Demystifying Hardware Licensing

Being responsible for the procurement of technology for Valiant’s clients is often met with questions around licensing, particularly when they are included in quotes for new networking hardware.

More often than not, these quotes are for firewalls, wireless access points, and network switches. In order to answer any related questions, and make licensing easier to understand, I’ve broken hardware licensing down for our 2 main vendors, Meraki and SonicWall.

Meraki Licensing

All Meraki brand hardware, from wireless access points to network switches, require licensing to operate properly. Much like with warranties, Valiant recommends proper licensing of your hardware.

In the case of Meraki, it’s an absolute must as it is required and made available via Cloud Controller licenses. These licenses are applied to equipment registered in your company’s name and allow the equipment to be operated, managed, and updated from your Meraki’s portal. Furthermore, all Meraki licensing provides access to the Meraki support desk. This support desk gives Valiant a way to remotely resolve Meraki access issues (Wi-Fi), configuration issues and other hardware-related problems. This helps to decrease estimated downtime for your company.

Meraki’s licensing is easy to break down based on how it is named. The following is a sample Meraki order for a MR42 access point and why the licensing matters:


The item’s code is the model (highlighted in red) and the item time (highlighted in blue).

We’ll select the Meraki MR Enterprise Cloud Controller License @ 3 years as it is the appropriate license for the MR42 access point and a MR Enterprise Cloud Controller license is required to operate it:


The license’s item code can be broken down as such:

  • LIC = License
  • ENT = Enterprise
  • 3YR = 3 years

This means that the license will provide the access point it is applied to service from Meraki for 3 years.

SonicWall Licensing

Unlike Meraki, hardware from SonicWall does not require a valid license to operate. It is, however, highly recommended as not having proper licensing prevents SonicWall from applying important security updates to your equipment. Older software can lead to holes in your network’s security and potentially lead to disasters that ruin any financial savings made by not purchasing the licensing, or worse. Furthermore, SonicWall offers free shipping and discounted prices for replacement firewalls should they be properly licensed and a hardware issue occurs.

SonicWall’s licensing structure is a bit more specific than Meraki’s, especially with what a particular license is related to. The main type of license we recommend is the SonicWall Advanced Gateway Security Suite.

This licensing bundle can be purchased for coverage of 1 to 5 years for the TZ or NSA series of models, and includes the licensing required to operate SonicWall’s security software suite which includes anti-phishing, anti-whaling, content and botnet filtering, and anti-virus software.

Whereas Meraki MR licenses can be used for any MR series product, SonicWall licensing requires the correct product family and specific model number. If the licensing does not correctly match these requirements, it cannot be applied to the firewall.

An understanding of both licensing models can remove a lot of the guesswork from obtaining the correct licenses for your network equipment, and that’s why we are here. Looking to upgrade your network and want to ensure that you have the right level of coverage? Reach out today; one of our experienced technicians can help determine your needs and put your network on a path to security, stability, and scalability – The Valiant Way.

Ian is Valiant’s Procurement Associate, and he’s in charge of the logistics around all the technology we provide to our clients. From working with vendors to select the best solutions,...

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