License portability allows you to reassign license entitlements from one hardware platform to another, as described in this document. This capability is valuable when refreshing your hardware by eliminating the requirement to repurchase software licenses for new hardware.
This document provides details about how license portability works.
Q. What is license portability?
A. License portability entitles customers to move their software licenses to a new device; allowing customers to leverage an existing investment in Cisco software without needing to repurchase licenses during a hardware refresh. Depending on feature sets used, license portability can lead to significant savings. License portability is a key benefit that Cisco provides to customers who maintain their Cisco Software Support Service (SWSS) contract.
Q. When are you eligible for portability with Cisco Software?
A. You are eligible for portability if you purchased your perpetual licenses through a licensing model that supports Cisco SWSS (e.g., Cisco ONE). If licenses purchased are subscriptions that include embedded software support, you are automatically entitled to portability. If licenses purchased are perpetual, you must have maintained an active Cisco SWSS contract from the initial date of software purchase. To avoid any gaps in coverage due to late purchase or late renewal of SWSS, which puts customers at risk of not having technical support, software updates, ongoing innovation, or eligibility for license portability, account teams must ensure customers purchase SWSS within the 90 day grace period.
Q. I have a Cisco device supported by active Cisco Smart Net Total Care (SNTC) maintenance, but not Cisco SWSS. Am I eligible for license portability?
A. No. Cisco Smart Net Total Care provides support for hardware platform and OS software. SNTC offers many business-critical services like advance hardware replacement, however, it does not provide license portability.
Q. I had a Cisco SWSS contract in the past. Can I reinstate it?
A. For most software, yes you can. Contact your Cisco Account Manager to reinstate your SWSS contract, reinstatement fees may apply.
There are some circumstances where reinstatement is not possible. For instance, there is no reinstatement of support for software that has reached the Last Day of Support milestone of the Cisco End of Life process. In the aforementioned example, customers should purchase the replacement software product and necessary support offer.
License portability use cases
Q. What are the main use cases for license portability?
A. There are three main use cases for license portability:
1. Hardware Replacement
2. Equipment Refresh - One-to-One Swap
3. Equipment Refresh - One-to-Many or Many-to-One
Use Case 1: Hardware replacement
Q. I had a hardware failure. The device was/was not under warranty. I do/do not have a Cisco Smart Net Total Care contract. What should I do?
Since hardware replacement is outside the scope of the software license portability policy, follow existing procedures for hardware replacement. Hardware replacements may be covered under
Cisco Smart Net Total Care
. Alternatively, you may replace the hardware with a spare device that you have available. Once hardware has been replaced, transfer existing entitlements - including software licenses and any software maintenance agreements (Cisco SWSS) - to the new device, this is a called a rehost. Directions for rehosting can be found in the
Cisco Licensing Portal Reference Guide
Use Case 2: Equipment refresh - one-to-one swap
Q. I need to perform a hardware refresh. Which policies are applicable to software portability when I perform a one-to-one swap of my older devices?
A. The hardware product family, on which you have deployed your licenses, determines portability options.
There is no cost associated for porting a software license to a device within the same or lower portability tier, such as Cisco ISR 4331 to Cisco ISR 4351. There is a software upgrade fee for refreshing to a higher-tier device, such as Cisco ISR 4331 to Cisco ISR 4451, as you receive greater capabilities. Device family classifications for Cisco Software are available in the
Device Tiering Guide for License Portability
Use Case 3: Equipment refresh - one-to-many or many-to-one
Q. I have two 12-port switches and want to combine licenses into one license for a 24-port switch. Alternatively, I have one 24-port switch and want to break the license into two for two 12-port switches. Does license portability apply in these cases?
License portability operations
Q. How do I port licenses to a new device?
Smart License porting requests are filled via the
Smart Software Manager
(SSM). Classic License porting requests are filled via the
License Registration Portal
(LRP) (cisco.com login required). If the license is Right-To-Use (RTU), no license transfer process is required. You can immediately start using the licensed functionalities on a new device. Directions for license portability of Smart and Classic Licenses can be found
Q. I am interested in porting just one of the licenses in my Cisco ONE suite to a different device. Can I do that?
A. No. Individual components of a suite are not portable individually. Cisco ONE products cannot be unbundled into separate components for portability to different devices.
Q. Are all software capabilities included within Cisco ONE suites portable between different devices, virtual machines, generations of hardware, and so on?
Entitlement to software capabilities are portable, but that does not imply that all devices can run all the software within a Cisco ONE Software product. The
Cisco ONE Offer Structure
(cisco.com login required) shows which features can be enabled on what device. While you are entitled to features within your purchased software, you should verify that the device you intend to operate actually supports those features.
Q. How will I know whether my company is compliant with the software licensing policies?
A. You are responsible for verifying that you remain compliant with licenses purchased. Cisco reserves the right to audit the customer environment through a third party to ensure compliance.
Cisco Smart Accounts
provide your company with a central location where you can manage Cisco licenses across the entire organization. You can view, store, manage, and move your Cisco software assets to where they are needed.
Q. Is the platform/OS software (such as device operating system) portable?
A. Typically, platform/OS software is tied to the hardware device and therefore not portable.