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Is the Cisco Meraki per-device licensing model better for your clients?

Meraki partners now have an alternative to co-termination licensing

November 26, 2019

Cisco recently announced a per-device licensing option for all Meraki products. To better understand the new model, let’s review the original co-termination (co-term) licensing model. Co-term licensing isn’t applied to a specific serial number or device; instead, each license added to the organization increases the number of a particular device type that can be added to networks within an organization.
 
This means that for any customer, no matter how many licenses they purchase or when they buy the licenses, the expiration date for all licenses associated with the customer is the same. For example, if a customer purchases 10 Meraki access points (APs) with a one-year license and six months later purchases 20 Meraki APs with a three-year license, all 30 devices will automatically be assigned the same expiration date based on the average of the two.
 
While co-term licensing simplifies the process of keeping track of license expiration dates, it becomes problematic when a customer, for example, has a group of Meraki devices approaching the end of their lifecycle and then purchases new equipment. The customer’s original intent may have been to keep the legacy devices in production only a few more months. But, now the newly purchased equipment licenses are applied to the legacy equipment, and the customer has paid for several months’ worth of additional licensing that it doesn’t want.
 
5 new management features of Meraki per-device licensing
The new licensing model eliminates the challenges described above, allowing customers to precisely license each Meraki product they purchase. Additionally, the per-device model offers several new management features, such as:
  • Partial renewals: Customers can renew all their Meraki device licenses or a subset of devices. For example, they can license their APs for three years, and their switches for five years.
  • Move licenses between organizations: If a customer is an administrator of multiple organizations, the customer can move a license (or license and devices together) among organizations without Meraki support assistance.
  • 90-day license activation window: A license will start to burn in one of two cases: 1. The license is assigned to a device or 2. It has been 90 days since the license was purchased. So, if a customer buys a license and applies it to a new device on day 45, the license starts burning on day 45. If they apply it on day 100 to the new device, the license will have already been burning for 10 days. 
  • APIs: After general release, new APIs (application program interfaces) will be available to claim, assign and move licenses. This will give customers a higher level of automation and the ability to integrate with their other systems. 
  • Individual device shutdowns: If a license expires on a device, Meraki will only shutdown that device (after the grace period) rather than the entire organization, which happens with co-term licensing.
For more information, visit the Meraki per-device licensing overview page.