Last Updated: May 12, 2017
Cisco® Smart Software Manager satellite is a component of Cisco Smart Licensing. It works in conjunction with Cisco Smart Software Manager to intelligently manage customer product licenses, providing near-real-time visibility and reporting of Cisco licenses customers purchase and consume.
In a typical scenario, customers are able to view their installed base from the cloud-based Cisco Smart Software Manager using a highly secure Internet connection, protected by various levels of user authorization and encrypted passwords. However, for security-sensitive customers who do not want to manage their installed base with a direct Internet connection, Smart Licensing provides Smart Software Manager satellite software, which resides on customer premises. Devices or software products self-register and report license consumption to the Smart Software Manager satellite as though it were a replicate of the Cisco Smart Software Manager.
The satellite version of Smart Licensing contains a subset of Cisco Smart Software Manager functionality and must communicate with the latter periodically to operate. Customers need to synchronize their local databases with the Cisco portal to make sure that the most recent purchases are reflected in their local copies. This can be automatically or manually initiated. The automatically scheduled synchronizations can be daily, weekly, or monthly, and, depending on the frequency, the data on the satellite can be as current as the portal on a daily basis. On the other hand, the manual synchronization involves a file transfer at least once a month and represents an air gap for high-security customers. Figure 1 depicts the Smart Software Manager satellite deployment.
Figure 1. Smart Software Manager satellite Deployment
Smart Software Manager satellite is packaged as an OVA with CentOS 7 and requires the following configuration:
● 200-GB hard disk
● 8 GB memory
● 4 vCPUs
After installation, Smart Software Manager satellite must be registered with Cisco Smart Software Manager portal to communicate with it. During normal operations, the smart-enabled products register with Smart Software Manager satellite and report license consumption. Periodic synchronizations with Cisco Smart Software Manager, enables Smart Software Manager satellite to reflect the most recent license entitlement and usage. Smart Software Manager satellite is supported with Chrome 32.0 and later versions, Firefox 25.0 and later versions, and Safari 6.0.5 and later versions.
Smart Licensing requires products to be associated with Smart Accounts, which can be created on Cisco Software Central. A Smart Account is associated with a unique company ID and is like an online banking account containing Cisco entitlements and devices for that customer. From the Cisco Smart Software Manager, subaccounts (also called virtual accounts) can be created to represent various subdivisions or buying centers of the company.
● Highly secure, highly available, on-premises, single source of truth of license consumption
● Near-real-time license entitlement based on synchronization schedules with the Smart Software Manager installed base
● Immediate satellite registration to Smart Software Manager
Smart Licensing benefits:
◦ Licenses are not node-locked to devices, which can enable licenses to be on compatible devices without rehosting product activation keys (PAKs).
◦ Licenses can be pooled within the entire company, allowing them to be reused across organizational boundaries.
◦ Money can be saved by knowing what is being used compared to entitlement.
◦ Time can be saved since licenses can be transferred across the company without opening support cases, therefore simplifying the return merchandise approval (RMA) process.
● Multiple satellites can connect to the Smart Software Manager: Each satellite can scale up to 4,000 product instances.
● Common Services Platform Collector (CSPC) support - co-reside with CSPC virtual machine in a Multi Service Delivery Appliance (MSDA) so that Smart-License enabled products can register with satellite in this environment.
● Third Party Software Smart Licensing Support - support 3rd party software (such as Speech View in Unity Connection and Apple Push Notification (APNs) in Unified Communication Manager) to authorize Smart License enabled Cisco products to use their services.
● High Availability – redundancy and reliable fail-over with an active-standby configuration that can detect the failure of the active satellite and recover with no loss of continuous operations and system usability
● Default secure HTTPS access to satellite user interface (UI): User login to the on-premises satellite is defaulted to HTTPS.
● Automatic HTTPS communication from product instances to satellite: Devices or products wishing to communicate with the satellite through HTTPS do not need to download a self-sign certificate from the transport gateway and configure it individually.
● Immediate registration of satellite to Smart Software Manager: The registration of the satellite to Cisco Smart Software Manager portal now completes immediately without a 48-hour wait for the Cisco signed certificate.
● Export Control: Allows Smart License enabled products that connect to satellite to generate restricted tokens and activate restricted functionality according to Export Control Laws (ECLs).
● Multiple Network Interfaces: Enables multiple interfaces for traffic separation between network management and product instance registrations.
● Network Utility: Network setup and troubleshooting through a user-friendly graphical interface.
● Configurable Headers and Footers: Enable headers and footers on satellite UI and reports to be configurable for security classification.
● Login Failure Message Removal: Disable login failure error message for security reasons.
● Restart/Shutdown: Restart or shutdown now initiated from the satellite GUI.
● In-place upgrade: Upgrade satellite software with an automatic rollback while the system is running and restart with the upgraded version.
● Network utility: Network setup and troubleshooting are provided through a new, user-friendly GUI.
● Configurable headers and footers: Headers and footers on the satellite GUI and reports are now user configurable, enabling them to align with federal security classification or to label satellites with meaningful information.
● Register product instances: You can create a registration token (restricted or non-restricted) from the Cisco Smart Software Manager satellite and use it in the product registration command or user interface.
● View the list of virtual accounts: You can only view (not create or remove) virtual accounts on the Cisco Smart Software Manager satellite. Virtual accounts can be created and managed only in the Smart Account Management on Cisco Software Central.
● Set up synchronization schedules: After the satellite has been registered with the backend portal, you can synchronize what licenses are being used via HTTPS, compared to what has been purchased with Smart Software Manager. Use the following options:
◦ Network synchronization: Data is synchronized and updated on demand or at a scheduled time, such as daily, weekly, or monthly. You can choose this mode if you are able to connect to Cisco.com.
◦ Manual synchronization: Data is transferred through a file download and upload process in this disconnected mode. You can choose this option if you prefer an air-gapped method to communicate with the Cisco Smart Software Manager.
● Run reports against your virtual accounts: You can run a report to show what is in the virtual accounts (license usage compared to entitlement) and export the report to a CSV or an Excel file.
● Manage users: As an administrator, you can create or delete users who have access to the Smart Software Manager satellite. This function does not affect users created in the Smart Account on the Smart Account Management of Cisco Software Central.
Customers can download the Smart Software Manager satellite at no charge to manage their assets and licenses locally in their enterprises. For more information, see the Smart Software Manager satellite Installation Guide and Smart Software Manager satellite User Guide.
For More Information
For Smart Licensing, visit www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/abt_sw.html.
For Smart Software Manager, visit www.cisco.com/web/ordering/smart-software-manager/index.html.
For Cisco Software Central, visit https://software.cisco.com/swcentral/home.html.