CUWL: Demystifying Cisco Licensing Confusion

By Don Stroud| November 30, 2010

Recently, Cisco revamped how they license their communications products. Their new Unified Workspace Licensing model, commonly referred to as CUWL, represents Cisco’s effort to manage and deploy unified communications applications.

Prior to CUWL, Cisco’s licensing model was the Device Licensing Unit (DLU) approach. For most, the DLU model was complicated and inefficient; for example, every application had to be licensed on a per application basis. This made the overall Cisco product mix confusing and expensive.

The CUWL model streamlines licensing by bundling sets of features and applications into manageable packages. This makes it much easier to order and manage licensing overall.  But there is still some confusion, so let's explore the top three questions I hear most often:

When do my Cisco licenses expire? Never! Once you purchase Cisco licenses for unified communications products, you always own them.  The licenses never expire, regardless if it was CUWL or DLU.

Can I migrate from DLU to CUWL? Absolutely! There is a documented migration SKU from Cisco to migrate your licensing from DLU to CUWL.

How does CUWL work?  The best way to understand CUWL is to understand the packages or "bundles" and the features included with each one. The two categories are:

  •  Business Edition: There is only one bundle, the Unified Workspace Licensing for Business Edition.
  • Unified Communications Manager: there are three CUWL options--Entry, Standard and Professional. Each package contains various combinations of applications; you can choose which one is right for you.
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