Cisco NX-OS 10 License Usage Policy

Cisco NX-OS 10 License Usage Policy

The licensed Cisco NX-OS is an advanced network operating system that powers many of Cisco’s data center switches and routers. It is a robust and flexible platform that provides a rich set of features and capabilities for managing complex network environments. In this article, we will provide an overview of Cisco NX-OS 10, its architecture, and key features.

Cisco NXOS 10 License Usage Policy

Cisco NXOS Architecture

The licensed Cisco NX-OS is a modular and distributed operating system that is designed to provide high availability and scalability for large-scale data center networks. It is based on a modular architecture that separates the control plane from the data plane, allowing for greater flexibility and resiliency.

The control plane runs on a set of redundant supervisor modules that manage the configuration, routing, and other network services. The data plane, on the other hand, is handled by line cards that perform packet forwarding and switching.

Cisco NXOS key Features

The licensed Cisco NXOS provides a wide range of features and capabilities that are essential for managing complex data center networks. Some of the key features include:

  • Virtualization: Cisco NX-OS supports various forms of virtualization, including virtual device contexts (VDCs) and virtual port channels (vPCs). VDCs allow for the creation of multiple logical switches within a single physical switch, while vPCs enable the creation of a logical link between two switches.
  • Automation: Cisco NX-OS supports various automation tools and APIs, such as Python scripting and REST APIs, which allow for the automation of network tasks and the integration of network management with third-party tools.
  • Security: Cisco NX-OS provides advanced security features, including role-based access control (RBAC), network segmentation, and encryption. RBAC allows for granular control over user access to network resources, while network segmentation enables the isolation of sensitive data and applications.
  • High availability: The licensed Cisco NX-OS is designed to provide high availability and resiliency for data center networks. It supports features such as virtual device contexts (VDCs) and virtual port channels (vPCs) to ensure that network services remain available even in the event of hardware or software failures.
  • Monitoring and analytics: The licensed Cisco NX-OS provides a range of tools for monitoring and analyzing network performance, including NetFlow, SNMP, and Cisco Data Center Network Manager (Cisco DCNM). These tools allow network administrators to identify and troubleshoot performance issues and optimize network performance.

Cisco NXOS Benefits

The benefits of the licensed Cisco NX-OS include:

  • Scalability: The licensed Cisco NX-OS is designed to support large-scale data center networks, making it ideal for organizations with high-bandwidth and high-traffic requirements.
  • Flexibility: The modular architecture of Cisco NX-OS allows for greater flexibility and customization, enabling organizations to tailor their network environments to their specific needs.
  • Resiliency: Cisco NX-OS provides high availability and resiliency for data center networks, ensuring that network services remain available even in the event of hardware or software failures.
  • Security: Cisco NX-OS provides advanced security features that enable organizations to protect their data and applications from unauthorized access and attacks.


Policy-based license management for Cisco NX-OS has been made simpler

With the 10.2(1) release, the new licensed Cisco NX-OS adopted Smart Licensing with Policy (SLP) to streamline license management for all Cisco Nexus products. Continue reading to learn more about how SLP makes license activation, mobility, visibility, and deployments simpler.

Historically, NX-OS used Product Activation Keys (PAKs) to manage licenses. Network operators had to know all the features used on each device in advance as well as its particular license requirements because PAK licenses were linked to device serial numbers. This made it necessary for them to generate the right licenses. Additionally, fresh license files had to be generated any time a license needed to be switched from one device to another. Additionally, customers had to manually manage the license inventory and install individual licenses on each device.

The introduction of Smart Licensing in NX-OS 9.3(3) more than a year ago as part of the licensing simplification journey significantly enhanced the customer experience.

Easy transition to Smart Licensing with Policy.

When an existing NX-OS customer upgrades a device using a PAK license to NX-OS 10.2(1), the software detects the PAK licenses and initiates a “device led license conversion” to SLP without the need for user input. Upgrades to 10.2(1) from legacy Smart Licensing will go smoothly because the call-home mode from SL will continue to function in SLP.

updated deployments?

The first-time license reporting for newly purchased products that come preinstalled with NX-OS 10.2(1) will be completed at the factory for greenfield NX-OS deployments. According to the default reporting policy, this means that for the following 365 days, the devices will not be required to send a license report to the licensed Cisco. All features will continue to function in honor mode even though the device will be deemed out of compliance if it doesn’t report during the reporting period.


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