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Cisco Smart Software Manager On-Prem Data Sheet

Data Sheet

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Updated:June 10, 2020

Bias-Free Language

The documentation set for this product strives to use bias-free language. For the purposes of this documentation set, bias-free is defined as language that does not imply discrimination based on age, disability, gender, racial identity, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and intersectionality. Exceptions may be present in the documentation due to language that is hardcoded in the user interfaces of the product software, language used based on RFP documentation, or language that is used by a referenced third-party product. Learn more about how Cisco is using Inclusive Language.

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Updated:June 10, 2020



Cisco® Smart Software Manager On-Prem (Cisco SSM On-Prem) license server 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 the Cisco licenses that customers purchase and consume.

Cisco 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.

Benefits of Cisco Smart Licensing

     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 the customer’s entitlement.

     Time can be saved because licenses can be transferred across the company without opening support cases, therefore simplifying the Return Merchandise Approval (RMA) process.

Cisco Smart Software Manager On-Prem overview

The Cisco Smart Software Manager On-Prem (Cisco SSM On-Prem) license server is designed to mirror the Cisco Smart Software Manager’s license workspace experience through a common user interface and similar features. It is targeted for service providers and Cisco partners who need to manage multiple customer accounts through a single management portal instead of individual customers managing their own accounts.

The Cisco SSM On-Prem license server must communicate with Cisco Smart Software Manager periodically to properly operate. Customers need to synchronize their local license usage 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; depending on the frequency, the data on the Cisco SSM On-Prem license server can be made as current as the portal on a daily basis. Manual synchronization involves a file transfer at least once a year, which represents an air gap for high-security service providers and partners. Figure 1 depicts the Cisco SSM On-Prem license server deployment requirements. While manual synchronization is supported, it is not recommended due to the sheer numbers of accounts that are expected to be managed on the Cisco SSM On-Prem license server.

Cisco SSM On-Prem benefits

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.

     Who should use it?

The Cisco SSM On-Prem license server is targeted for all customers. For security-sensitive customers who do not want to manage their installed base with a direct Internet connection, Smart Licensing provides Cisco SSM On-Prem license server software, which resides on the customer’s premises.

     When should it be used?

Customers desire local control and management of their license usage, or when electronic communications with Cisco is not possible due to either connectivity or security policy.

     What level of Support is available?

The Cisco SSM On-Prem license server is fully supported by Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) and Development Engineering. Quarterly software releases provide new features, security, and quality improvements.

     What happens if I am using an older version?

Customers are able to seamlessly upgrade from any older release of the Cisco SSM On-Prem license server directly to the latest release.

Once the Cisco SSM On-Prem license server is installed, the system needs to be configured in order to log in to its user interface. In addition, the Cisco SSM On-Prem license server needs to register with Cisco Smart Software Manager in order to link its local account, representing a customer, with a Cisco Smart Manager Virtual Account in order to manage licenses in it. Cisco hardware or software products, once registered, self-report license consumption to the Cisco SSM On-Prem license server as though it were a replicate of the Cisco Smart Software Manager. Periodic synchronizations with Cisco Smart Software Manager, enables the Cisco SSM On-Prem license server to reflect the most recent license entitlement and usage.

Cisco SSM On-Prem features


Manage multiple Cisco Virtual Accounts, or multiple customer Smart Accounts, in a single management portal

     Support for large-scale deployments

Each Cisco SSM On-Prem license server can scale up to 300,000 product instances (25,000 per local account). If deployments are in excess of 300,000 product instances, multiple Cisco SSM On-Prem license servers can connect to Cisco Smart Software Manager using multiple Cisco Virtual Accounts

     System security enhancements

     STIG hardened Linux kernel

     Security scans with critical and major (CVE) issues addressed

     A conformance review of Version 8 was completed and found to correctly integrate the Cisco FIPS Object Module (FIPS 140-2 Cert. #3341), and use FIPS 140-2 approved cryptographic modules.

     Configurable banners and login information: Headers and footers and user login page on the Cisco SSM On-Prem license server webpages are configurable, enabling them to be customized with meaningful classifications and information.

     Flexible user authentication and authorization features that are supported

     Privileged role support: Manage user access though two privileged system roles (system administrator and system operator) as well as using targeted license roles (RBAC) access for nonprivileged roles (system users).

