A topic not often covered in the Procurve community is the issue of licensing certain features on a switch. HP does an excellent job of providing a robust feature set on most of their equipment out of the box. However, some applications require additional features that are not included with the switch.
An issue arose at work where we wanted to use a 5406zl to route to an external entity. There was a thought that we could peer with the entity using OSPF. After some quick digging around the command line, I found that our 5406zl only supported RIP with the current license. Upgrading to a premium license would be required to support OSPF. The premium license adds support for the following on 3500 and 5400 series switches.
- PIM Dense mode
- PIM Sparse mode
- QinQ (IEEE 802.1ad)
How can you tell what license is currently installed on your switch? If you are running OSPF, that is a good indicator that you switch currently has a premium license installed. A better way to view the installed license is with the show licenses command:
J8698A-01# show licenses
Feature Group License Status
premium Not Installed
Here you can clearly see that this switch does not have the premium license installed, as is indicated by the “Not Installed” license status.
Installing a premium license is a multi-step process that will require you to use the my.procurve.com web site. Obtaining a premium license is beyond the scope of this article, however I will cover how to obtain the hardware ID for you switch. The hardware ID is required when obtaining a premium license.
Obtaining the Hardware ID
In order to obtain the hardware ID for the switch, you need to enter configuration mode using the configure terminal command. Once you have entered configuration mode, issue the command licenses hardware-id premium. The output of this command is shown below:
J8698A-01(config)# licenses hardware-id premium
The hardware Id for package “premium” is
There are a few points I would like to note. First, the hardware ID has been sanitized. However, the format above is the same format that you can expect on other switches. Second, the exact command to be used will depend on the model switch in use. Some HP documentation makes use of the licenses hardware-id premium-edge command to retireve the hardware ID. The use of context sensitive help will reveal which command should be used on your switch.
Installing a Premium License
Installing a premium license is strightforward. Again, you need to enter configuration mode using the configure terminal command. Once in configuration mode, issue the following command:
licenses install premium <license-key>
You will replace <license-key> with the key that was provided to you on the my.procurve.com web site. Keep in mind that after the switch installs the license, it will reboot.
Removing a Premium License
At some point, you may need to remove a license from a switch for various reasons. Like the previous commands, you must be in configuration mode to uninstall a license. From configuration mode issue the command:
licenses uninstall premium
This command will issue the following warning:
J8698A-01(config)# licenses uninstall premium
**** CAUTION ****
Completion of this operation will remove the functionality that is enabled
in the premium feature group, and will delete the configuration for
those features from the active configuration.
Device will be rebooted, do you want to continue [y/n]?
After you answer yes, the switch will delete the key and issue an uninstall verification number. It is very important that you copy this uninstall verification number, as you will need to enter it into the my.procurve.com website to “release” the license for use on another switch. After this the switch will reboot.
Viewing Uninstalled Licesnes
Should you need to view a license that was uninstalled from a switch you can use the following command:
show licenses uninstalled
This will show the license that was uninstalled, as well as the uninstall verification key. This command comes in handy if you forgot to save the uninstall verification key after removing a license.