Changes Coming to CCO Software Downloads
By stretch | Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 6:10 p.m. UTC
Today I came across a forum post which apparently quoted another post which contained an email purportedly sent out by Cisco, announcing that changes are being made to CCO in order to clamp down on unauthorized software downloads. Since I haven't been able to confirm the legitimacy of the email, I won't repost it here. However, a little digging did turn up an article from Cisco's October 2010 Services Partner Newsletter (European Markets) which appears to confirm the story:
Software Download Centre Entitlement Controls Improved to Protect your Investment
To improve your experience with Cisco and protect your investment in Cisco Products, we're upgrading Software Download Center entitlement controls.
In preparation for this change, we ask partners and customers to complete the following actions before January 2011:
- Verify that all applicable Cisco Products are covered under Cisco Service contracts, and that you have a valid license for Cisco Software.
- Verify that your Services contracts are accurate and make necessary corrections - serial numbers, part IDs and locations must be accurate on each Services contract.
- Associate all Services contracts to applicable Cisco.com user IDs.
- Verify that all Cisco.com user IDs for your company are valid and properly assigned to individuals in your company.
Starting January 2011, software downloads on Cisco.com will be verified against Products registered on your Services contract. Attempts to download Software for Products not registered on your Services contract will not be permitted.
In an effort to minimise entitlement issues, we encourage partners and customers to directly manage Services contract associations to Cisco.com user IDs via the Service Access Management Tool (SAMT). This tool enables administrators to manage which individuals are allowed to request Service from Cisco (e.g., technical support/TAC, hardware replacement/RMA).
Cisco.com users can use the Cisco.com Profile Manager to view which Services contracts are associated to their profiles.
The article does not mention the 13 December date quoted in the email linked above, but rather suggests the changeover will occur during or after January 2011. Also note that, as far I can tell, the article has only appeared in the European Markets newsletter; it is possible that the change will be phased in by geographic region.
While the instructions given in the article appear quite reasonable, the administrative burden of actually implementing strict CCO rights assignments for companies with many millions of dollars worth of Cisco equipment and dozens or hundreds of IT support staff is... substantial. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
About the Author
Jeremy Stretch is a network engineer living in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area. He is known for his blog and cheat sheets here at Packet Life. You can reach him by email or follow him on Twitter.
Posted in News
November 16, 2010 at 6:13 p.m. UTC
This goes back to the argument that HP makes against Cisco day in and day out that once you buy ProCurve you get free updates for life. Between that and the fact that this will be another nail in dynamips' coffin, I think Cisco is making another big mistake.
November 16, 2010 at 8:37 p.m. UTC
If it all pans out as described, it's definitely a mistake. Surely I don't want to test new code version in a lab before buying it. Or use GNS3 to study for an exam. An event like this would make me seriously consider another vendor.
November 16, 2010 at 8:43 p.m. UTC
If you have a Select or Enterprise agreement with Microsoft you get access to all their software downloads. This allows their customers to purchase some number of licenses from a any vendor of their choice and immediately have access to the software by visiting microsoft.com. I don't see why Cisco is unable to provide the same or a similar level of convenience to their customers.
Not to mention how terrible Cisco's support is with their website already, this will only make it even worse.
November 16, 2010 at 9:04 p.m. UTC
I did try to download some 3640 images the other day from CCO, and there was indeed a warning that the images I was downloading were for equipment that does not appear to be on our Cisco SmartNet contract (indeed they were not, because they can't even be added as they are EOS a long time ago!) I do have the physical equipment (i.e the images weren't for Dynamips) but it's just lab equipment now. Note that CCO did not disallow the downloads, it just warned me that downloading images without a support contract in place may casue us to be charged for the images, and/or lose our CCO rights.
I checked in with our Cisco rep, he told me the download was OK because the images were for EOS equipment, and we legitimately own the equipment in question.
November 17, 2010 at 10:03 a.m. UTC
Cisco is days are over, with these politycs they will losse too much market share. Time is now for hp, juniper, vyatta, etc. Or just a plain old simple linux iptables.
And the buggy IOS 15 will just make it faster...
For any of those that invested in Cisco Certifications, well stop thinking about it and move on.
November 17, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. UTC
I don't like that I cannot get IOS updates for routers I bought but that I don't have a support contract. IOS 15 is not working on GNS3, for me I should be something for training purposes.
I prefer to download IOS images fron Cisco than try to find strange forums with peer to peer links for IOS. So I guess they should open some kind of IOS for training.
November 17, 2010 at 8:02 p.m. UTC
Networking is networking. The Cisco studies I have done only increased my abilities, regardless of platform. Focus on the tech and not the commands and that knowledge will carry over no matter what platform you choose, you can take that with you to Juniper.
I wonder when they'll release the CCSN (Cisco Certified Site Navigation) tests so we can use their site again.
November 17, 2010 at 8:04 p.m. UTC
I don't see what the fuss is about, if you have proper hardware/support contracts you simply need to make sure your CCO account references those.
Why shouldn't Cisco make sure only legit users are permitted to download software (for hardware they've paid for). If you're using an IOS image in a GNS3 lab for a platform you don't own you're breaking the licensing agreement.
I agree that Cisco should provide software for educational use, but that's a separate argument in my view.
