Meraki Co-Termination Licensing Overview
All current Cisco Meraki products require valid licensing to operate. This article describes how Cisco Meraki Co-Termination licensing operates and applies to an organization. All licensing-related operations can be performed from the Organization > Configure > License Info page.
For more information about the License Info page specifically, please refer to our License Info Page article.
The Cisco Meraki Co-Termination licensing model works on the basis of co-termination, which means that for any given organization, regardless of how many licenses were applied or when they were applied, the license expiration date for all licenses claimed to that organization will be exactly the same. This is accomplished by averaging all active licenses together and dividing by the license limit count of devices in the organization.
For example, suppose an organization had two separate Enterprise AP licenses, one license for 2x APs spanning one year (365 days) and another for 1x AP spanning five years (1,825 days). The co-termination value would be calculated as ((1825*1)+(365*2))/3= 851 days total for all three APs. So assuming all three licenses were applied on the same day, the organization would have a co-term date of 851 days from the start date of the licenses.
If the licenses were not applied at the same time, for example if the five-year license was applied halfway through the one-year license, the co-term calculation will take that into effect. In this case, the calculation would be ((1825*1)+(182*2))/3=730 days total for all three APs.
Note: The organization co-termination date does not depend on the current device count, but rather the license limit. Removing devices from a network or organization will not impact the co-termination date.
To calculate how licenses impact each other in an organization, check out the License Calculator. To see a more detailed explanation and the exact calculations that are used to determine co-term dates, please refer to our detailed co-term explanation page.
License Start Date
Licenses in the Co-Termination model start consuming time from the date it was processed, not the date they are added to an organization.
Note: Waiting to activate a license in the dashboard does not delay its activation date. There is no time benefit gained from delaying an activation.
Licenses are sold based on the specific model of device, so for example, an MS220-24 will require a separate license from an MS220-8. This applies even to PoE vs. non-PoE versions of devices and wireless vs. non-wireless versions for MX devices. For example, an MS220-8 will require a different license than an MS220-8P, and an MX64 license will not work for an MX64W.
Cisco Meraki licensing is applied on an organization-wide basis. This means that a license isn't purchased for a specific serial number or device, rather each license added to the organization increases the number of a specific device type (the license limit) that can be added to networks within the organization.
The 30-Day Grace Period
The number of devices in an organization can not exceed the license limits. If this occurs, the organization will enter a 30-day grace period, during which the organization must be brought back into compliance, otherwise it will be shut down until proper licensing is applied to the organization.
Note: During the grace period, network clients will not see a difference.
Should an organization enter the 30-day grace period because of exceeding device license limits, it can be brought back into compliance either by removing devices from networks within the organization or through purchasing additional licensing. The only other time an organization will enter this 30-day grace period would be if its licensing has expired by passing the co-term date. If this occurs, the only way to bring it back into licensing compliance is through the purchase of all new licensing for active devices.
For example, if an AP is added to an organization that already has five APs and licensing for ten APs, no additional licensing is required because the organization's license limit is higher than the number of APs in the organization. But if an MX series security appliance was added to the same organization, it would enter the 30-day grace period because the organization is not licensed for MX security appliances. For more information about the 30-day grace period, read the License Limit and Current Device Count section of this article or refer to the License Info article.
License Limit and Current Device Count
The image below shows an example License Limit and Current Device Count table for an Organization. Notice how each hardware model has it's own individual License Limit and Current Device Count. Each column is explained in more detail below.
The License Limit is defined by the sum of the device count for all currently active licenses applied to an Organization. Licenses that have been Invalidated or were applied prior to the most recent Renewal operation will not be counted when calculating the License Limit. For example, if an Organization has three active licenses, one license for 1x MX65, one license for 2x MR devices, and one license for 1x MS220-8P and 1x MR device, the total License Limit for that Organization would be 1x MX65, 1x MS220-8P, and 3x MR devices.
Current Device Count
The Current Device Count column lists the total number of each type of device that is currently added to any network inside the Organization. Devices that are claimed to the Organization Inventory but not added to any Networks will not count towards the Current Device Count. For example, if one network has 1x MX65 and 2x MR33, and a second network has 1x MS220-8P and 1x MR52, the Current Device Count for that Organization would be 1x MX65, 1x MS220-8P, and 3x APs.
Note: All MR and MV series devices are grouped under the same respective licensing group. So an MR18 will require the same license as an MR72 and both will count equally toward the total device count of MR devices.
