Cisco is moving away from the traditional PAK-based licensing model for Nexus switches. Cisco Smart Licensing is a flexible software licensing method that is designed to simplify the way you activate and manage licenses across your organization.
Smart Licensing Using Policy (SLP) is an enhanced version of Smart Licensing. The aim is to provide a licensing solution that does not interrupt the operations of your network and to enable a compliance relationship to account for the hardware and software licenses that you purchase and use.
For Smart Licensing, Cisco requires you to register Cisco Nexus switches with the Cisco Smart Account portal (CSSM) for easier license management. Familiarize yourself with the following guidelines and terminology:
- Smart Account Creation: Connect to the CSSM and create a Cisco Smart account for your organization. You can use an existing smart account or virtual account for Nexus switch registration and license management.
Note: Cisco NX-OS 10.2(x) and later requires registration with the Cisco Smart Account regardless of the licensing requirements. With NX-OS 10.2(1) and later, only SLP is supported. Traditional licenses are not supported.
- Communication method: The method that the Cisco Nexus switch uses to communicate with CSSM for registration, license, and usage information.
- Offline - Air Gap: No direct connectivity is required to Cisco or CSSM. The RUM report is generated on the switch and manually uploaded to CSSM to register the switch. You must manually download the ACK file from the CSSM portal and import it back into the switch.
- Direct Internet: The switch requires connectivity to CSSM. The switch communicates with CSSM over the Internet for license registration and management.
- Direct Internet with Proxy Server: The switch communicates with the Cisco Smart Account portal using the Internet through a proxy server. The switch communicates with the CSSM for license registration and management.
- On-Prem Cisco Smart License Utility: The Cisco Smart License Utility (CSLU) is deployed at the customer site to consolidate the reports from all the Cisco end devices. The CSLU can communicate to the CSSM on behalf of the end devices over the Internet or offline by uploading reports manually.
For more information, see the Cisco Nexus 9000 and 3000 Series NX-OS Smart Licensing Using Policy User Guide.