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Installing a Premium License on a ProCurve

by Jeremy L. Gaddis on April 19, 2010 · 6 comments

in Networking

Although I like to complain about the HP ProCurve switch line, they do make great layer 2 switches. I’m not a big fan of using them for layer 3, but sometimes we have to do things we don’t want, right? The ProCurve 3500yl, 5400zl and 8200zl switches come with basic layer 3 functionality, but you’ll need a “Premium License” to unlock some “advanced features”.

The Premium License enables the following functionality:

  • Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) version 2
  • Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) Dense Mode
  • Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) Sparse Mode
  • Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP)
  • Q-in-Q

These Premium Licenses will set you back a few bucks.  Nobody does (or should, anyway) pay list price, but the list prices from CDW are $1,503.99 (3500yl), $2,251.99 (5400zl) and $2,574.99 (8200zl) — definitely not cheap!

The Premium License that you will receive is really just a “Registration ID number”.  Your product will arrive in packaging similar to a DVD case, with a card containing the Registration ID Number printed on it, a short Installation Guide, and a CD containing the ProCurve Manager software (along with a 30-day trial of ProCurve Manager Plus).  Throw the CD away, seriously.  Throw the instruction manual away too, since the screenshots are out of date (they’ve changed the portal since it was printed) and some of the commands listed in it are wrong, depending on platform.

(Note to HP:  I’m not sure why you guys insist on delivering me a physical product when I’d be just as happy — happier, actually — receiving it electronically.  Can we have that option?)

To begin installing a Premium License on your ProCurve, you’ll first need an account on the My ProCurve portal.  Once you have an account and are signed in, navigate to the “My Licenses” page and click the “Generate license key” link under “Device Software Licenses”.

You’ll be asked to enter your Registration ID, which is the number printed on the card you received in the mail:

Enter the Registration ID and click “Next”.  You’ll be asked to enter your hardware ID, which we’ll first need to acquire from your ProCurve switch.

While logged in to the CLI on your ProCurve switch, run the “licenses hardware-id premium” command from configuration mode to obtain the hardware ID of the chassis, e.g.:

HP5400# configure
HP5400(config)# licenses hardware-id premium
The hardware Id for package "premium" is

Enter the hardware ID into the form on the My ProCurve page and click “Next”:

Now, you’ll be presented with a License Agreement.  Pretend that you read it and click “Next”.

On the next page, you’ll be presented with a summary of the relevant information (the license key — which we’ll need in just a moment, the registration and hardware IDs, serial number of the chassis, etc.).  There’s also an option to e-mail this information, which I always do just to have an electronic copy saved.

To finalize the installation, go back to your switch CLI.  We’ll use the “licenses install premium …” command to activate the license.  You’ll be warned that the device is going to reboot automatically, so make sure to save your config (and, of course, install the license during a maintenance window!):

HP5400(config)# licenses install premium SG840...K3JVRT3
Device will be rebooted, do you want to continue [y/n]? y

The ProCurve switch saves the license key and then reboots.

You can view a list of installed licenses using the “show licenses” command, e.g.:

HP5400# show licenses
 Feature Group         License Status
 --------------------  --------------
 premium               Installed

You can now use these “premium” features on your switch.

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