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Beginner’s Guide to Cisco SMARTnet Options

  • 10 March, 2021

Article, Cisco, Cisco Licensing Explained, SMARTnet

Cisco SMARTnet options

With all the various acronyms and SKU’s involved with Cisco SMARTnet options, it’s easy to get lost in trying to understand what you’re buying and what it means for you.

At Tesrex, we specialise in simplifying the options and aligning them to your business goals and budgets. This helps you minimise risk while maximising cost savings. Our clients consistently see savings of 20-35% on their annual spend. With that said, let’s step through a couple of examples so you get a better understanding of how to break it down.

Previous articles in this series:

Features of SMARTnet

Benefits of SMARTnet

Cisco SMARTnet acronym key

Acronym Definition
SNTP SMARTnet Premium
24x7x4 4-hour hardware replacement at any time
OS On Site
SWSS Software Support Service

What does SNTP 24x7x4 OS mean?

SNTP means this appliance is under coverage for support for 3 years. SNT = SMARTnet and P stands for Premium. This ONLY includes the device and any software that comes on it by default such as the iOS version. Additional software add-ons are not included in this.

24x7x4 translates to the replacement time window for that unit. This device will be replaced within a 4-hour window at any time during its coverage period.

OS means Onsite. This means a qualified engineer will deliver the device, swap it out and put a config on the device (if supplied by customer). There is a cost premium for the Onsite aspect of it so be aware of the use case.

A common misconception from customers is that they believe if they are covered by SWSS (Software Support Service) they do not need to worry about SMARTnet. It’s crucial to know that SWSS applies to software only. SWSS allows you to upgrade to the newest version of that software and call up Cisco TAC (Technical Assistance Center) or help with related issues during the time of coverage.

However, SWSS does not cover the device! If you only have SWSS on an existing device and that device fails, you will not be eligible for a replacement. You can only get a replacement with an SNT or SNTP contract.

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Example situation 1

Let’s contextualise this information with a common situation you may find yourselves in. You bought an ISR 4331 router with additional hardware modules, SFPs and feature licenses for DNA. It’s a business-critical device in a remote location without local tech employees onsite.

In this scenario, you’d ideally need the following:

To cover the router appliances itself and all the additional hardware bits such as the modules and SFP’s, you only need to buy the SNTP 24x7x4 OS.

However, this won’t cover the additional DNA software add-on. For that, you will need the appropriate SWSS coverage to ensure you receive the appropriate software updates and support on the DNA side.

Example situation 2

The obvious question that comes out of this, is “Can I just combine the options for full coverage?” Yes, that’s possible. This contract is called Total Solution Support. This includes all hardware and software on a given appliance and is an easier way to manage the coverage.

However, this isn’t always the best option. While convenient, you can easily get into an overspend scenario because the use cases don’t warrant the cost increase and you end up with no additional benefit.

What SMARTnet option is best for me?

The information above is a good starting point to understanding the options in front of you and what they mean in the real world. For a deeper look at your environment, we recommend reading our ebook The Big Cisco Clean Up, a guide that helps you create a manageable and cost-effective Cisco environment. After the clean up, you can select the right SMARTnet option, which, typically, nets a 20-35% savings versus the standard model. Added benefit: you also get one single renewal date going forward which is much easier to manage.

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