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How does IOS software licensing work on a Catalyst 4507 Switch?


I will be start with the disclaimer that I am very technical, but a huge novice to the enterprise-grade Cisco swtiches.

Can someone explain to me how IOS software versions are licensed on a Catalyst 4507 switch?  I am very confused at this point.

For example, if I buy IOS Enterprise Services for a new Catalyst 4507 switch, what form does the software license take?  Is the license embedded on the switch?  Does it come as an e-mail or certificate with a PAK?  Does it come on a CD?

We sold a 4507 with Enterprise Services to a client, and they are saying they don't have the right IOS version installed.  I assumed there must be some license key they needed, but the Cisco licensing help desk does not seem to indicate there are any licenesable items on our sales order number (even though IOS Enterprise Services is a line item on the sales order).

I know there was a disk that came with the switch with an Enterprise Services .BIN file on it, but I had assumed that was just a software version image, similar to the images I can download off the Cisco website.  But is this actually the license key?

Since I can download image files off the Cisco website, I assumed there must be some other key needed to activate the license.

Any education is greatly appreciated!

Switch is Catalyst WS-C4507R+E

Redundant Supervisors are WS-X45-SUP6-E  (Supervisor 6-E)


Mike Pedersen

Senior Staff Engineer

Mechdyne Corporation

Everyone's tags (3)
Cisco Employee

How does IOS software licensing work on a Catalyst 4507 Switch?

Hi Mike,

Which software version are you talking about? Do you want to upgrade it to IOS-XE on your Sup's?

The license upgrade is typically an e-delivery. You need this license to enable the enterprise IOS image on the SUP. If you try to run some feature after the IOS upgrade, it will throw you an erro that license is not installed. You can use the PAK key to get the licenses generated online here :

Please see the link below :


-amit singh

VIP Super Bronze

How does IOS software licensing work on a Catalyst 4507 Switch?

Hi Mike,

If the original switch did not come with the license PAK or installed on it, you can provide an invoice or purchase order number to your sales rep and they will provide you a license key.  You can also send an e-mail to with the product S/N and proof of purchase and they will e-mail you a license key.  The license key is a very small file with .llc extension at the end.Make sure you provide the exact serial number and PID number, if not installing the lincese key turn in to a big headache.