Cisco License Manager 3.0

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Last updated: October 2009

Product Overview

Q. What does Cisco ® License Manager do in a Cisco network?
A. 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 licenses using policy-based license management and helps enable you to rapidly roll out advanced services in your networks.

Cisco License Manager also provides an optional full-functionality Java Software Development Kit (SDK) to integrate with your existing license or asset management products and protects your investment in these assets.

Q. Does Cisco License Manager manage software activation and licenses for other Cisco products, such as Cisco PIX ® security appliances and Cisco Unified Communications Manager software?
A. At this time, Cisco License Manager 3.0 manages software activation and license management for a wide range of Cisco platforms running Cisco IOS Software as well as other operating systems such as Cisco Catalyst ® 3750-E, 3560-E Series Switches as well as Cisco PIX, ASA, IPS, and Cisco MDS 9000 Family of Multilayer Switches. Cisco Unified Communications Manager software licenses are not supported by CLM 3.0. Please see the supported device list in the data sheet.
Q. Can all Cisco License Manager users access Product Authorization Keys (PAKs)?
A. Only Cisco License Manager users with the appropriate privileges can view full PAK strings. Other users will see either the user-assigned tag for a given PAK or only the last four characters of the PAK.
Q. Is there a nonencryption (non-K9) version of the product?
A. Cisco License Manager 3.0 requires encryption (K9) software to interact with the license server. The interactions are mandatory to automate licensing workflow, and this communication cannot be made optional. Therefore, a nonencryption (non-K9) version of the product is not available. Please work with your account team to obtain export permissions.

Device Management

Q. Do I need any agent configured on my managed devices before using Cisco License Manager?
A. No, Cisco License Manager does not require that any agent be configured on devices for license management. Cisco License Manager can manage licenses using Telnet, Secure Shell (SSH) Protocol, and a command-line interface (CLI). In addition, it can communicate with license agents on devices using Extensible Markup Language (XML) over HTTPS to manage licenses if you have enabled this facility.
Q. Can I specify the order of the connection protocol to be used to access my managed devices?
A. Yes, Cisco License Manager allows you to specify the preferred connection method for autodiscovery so that you can try HTTPS first before using Telnet or SSH. Cisco License Manager device properties will show you the method that was used for device communication.
Q. Can I disable polling for my network devices?
A. Yes, Cisco License Manager allows you to choose the polling frequency and also allows you to disable it altogether.
Q. Does Cisco License Manager listen to device notifications?
A. Yes, Cisco License Manager listens to notifications. For devices managed over HTTPS, Cisco License Manager listens to XML notifications, and for devices managed using Telnet or SSH, syslog is used.
Q. What severities standard is followed for Cisco License Manager alerts?
A. Cisco License Manager uses ITU X.733 severity for all alerts, so it can be integrated easily into your event management systems.
Q. What scenario will stop Cisco License Manager proceeding on return materials authorization (RMA) license transfer?
A. The Cisco License Manager will stop proceeding on RMA license transfer when an old device for which an RMA was previously issued is still reachable. You may accidentally have a license discrepancy because you forgot to return the feature although you paid only for one, and therefore you fail the audit. Cisco License Manager can help your business comply with various auditing regulations, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires that you have proof of licensing for all products purchased. Other scenarios include errors that occurred due to SSL handshake, network connection, or invalid CCO account.
Q. Can I get a report listing devices that have been discovered since the last run?
A. Yes, Cisco License Manager provides the newly discovered device report that lists devices discovered since the last run.
Q. Can I schedule device discovery using Cisco License Manager?
A. Yes, you can schedule device discovery using Cisco License Manager and specify the starting date and time as well as the frequency.
Q. What are the various feature/license states displayed by Cisco License Manager and what do they mean?
A. The feature/license states displayed by the Cisco License Manager are:

Active, In Use: License/feature is active and is currently being used by the device.

Active, Not In Use: The license/feature is currently active but is not being used by the device. (Typical scenario will be when the licensed feature is currently turned off, or the image is running at a lower license level.)

Inactive: The license is currently not active. This can happen when another license, say, a permanent license, is running. In such a case, the temporary license will be inactive.

Unknown: Unknown is displayed by Cisco License Manager when the correct state of the license/feature can't be accurately determined.

Apart from the above four states, Cisco License Manager also defines a new state, Active and In Use After Next Reload. This information is displayed for features that will become active and in use after the next reload. After the reload, the feature state will be displayed as Active, In Use.

Q. What information can I search using Cisco License Manager?
A. Cisco License Manager helps you to search for a specified substring in the list of PAKs and list of devices and highlights the matches.
Q. Is a trial version of Cisco License Manager SDK available for customers?
A. Yes, a trial version is available. Please contact your local Cisco account representative to get a copy of the trial version of Cisco License Manager SDK.
Q. Is it safe to add my username and password in Cisco License Manager?
A. Yes, Cisco License Manager uses HTTPS to securely interact with the license server. The username and passwords are always transferred in encrypted form for transactions.
Q. I have already obtained licenses from the license server; can Cisco License Manager deploy them?
A. Yes; you need to import these licenses in Cisco License Manager, and then they can be deployed to network devices. Please see the Cisco License Manager User Guide.
Q. I have added my PAKs in Cisco License Manager; can I still use for license fulfillment?
A. Yes, if you have not obtained licenses for those PAKs, you can still manually use to obtain licenses for them. However, Cisco License Manager does this for you automatically and also deploys the licenses to network devices using a wizard-based GUI.

