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Updated:July 25, 2023
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This document describes an issue related to Catalyst Platforms from the Cat9k family after upgrading to the latest Cisco IOS® XE 17.3.2.
Cisco recommends that you have knowledge of Smart Licensing operations on Cisco IOS XE devices.
The information in this document is based on Cisco IOS XE devices starting 17.3.2 and later.
The information in this document was created from the devices in a specific lab environment. All of the devices used in this document started with a cleared (default) configuration. If your network is live, ensure that you understand the potential impact of any command.
The issue involves the failure of Smart Licensing communication with Cisco Smart Software Manager (CSSM), Cisco Smart License Utility (CSLU), or Cisco Smart Software Manager (SSM) On-Prem. Smart Licensing Using Policy (SLP) is an enhanced version of Smart Licensing. It aims to provide a licensing solution that does not disrupt network operations while ensuring compliance with hardware and software licenses. SLP is supported starting with Cisco IOS XE Amsterdam 17.3.2.
Connected to CSSM Through CSLU
Overview of SLP
SLP eliminates the earlier concepts of Evaluation mode, Registration, and Reservation. Instead, it focuses on reporting license usage. The licenses are unenforced, and licensing levels remain the same. The primary change with SLP is in the reporting and tracking of license usage. This section discusses the terminologies, the reasons for changes, and the new components introduced with SLP.
After upgrading Cat9k switches to the latest Cisco IOS 17.3.2 or later, Smart Licensing communication with CSSM, CSLU, or SSM On-Prem fails.
Error Message: %SMART_LIC-3-COMM_FAILED: Communications failure with the [chars]: [chars]
Possible Reason: The failure could be due to network reachability issues or the CSSM server being down.
Directly connected to CSSM
Step 1. Verify Reachability to CSSM
When using a direct connection to CSSM on a Switch supporting Smart Licensing using Policy (Cisco IOS XE 17.3.2 or later) these steps help establish a connection with the portal and get the licenses: 1. Verify the Switch can reach the Cisco licensing server.
Ping reachability to CSSM from the device
Note: Please refer to the Cisco live document in the reference section.
2. If you can’t reach the server by the domain name, you can configure a DNS static entry, for example:
Configure DNS static entry
3. In order to obtain the IP address of smartreceiver.cisco.com, use nslookup or a similar utility. Currently, it’s being load
balanced between these IP addresses:
IP address for smartreceiver.cisco.com
Step 2. Configure the Smart Transport on the Switch
1. The call-home transport can still be used for SLP. However, it’s a legacy method and it is recommended to use smart transport instead.
Configure the smart transport
2. If communication with CSSM occurs in a particular VRF, assign a specific source interface as needed:
Assign specific source interface for VRF
3. In case you are using a PROXY for internet reachability please configure these commands:
Configure proxy for internet reachability
Step 3. Obtain a Token from the CSSM Portal
Navigate to software.cisco.com > Smart Software Manager > Manage Licenses . Then, navigate to Inventory .Then, select the proper Virtual Account and then select General .
Step 4. Establish Trust with CSSM
The switch must establish trust with CSSM using the token obtained from the Virtual Account on CSSM.
Establish trust with CSSM using token
Step 5. Trigger a License Usage Report
After a few minutes in the show license status output, you see the Last report push and Last ACK received timestamps.
Verify the license status
Troubleshoot Steps for CSSM Not Reachable
If CSSM is not reachable and the configured transport type is "smart", perform these steps:
Check DNS resolution by pinging "smartreceiver.cisco.com" or the translated IP address using the ping command. Example: ping <public ip>
For Older Version
Verify DNS resolution by pinging tools.cisco.com or the translated IP address using the ping command. Example: ping tools.cisco.com
Check if the product instance is set correctly and if the product instance IP network is up. Ensure the interface configuration is not shut down by using the no shutdown command in interface configuration mode.
Verify if the device has a subnet mask and a configured DNS IP.
Check the correctness of the HTTPS client source interface using the command show ip http client in privileged EXEC mode. Reconfigure it if needed using the ip http client source-interface command in global configuration mode.
Double-check routing rules and firewall settings if these steps do not resolve the issue.
Based on the troubleshooting steps, please take these recommended actions:
Ensure the correct smart URL is configured for CSSM communication.
Verify DNS resolution for tools.cisco.com or smartreceiver.cisco.com
Check the network connectivity of the product instance and interface configurations.
Confirm the subnet mask and DNS IP settings.
Reconfigure the HTTPS client source interface if necessary.
Review routing rules and firewall settings if all else fails.
In this document, an overview of the SLP is provided, and the issue faced by users after upgrading Catalyst 9300 switches to Cisco IOS XE 17.3.2 is addressed. Troubleshooting steps for CSSM, CSLU, and SSM On-Prem communication failures are offered, along with recommended actions to resolve the issue.
With the recommended actions and troubleshooting steps, users can resolve the Smart Licensing registration failure and establish successful communication with CSSM, CSLU, or SSM On-Prem.