The Current Device Count does not impact the Co-Term date of an Organization, the Co-term date is instead calculated based on the License Limit of the Organization. Because of this, adding or removing devices from networks will not affect the Co-term date of the Organization except in situations where adding a device will put the Organization outside of its License Limit and invoke the 30 day Grace Period. In this situation, either removing the device(s) from the Network(s) or adding the required licensing prior to the end of the 30 day Grace Period will put the Organization back into compliance. If new licensing is added, the Co-term date will be updated to reflect this change. If no new licensing is added then the Co-term date should remain unchanged.
SM Licensing Options
Meraki Systems Manager has only one license type, which is used for all managed clients in SM regardless of operating system type. Licenses need to be available for devices to enroll into your network.
Please refer to our documentation for more information on Systems Manager Licensing.
Adding New Licenses
From the Organization > Configure > License Info page, the Add another license link allows organization administrators to add additional licensing to their organization. This can be done to either increase the total number of devices licensed to the organization or to renew the existing licensing for all devices in the organization. Adding additional licensing to an organization is a simple five-step process, outlined below.
- Click Add another license.
- Choose either License more devices or Renew my Dashboard license.
- Enter the 12-digit license key you would like to claim.
- Click Add license.
- Review the changes on the License Info Preview Page.
- Fill in the box next to Enter the new license expiration to confirm this addition with the expiration date seen above (otherwise the Add license button will be greyed out).
- Click Add license again to finish claiming the license.
Note: Claiming a new license with the claim type of License more devices will simply add the new license count to the existing license limit of the organization and alter the co-term date appropriately.
Warning: Claiming a new license with the claim type of Renew my Dashboard license will invalidate any previous license limit counts and force the organization license limit to match only licenses applied during or after the most recent renewal action, in addition to altering the co-term date for the organization.
1-day licenses are only available in per-device licensing and cannot be used in a co-termination organization.
Renewing Your Dashboard Licensing
When a license key is applied using the Renew my Dashboard license operation, the organization’s licensing state updates to exactly match the device count of that license key, and any remaining time from previous licenses is kept and added to the new co-term date. For example, if an organization with licensing for 5x APs were to have a 2x AP, three-year license applied as a renewal, that organization would only be licensed for 2x APs for three years, plus the remaining time from prior to the renewal. In this instance, the organization would be 3x APs over the license limit, and therefore out of compliance.
Note: The recommended practice for applying a renewal is to purchase a single license key that covers all devices currently in the organization for X number of years. Applying that license key as a renewal will then extend the organization’s co-term date by that many years while keeping the same license limit for devices.
Even if the organization is in compliance, (co-term date has not passed and the organization has not yet expired or been shut down,) the renewal license should still be applied immediately because the time on the license starts counting down from the date purchased.
Warning: Holding onto a license does not delay its activation date. There is no time benefit gained from delaying a renewal.
Co-term licenses can be moved between organizations. Refer to the following guide for details.
NOTE: Licenses can only be moved between organizations that use the same licensing mode. Licenses cannot be moved between a Co-termination and a PDL organization.
If you have received a different device model as a result of a device-RMA, Meraki Support can update the license to reflect the change.
Licenses can also be converted if the requested conversion falls under the approved list below and the license key is outside the 30-day license-RMA window. These license conversions are NOT supported in a per-device licensing org.
Please Note: Meraki Support CAN NOT convert Licensing that has individually expired.
MX60/W → MX64/W (MX65 conversions NOT allowed)
MX64/W → MX60/W
MX65W/64W/60W → MX65/64/60
MX65/64/60 → MX65W/64W/60W (MX65 to MX65W, MX64 to MX64W and MX60 to MX60W are only allowed)
MX64/W → MX67/W
MX65/W → MX68/W
MX80 → MX84
MX84 → MX80
MX84 → MX85
MX90 → MX100
MX100 → MX95
Z1 → Z3
vMX-100 → vMX-M
NOTE: Keys that fall within the 30-day RMA window MUST be RMAd and repurchased. There is no exception to this.
Please reference this article about returning licenses.
Removing and Undoing License Claims
There are a number of licensing issues that are caused by misapplication of a single license key. If a license has been applied incorrectly, the undo license claim tool can be used to remove the license so it can be re-added correctly.
This article will explain how to remove licenses from organizations, using the undo license claim tool.
There are two common situations where a license application can cause problems on an organization:
- License was applied to the wrong organization.
