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Cisco ISR project – Licensing (2 of ?)

After the hardware has been purchased comes what might be the most difficult part of the project – sorting out Cisco licenses.

Hopefully you’re well aware of the Cisco licensing and support process.  I’ll try and make this clear as mud…

First and foremost, you need a Cisco account.  If you don’t have one you can go here:   Your account will need to be associated with the business you work for, so this can get more complicated.  If you get stuck, contact your reseller.

For reasons beyond me, Cisco likes to send out the cardboard mailers with the PAK licenses (and EULA, and paper license, and sometimes T&Cs on a CD…).  Sort through the material you receive and find everything that lists a PAK.  Also, be careful to actually look at each piece of paper, as sometimes there are specific instructions for product access.

To register a PAK you need to go to:

Again, you’ll need to log in with a Cisco account.  When you are logged in you will be able to register the PAK.

You should be able to follow the instructions to register the PAK.  I would suggest waiting on actually generating licenses until you are ready to use the specific product.  Some require the SN or UDI of the device the license is applied to.  It’s easier to just do that when you are ready.  So, now the PAKs should be done.

But wait, there’s more!  You still need to register your support contract.

Log into your Cisco account, and at the top of the screen click “Account” then “Customer Profile Manager”  (Note: the link at the bottom for Cisco Service Contract Center is very helpful.  It will show all the contracts and details that are linked to your account)

Under your account you can add access to your Cisco contract.  Click the “Access” tab at the top and this will list your contracts and allow you to add more by clicking the “Add Access” button.

Typically, I just use the Full Support option, as that allows me to download software and open TAC cases for the products.

The next page can be difficult.  I use a Cisco reseller, so the Bill-to ID on my orders is for my reseller.  Usually, I just open a chat session and provide the agent with my Cisco SO# (it can be found on the packing slip, in the eDelivery e-mail, or it will be listed in the licensing page when you activate a PAK).  The agent then can find the specific contract number(s) to add.

After the contracts are added you should be able to download firmware for the hardware.

Here are the links for what I downloaded:

CSR 1000V

ISR 4331

ISR 4351


Prime vNAM


It seems that vCM OVA isn’t downloadable, but media for that should be sent with the PAK.  The vCM can be upgraded by using the “Universal Binary Image” which can be downloaded from the WAAS software location


VMware vSphere

Cisco USB console driver Not needed, but it’s nice to have the USB console driver