VCS Expressway Licensing – The allocation of the SKUs

In my effort to make sure I post things as do them, I want to make sure I leave this one here for anyone out there that may need a bit of help on understanding the obscure process of Licensing a VCS (Control and Expressway servers)

The good news is that Cisco Licensing is already providing all the Option Keys and Features keys in one message, which makes it easy to get licensing done in just one shot! – This requires you to open a case and most of the times they will do it right, but again we are humans and we make mistakes, that was my venting about my latest call to Cisco Licensing.

OK, real quick here are the SKU’s you need to assign to your servers:

VCS-E (Expressway)
Serial Number [You get this one as soon as you install the VM]
Licensing Assignment:

– LIC-EXP-SERIES (This one is the release Key, you will get 2 with one PAK, one for the C and one for the E)
– LIC-EXP-E (This one changes the name of your server to Expressway E)
VCS-C (Control)
Serial Number [You get this one as soon as you install the VM]
Licensing Assignment:
– LIC-EXP-SERIES (This one is the release Key, you will get 2 with one PAK, one for the C and one for the E)
– LIC-SW-EXP-K9 (This one changes the name of your server to Expressway C)
Now as a bonus, here is the most common deployment for Cisco VCS-Expressway or Collaboration Edge or however you prefer to call it.


To get more information, visit the following link:

The latest version as of today is 8.7 – Which allows you to do bunch more things than previous versions

About the Author:

Andres Sarmiento, CCIE # 53520 (Collaboration)
With more than 13 years of experience, Andres is specialized in the Unified Communications and Collaboration technologies. Consulted for several companies in South Florida, also Financial Institutions on behalf of Cisco Systems. Andres has been involved in high-profile implementations including Cisco technologies; such as Data Center, UC & Collaboration, Contact Center Express, Routing & Switching, Security and Hosted IPT Service provider infrastructures.

You can follow Andres using Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook

17 thoughts on “VCS Expressway Licensing – The allocation of the SKUs”

    1. Hi there Jon,
      What is the SKU you are getting? – Usually and they have modernized this a bit, you will get 2 LIC-SW-EXP-K9 + LIC-EXP-E-PAK –> the ones in the last one, some are going to be double, and the reason is because some are for the E server and some for the C.

      1. Hi ,there if i only set up the CUCM and CUCM&IMP ,can i achive the jabber form public network to inter network . just try to call the cucm’s tcp port number from public network

  1. Hi,
    How would you deploy VCS C and VCS E in lab environment, as there aren’t any firewalls? Put both of them in different subnets?

        1. Hi Manish, why don’t you share with me what are you trying to do, specifically and what I can do is to get a post together for you walking through the configuration and steps to get it up and running.

  2. Hi Andres, right now I am stuck with getting VCS-C and VCS-E license. I have a basic Cisco Account. I tried using someone’s Cisco Account ID to get Demo Licenses but Cisco Licensing Team is now telling me(the other guy) to contact my account manager. When I tried to use the serial number of VCS, that I have installed, on cisco licensing page, then it says that there is no valid contract. How can someone obtain a Demo License for VCS-C and VCS-E? Do I have to buy the
    I read it somewhere on forum that they are providing Demo Licenses from 8.1 onwards.

    1. Manish, if you can get assigned to the Cucm contract, that will be all you need to do. They will have to honor you the License. If not talk to you ACcount Manager and have him generate a $0.00 Bill of Materials that includes the VCS license

      1. Hi Andres, I JUST add a LIC-SW-EXP-K9 license to exspress-c ,but the password has changed after reload. how to exchange the vcs ‘s password…

  3. But there lies the difficulty. I don’t know the Account Manager. And that will be bit long and official which I want to avoid. Is there any alternate way? Let’s say, if I buy CUCM License from eBay or generate Demo License from possible) and then maybe I can ask them for license from my ID?
    I can contact partner, but I don’t think they will even bother about me or can possibly do anything about it as it is for home lab.

    1. let me find out for you, I know they don’t provide licenses for the Expressway to use only with MRA services, because those are already included as part of the CUCM Licensing, you could try the Ebay licenses but you will need a SWSS contract on the license to claim the Expressway PAKs

      1. Hi Andres,
        What features would I be missing if VCS is running in Generic Mode?
        Under Active I see following activated options – 1 Non Traversal Call, 1 Traversal Call, 3 Registrations, Encryption.

        1. Hi Zed, Sorry for not getting back to you earlier, A BASE VCS server will be missing all features to configure Jabber Guest, B2B and other features I may be forgetting – I hope this helps answering your question

  4. I have CUCM at internal network and expressway C and E. I use Jabber SDK from external network through 4G. I buy UCL Enhance license for the Jabber SDK device. Do I need the RMS license for that device?

    1. Sunate, sorry for the super late reply… I think we will need more information to help you with that, but I can tell you that the RMS license is more for B2B communications + Jabber Guest –> The conversation can take different turns depending on the version and the intention you have with your users, I don’t mind helping so if you would like sharing a bit more info I can try to help –> Thank you for your message!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top