November 19, 2010 at 1:40 a.m. UTC
The fuss is that many of us will be forced to spend hours upon hours simply convincing cisco TAC that we're entitled to download IOS that we have paid for. In my experience cisco is bloody awful at keeping track of this stuff. I don't look forward to escalating through multiple levels of TAC to simply download IOS!
November 20, 2010 at 12:52 a.m. UTC
I guess on December 31 2010 cisco will be be bombarded with a trillion downloads for 2500/2600 and the many flavors of IOS before the system changes.
November 22, 2010 at 5:42 p.m. UTC
Cisco continues down the path to oblivion, like so many other vendors that once dominated their corner of the IT industry. For the last year, we have been witnessing the minds of network engineers opening up to other possibilities. If Cisco limits the ability of their customers to learn their complicated products and patch their buggy software without paying dearly for the privilege, engineers will defect to other platforms for routing and switching.
Cisco used to be cool. Exciting. The standard. Even innovative, at times. It is rarely any of those things now. They're closer to a bully, leveraging their market penetration to squeeze yet more dollars out of an already beleaguered customer base.
Cisco's going to start losing deals. Big ones. With some niche exceptions, their products are neither the best nor the cheapest. At some point, the good will built up through years of familiarity will run out, and the quarterly market share pie charts will shift in favor of others.
Happy holidays, HP, Juniper, Force 10, Arista, et al. 2011 is looking mighty good for you.
November 30, 2010 at 10:43 p.m. UTC
I received an email from Cisco stating that this would in effect on December 13th.
December 1, 2010 at 7:27 a.m. UTC
If you have a Select or Enterprise agreement with Microsoft you get access to all their software downloads.
December 21, 2010 at 10:34 a.m. UTC
I received a mail from Cisco today. Over here (Europe) the new Download "Enhancements" (what a joke) coming in effect on Jan 10, 2011.
From: Cisco Services Update [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Subject: Important Update: Get ready and take action for Software Download
Enhancements on the Cisco Website
Software Download Enhancements
Get Ready for Software Download Enhancements on the Cisco Website
Dear Valued Partner, To improve your experience with Cisco and protect your investment in Cisco Products, we’re pleased to announce the improvement of Software download entitlement controls effective 10th January, 2011.
In preparation for this change, we ask you to complete the following actions before 10th January, 2011: • Verify all applicable Cisco Products are covered under Cisco Service contracts, and that you have a valid license for Cisco Software. • Verify your Services contracts are accurate and make necessary corrections- serial numbers, part ID’s and locations must be accurate on each Services contract. • Associate all Services contracts to applicable Cisco.com user ID’s • Verify all Cisco.com user IDs for your company are valid and properly assigned to individuals in your company. Starting 10th January, 2011, software downloads on Cisco.com will be verified against Products registered on your Services contract. Attempts to download Software for Products not registered on your Services contract will not be permitted.
In an effort to minimise entitlement issues, we encourage you to directly manage Services contract associations to Cisco.com user ID’s via the Service Access Management Tool (SAMT). This tool enables administrators to manage which individuals are allowed to request Service from Cisco (e.g. technical support/ TAC, hardware replacement/ RMA).
Cisco.com users can use the Cisco.com Profile Manager to view which Services contracts are associated to their profiles.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Kind regards, Cisco Services
February 3, 2011 at 5:32 p.m. UTC
I can confirm this restriction in the US, now limited to active support agreement downloads only. Waiting for Cisco response on EOL and no-cost vulnerability patches. If vulnerability patches will now only be available to paid support I imagine the Cisco brand will suffer.
February 8, 2011 at 4:23 a.m. UTC
I have MCS 7825 server that was employed in call manager application. today I perform upgrade from version 5.0 to 5.1 using DVD media that we bought. after inactive partition get new version I restart server to inactive partition became active. but this software erase firware data and raid information and system goes inoperative. when boot it shows that it doesnt find operating system. After some investigation from my side and cisco information it said that we need iso image called FWUCD-2.1.1-I.iso. then Knowing that we have all contracts associated we tryed to download that image but oh surprised I was no authorized to download that software. what happens Cisco where in the hell are your head this is firmware only that works only in your machines, all vendors HP, IBM, etc put firmware updates for machines that they sold and these firmware is free. Only Cisco is the only stupid that closes all doors to support their customers. From now and until cisco doesnt change I prefer to recomend Asterisk, Avaya and other telephone systems all least their are open and are supported by open machines not the cisco ones.
October 17, 2011 at 5:44 p.m. UTC
So Cisco is acting like Apple..we might soon need an Appstore on Cisco routers/switches and iCisco account. Another innovative company just getting under the control of management/financial minded people. Hope it works out better or with this close minded approach, it would be hard to not ignore the competition.
Years down the memory lane, people just have a religious faith in products from Cisco and they often ignored products from other vendors, even if they were much better. How long any company can expect it, esp. when you try pushing the very people who sort of worked for you indirectly.
November 29, 2011 at 5:32 a.m. UTC
It looks like this is in full force in the US, or at least it is for my CCO partner account now. What a royal pain in the butt, trying to get all of our clients' contract numbers under our accounts so that we can assist them.
The one huge loophole; EOL products. Cisco has zero clue how to address EOL products. We can't buy contracts for EOL products, and without a contract, we can't download software updates for them. I'm not sure what the solution is, but neither do they.