)XW and later

• Cisco AS5350XM and AS5400XM Universal Gateways-Cisco IOS Software Release 12.4(15)XY and later

• Cisco C860 and C880 Integrated Services Routers (fixed)-Cisco IOS Software Release 12.4(15)XZ and later

• Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for Small Business-Cisco IOS Software Release 12.4(11)XW6 and later

• Cisco Intrusion Prevention System Advanced Integration Module-Cisco IPS Software Release 6.0(4) and later

• Cisco XR 12000 Series Routers-Cisco IOS XR Software Release 3.6 and later

• Cisco ASA 5000 Series-Cisco ASA Software Release 7.x and later

• Cisco ASA 5500 Series Content Security Services Module (ASA-SSM-CSC-10)-Cisco 6.1.1587.0 and 6.2.1599.x

• Cisco IPS 4000 Series Sensors-Cisco IPS Software series 6.0 and later

• Cisco PIX 500 Series Appliances-Cisco PIX® OS software versions 7.x and later

• Cisco MDS 9000 Family of Multilayer Switches-Cisco MDS 9000 NX-OS Version 3.3.x and 4.1.1x and later

• Cisco Nexus 7000 Family of Multilayer Switches-Cisco Nexus 7000 NX-OS Version 4.0(1) and later

• Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controllers-Cisco Unified Wireless Networking Software Release 6.0 and later


Cisco License Manager 3.0 is available starting October 27, 2009.

Ordering Information

Cisco License Manager, consisting of GUI-based client and server software, is offered free and can be downloaded from The optional Java SDK is available for purchase using the part numbers in Table 2.
To place an order, visit the Cisco Ordering Homepage.


Description and Benefit

Cisco License Manager 3.0 client and server software

Available only by download from

Cisco License Manager 3.0 Java Software Development Kit. One SDK is needed for each development workstation.


Cisco License Manager 3.0 Java Software Development Kit major upgrade from Cisco License Manager 2.2 Java SDK. One SDK is needed for each development workstation.


Service and Support

The Cisco License Manager GUI client and server software is offered free of cost, and no service contract is needed. A service contract is available for the optional Cisco License Manager Java SDK product, and customers must purchase a Software Application Support (SAS) contract to receive access to technical assistance through the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) or Service part numbers can be found on the online ordering tools and price lists.

For More Information

For more information about Cisco License Manager, visit, contact your local Cisco sales representative, or send an email to the product marketing group at
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