A license may have accidentally been applied to the incorrect organization. The undo license claim tool will release the license so it can be applied to the correct organization.
- License was incorrectly applied as a renewal or add devices.
When a license key is applied to an organization, there are two options for the license type: Renewal or add devices. Applying a license as the incorrect type will have an undesired effect on the organization's licensing, and will likely take the organization out of compliance. The undo license claim tool can be used to remove the license, so it can be reapplied correctly.
For more information on different ways to apply licenses, please refer to our documentation regarding Licensing Guidelines and Limitations.
Using the Undo License Tool
The undo license claim button will only be available within 7 days of the license application. For issues with older licenses, please follow these steps:
- Make sure you are a full organization administrator on both organizations. If not, this process will need to be followed by another admin.
- Contact Meraki Support via phone or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Your support passcodes for both the source and destination organizations.
- The URL for both organizations License Info pages.
- The license key to be transferred and the device models and the number of devices that need to be moved to the new organization.
The following steps explain how to undo a license application:
- In Dashboard, navigate to Organization > Configure > License info.
- Click the undo button next to the license in question:
- Review the confirmation window that pops up. If you are sure this is the correct license to remove, click Yes:
Upon confirming the change and closing the pop-up, the organization will be reverted to the previous licensing state. The original license will be invalidated, so a replacement key will be generated. The new license key can then be re-applied or added to another organization for the remaining license term. The new license key can also be found under Organization > Change log.
If you are receiving an error message “License has been invalidated” it could be for two reasons:
- The license was invalidated when it was unclaimed. Please see the information above on how to locate the new key.
- The key was invalidated due to some or all of the licenses in the order being returned.
If only part of the licenses from the order were returned, a new license key will be generated that includes the un-returned licenses. If the original key was already claimed to an organization, the replacement key will be automatically claimed to the same environment. If the original key was never claimed, the replacement key will be emailed to the individual(s) who requested the RMA.
Meraki only provides these keys to the person who submitted the RMA, which will be the person on the return (RTC/RTN) order.
Out-of-Licensing Compliance Warnings and Solutions
Cisco Meraki devices use the Cisco Meraki cloud for centralized management and control. The Cisco Meraki cloud is licensed on a “per device, per year” basis. Each organization is licensed for a certain number of devices through a termination date. When out of compliance, due to expiration of licenses or insufficient device counts, you will be notified by e-mail.
This e-mail will begin with "Thank you for being a valued Cisco Meraki customer. Our records show that your organization is over the device limit for your Cisco Meraki Cloud license."
To see the current status of your licensing, login to Dashboard and go to Organization > License info. This page will include information about your licensing status, MX Advanced Security features (if applicable), license expiration date, and details of your current and licensed device counts. Points where you are out of compliance will be indicated in red. To return your organization to a compliant status, you will need to purchase the appropriate licensing.
For more information about Cisco Meraki licensing, please review the Licensing FAQ.
To purchase licensing, contact your Cisco Meraki account executive, or visit Sales Contacts.
Out of Compliance Examples
Over Device Limit
In this case, the organization has one additional MS220-8P device in a network than they are licensed for, and would need to purchase the necessary license in order to achieve compliance.
Since devices that are not in a network do not count towards the device count, the MS220-8P can be removed from its network and left in the organization inventory until additional licensing is added. Once additional licensing has been added, the device can be redeployed in a network.
If the organization’s licensing was recently renewed but was missing a license for a needed MS220-8P, there are two options to regain compliance:
Return the recently purchased license key, then repurchase a key that contains licenses for ALL devices, then claim the correct key as a "Renewal".
Purchase the an additional license key for the MS220-8P separately and then claim it to the organization using the “License more devices” option.
In this case, licensing for the organization expired on May 11th. The licenses would need to be renewed, or new licenses purchased in order to return to a compliant state.
Licensing Expired & Network Shutdown
In this case, licensing for the organization expired and the organization has been shutdown. This will not occur until after the 30 day grace period, and may also occur if the organization has been in excess of the licensed device count.
In this case, the organization has more device licenses than they have devices and their licensing will expire in 899 days.
Please reference the license calculator in the dashboard to understand how specific licenses will co-terminate.
For more detailed information about how co-termination is calculated, see the co-termination details article.
For more information about the License Info page, see the License Info Page article.
More information on Cisco Meraki licensing can be found here: https://documentation.meraki.com/zGeneral_Administration/Licensing/Licensing_FAQ