     User authentication control (LDAP, AD, ADFS): A system administrator can set the authentication method as LDAP, Active Directory (AD), or ADFS. If not specified, it will use local authentication.

     User groups: Users are grouped so that operations such as role assignment can be applied to multiple users within the group instead of to individual users.

     LDAP groups: LDAP users are grouped so that operations such as role assignment can be applied to multiple LDAP users within the group.

     Account administration and licensing management: Account administration and licensing management are combined in a single portal with the same “look and feel” as Cisco Smart Software Manager and Cisco Smart Account administration.

     Networking features that are supported:

     Multiple network interfaces: Allow users to configure two (2) interfaces for traffic separation between management and product instance registrations

     Syslog support: Account events can be configured to be sent to a syslog server

     Proxy support: Allow for Cisco SSM On-Prem license server to have a proxy between itself and Cisco Smart Software Manager for traffic separation

     API support: Allow applications to call Cisco SSM On-Prem license server APIs for local Virtual Account, token, license, product instance, reporting, and alert operations.

     ISO packaging: Cisco SSM On-Prem license server is packaged as a universal ISO, which allows it to be exported to various virtualization environments.

The Cisco SSM On-Prem license server has a license workspace, which replicates key capacities of Cisco Smart Software Manager (https://software.cisco.com) and provides functions to register products, and monitor license usage:

     Application redundancy support: For application redundancy―enabled products, to prevent double counting of licenses on active/active, active/standby, or failover scenarios

     Export control support: Allow customers located outside EULF/ENC to which U.S. export restrictions apply to request specific export control licenses and associated quantity

     Custom Virtual Account tagging: Allow local Virtual Accounts to be tagged for easy Virtual Account classification, grouping, locating, and/or role assignment

     License tagging: User-defined tags that can be created and tagged to licenses. They are useful for classifying, locating, and grouping licenses.

     Virtual Account search: Search local Virtual Accounts by name or by tag

The Cisco SSM On-Prem license server has a separate Administration Workspace that provides functions to administer the system, as follows:

     Users: Manage users such as creating system users with system administrator, system operator, or system user roles

     Accounts: Approve or create Cisco SSM On-Prem license server local accounts

     Network: Configure or change network IP, NTP, DNS server, default gateway addresses, proxy parameters, or syslog configurations

     API toolkit: Enable creation of client and resource authentication credentials for accessing API

     Access management: Configure authentication method and LDAP groups

     Settings: Configure banner text, messages, and syslog parameters

     Synchronization: Network or manually synchronize with Cisco

Cisco SSM On-Prem requirements

The Cisco SSM On-Prem license server is packaged as an ISO and requires the following configuration:

Table 1.           Cisco Smart Software Manager On-Prem deployment











Hard disk

200 Gig

200 Gig

200 Gig

200 Gig


8 Gigabyte

8 Gigabyte

16 Gigabyte

16 Gigabyte


2 vCPU

4 vCPU

6 vCPU

8 vCPU

Cisco SSM On-Prem availability

Customers can download the Cisco Smart Software Manager On-Prem license server at no charge to manage their assets and licenses locally in their enterprises. For more information, see the Smart Software Manager On-Prem Installation Guide and Smart Software Manager On-Prem User Guide.

Cisco environmental sustainability

Information about Cisco’s environmental sustainability policies and initiatives for our products, solutions, operations, and extended operations or supply chain is provided in the “Environment Sustainability” section of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report.

Reference links to information about key environmental sustainability topics (mentioned in the “Environment Sustainability” section of the CSR Report) are provided in the following table:

Sustainability topic


Information on product material content laws and regulations


Information on electronic waste laws and regulations, including products, batteries, and packaging

WEEE compliance

Cisco makes the packaging data available for informational purposes only. It may not reflect the most current legal developments, and Cisco does not represent, warrant, or guarantee that it is complete, accurate, or up to date. This information is subject to change without notice.

For more information

For Smart Licensing, visit https://www.cisco.com/go/smartlicensing

For Smart Software Manager, visit https://www.cisco.com/web/ordering/smart-software-manager/index.html.

For Smart Accounts, visit https://www.cisco.com/go/smartaccounts.

For Cisco Software Central, visit https://software.cisco.com/

For latest Cisco Smart Software On-Prem license server, visit https://software.cisco.com/download/home/286285506/type/286285517/os/Linux/release.

Learn more