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Cisco Connect – Software Download Entitlement Controls

I read about it on the internet and last week I received the “official” mail from the Cisco Partner Channel about the changes regarding the Software Download Centre Entitlement Controls. The e-mail (in Dutch) can be found below. I have different feelings about the changes regarding the software entitlements. It isn’t possible anymore to just download any software with a CCO of PICA (Partner Initiated Customer Access) account from January 2nd 2011.

Downloading software is only possible for networking components with a valid ‘software- download‘ contract (like SmartNet). If you have a contract to download software for a specific Cisco Catalyst switch, you can only download the software of that switch. So check your Cisco Service contract, like serial number and part ID, check if they are correctly registered and if the contract are registered to the correct CCO ID.

Sadly for me, as consultant, it will be very hard to download the latest software. I have a valid CCO account, but as a company we don’t have any support contracts to download software. Not only the change in software entitlement, but also the change in the license structure of the hardware and software feature set has impact on my daily work. It is getting harder and harder, and in the end, maybe impossible to check the latest features with tools like GNS3 and Dynamips. Not only for testing purposes, but also for studying purposes. Emulating software with Dynamips is extremely powerful when you try to achieve CCIE or other certifications.

On the other hand, I can also understand Cisco that they try to protect the copyrights of their products and the investment of the paying customers. I know that multiple vendors make their software available for free, but I know some of these vendors and they have very poor software maintenance. Sometimes you need to downgrade after upgrading an image. Or specific releases just disappear and aren’t supported anymore.

I guess we have to get used to the new concept and in a couple of months or years we don’t know better. I am positive that somebody will find new ‘solutions’ for the download and feature set ‘problems’.

Beste Partner,

Zoals u wellicht weet is voor het gebruik van Cisco software een licentie vereist. Een licentie die betaald is en waarmee u software kunt downloaden. Dit spreekt voor zich. Echter, voorheen was het mogelijk om met een CCO of PICA (Partner Initiated Customer Access) account met ‘software-download toegang’ alle IOS software te downloaden. Ook van producten die niet binnen het contract vielen. Cisco heeft tot op heden een zogenaamd trust model gehanteerd.
Om de copyrights van onze software producten te beschermen, herzien we in december alle contracten op basis van betaalde licenties. Partners die betaald hebben voor de service kunnen in de toekomst software blijven downloaden. Diegenen zonder licentie hebben vanaf 2 januari geen gratis toegang meer. Op die manier beschermt Cisco het intellectueel eigendom en uw investering in de producten.
Om deze wijziging zo goed mogelijk te laten verlopen, vragen we u als Partner het volgende te doen voor 2 januari 2011:

• Check hier of uw Cisco Services contract(en) volledig zijn en vul eventueel ontbrekende gegevens in, zoals serie nummers, part ID’s (productserie en typenummer) en locaties.
• Verifieer of al uw Cisco producten geregistreerd staan op het Cisco servicecontract en dat u geldige licenties heeft voor de Cisco Software.
• Bekijk of alle servicecontract(en) aan de juiste gebruikersnaam en CCO ID zijn gekoppeld op www.cisco.com
• Controleer of al uw medewerkers geregistreerd en geautoriseerd zijn en check of hun gegevens ook correct zijn ingevuld.

Vanaf 2 januari 2011 controleren we standaard alle software die wordt gedownload op licenties. De download snelheid vertraagt niet. En als u geregistreerd bent, ondervindt u geen hinder van deze wijziging tijdens het downloaden.

Mocht u naar aanleiding van dit bericht vragen hebben, stel deze gerust aan uw Partner Account Manager.

Met vriendelijke groet,
Cisco

Fred Gerritse
Directeur Partner Organisatie

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René Jorissen

Co-owner and Solution Specialist at 4IP Solutions
René Jorissen works as Solution Specialist for 4IP in the Netherlands. Network Infrastructures are the primary focus. René works with equipment of multiple vendors, like Cisco, Aruba Networks, FortiNet, HP Networking, Juniper Networks, RSA SecurID, AeroHive, Microsoft and many more. René is Aruba Certified Edge Expert (ACEX #26), Aruba Certified Mobility Expert (ACMX #438), Aruba Certified ClearPass Expert (ACCX #725), Aruba Certified Design Expert (ACDX #760), CCNP R&S, FCNSP and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEF) certified. You can follow René on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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One Response to Cisco Connect – Software Download Entitlement Controls

  • Cisco is a bit confused. A few days before the SW download entitlement change was announced, they made a much more welcome change in the opposite direction:

    In an effort to simplify all licensing operations (activation, rehosting and RMAs), SRTG is pleased to announce a few enhancements to software activation on all ISR G2s.
    Starting with IOS Releases: 15.0(1)M4, 15.1(1)T2, 15.1(2)T2 and 15.1(3)T, IOS universal image for all ISR G2 platforms (86x, 88x, 89x, 19xx, 29xx, 39xx(E)) will include
    Right to Use (RTU) licenses.
    Right to Use licenses are honor based licenses that enables all Technology Package Licenses (UC, DATA and SECURITY) and all Feature Licenses to be activated in the router
    via a CLI command without a software license key. This change will greatly simplify all licensing operations for activation, rehosting and RMAs.

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