Please note that in this case, Cisco License Manager will have no knowledge regarding the usage of the PAK, and if you try to obtain licenses using the same PAK later on through Cisco License Manager, the request may fail if you have used all the available licenses in that PAK.

Q. Can Cisco License Manager automatically download and import PAKs as well?
A. You must add PAKs received from Cisco to Cisco License Manager. Once the PAKs are added, Cisco License Manager can automatically download detailed feature SKU information associated with the PAKs and then can obtain licenses for those SKUs.
Q. I have an isolated network and do not have Internet connectivity; can I still use Cisco License Manager?
A. Cisco License Manager resides at the customer premises and needs Internet connectivity to for many of its features. For isolated networks, Cisco License Manager supports two-stage license deployment, where you can move Cisco License Manager to a network domain with Internet connectivity and obtain and save licenses to its database by securely communicating to the license server at Cisco License Manager can then be moved back to the original isolated network domain to deploy the previously obtained licenses to network devices. In addition, Cisco License Manager supports connectivity through proxy servers. Please see the Deploying Cisco License Manager in Isolated Networks white paper located at for more approaches to securely handle this scenario.
Q. I am concerned about my privacy; does Cisco License Manager periodically send my network information to Cisco?
A. Cisco License Manager communicates to only when you initiate Download PAK Info, Obtain License, and Resend License operations. It does not send any customer network information to except the unique device identifier (UDI), which is required for obtaining licenses.
Q. How long will the Return Materials Authorization Discrepancy report take to generate?
A. Cisco License Manager contacts the license server at to obtain the RMA history for all managed devices, and typically it can process approximately 10 devices per minute. The exact time depends on a lot of factors such as WAN bandwidth, server load, and so on.
Q. I have not installed or configured my device yet and it is offline; can I still obtain licenses for it? How about if my device is offline?
A. Yes, Cisco License Manager can obtain licenses even for predeployed or offline devices if you add them to Cisco License Manager using their UDIs instead of their IP addresses.

Product Integration

Q. Does Cisco License Manager integrate with other Cisco network management products?
A. Yes, Cisco License Manager integrates with CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution (LMS) 3.1 and later. It can import device lists and credentials from CiscoWorks LMS as well as coexist on the same server. Cisco License Manager can also integrate and coexist with Cisco Configuration Professional.
Q. What are the SDKs supported by Cisco License Manager?
A. Cisco License Manager 3.0 supports a full-functionality Java SDK.
Q. What type of management capability is supported by the Cisco License Manager Java SDK?
A. Cisco License Manager SDK provides all the functionality that is available through the GUI. You can use the SDK to integrate your existing license and asset management products with Cisco License Manager. For details, please refer to the Cisco License Manager API reference documentation.
Q. How many concurrent clients can be used with a Cisco License Manager server?
A. Cisco recommends a maximum of five concurrent clients to Cisco License Manager. These clients can be either GUI clients or northbound clients using the Cisco License Manager SDK.
Q. Does Cisco License Manager 3.0 support the Perl SDK?
A. No, Perl SDK support has been dropped from Cisco License Manager 3.0. The full-functionality Java SDK will continue to be available.

General Installation and Configuration

Q. Which operating system can Cisco License Manager run on?
A. Cisco License Manager 3.0 GUI software supports the following operating systems:

• Windows 2003 Server R2 Standard Edition

• Windows XP Professional

• Solaris 10

• RedHat Linux Enterprise 5

• Cisco License Manager supports VMware ESX Server 3 virtual machine environment

Q. Can I install both Cisco License Manager GUI client and server software on the same machine?
A. Yes, this is supported as long as the minimum system resource requirements specified in the data sheet are met. Server and client should be deployed on different machines in order to support 500,000 devices.
Q. What is the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) needed by Cisco License Manager 3.0?
A. Cisco License Manager needs JRE 1.6, which is bundled as part of the installation CD.
Q. Do I need to install a database for Cisco License Manager?
A. No, Cisco License Manager includes an embedded database. Cisco has purchased the license to embed this database in Cisco License Manager, and you do not need to purchase any license or support for this database.

Policy-Based License Management

Q. Can the policies created by one user be shared by other Cisco License Manager users?
A. Yes, Cisco License Manager facilitates collaboration by allowing users to share policies created by one user with others. The policies can be modified and executed by all Cisco License Manager users.
Q. If a device matching the rules set by a policy already has the appropriate license, will Cisco License Manager obtain and install another license for it?
A. Cisco License Manager will skip devices that match the rules specified in the policy and that already have the appropriate license and will not obtain a new license.

Ordering Information

Q. Do I need to buy any other Cisco network management product for Cisco License Manager to work?
A. Cisco License Manager is a standalone product and does not need any other Cisco network management product to work.
Q. How can Cisco License Manager be ordered?
A. Cisco License Manager GUI client and server software is offered free of cost and is available only through download from The Cisco License Manager SDKs are sold separately and can be purchased through and authorized resellers.
Q. How is Cisco License Manager licensed?
A. Cisco License Manager client and server software and the optional SDKs have right-to-use (RTU) licenses. No license key registration is required for Cisco License Manager.

Product Support

Q. Is there a service contract available for Cisco License Manager?
A. 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 you must purchase a Software Application Support (SAS) contract to receive access to technical assistance through the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) or Customers with active SAS contracts on the Cisco License Manager 3.0 SDK will be entitled to minor and patch release upgrades (3.x and 3.x.x, for example). Major new releases of the Cisco License Manager SDKs will require the purchase of a new Cisco License Manager SDK.

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