We have two Cisco ISE servers (ISE-3355-K9) running 1.2. When we ordered these from our reseller, the reseller's engineer (who was a wireless CCIE) insisted that we only needed one copy of the L-ISE-BSE-500 license for both servers, since they would be a redundant pair.

In the mean time, that engineer left the reseller, and nobody there understands what he was thinking; however, we spent our entire budget on this order. We don't have extra money to purchase more licenses, but we could have asked for more money if we needed it for the order. The budget cycle is over for this project.

I don't understand how to build these servers as a redundant pair and only one license. Can someone explain how this works?

  • Are your ISE servers separate standalone deployments independent from each other, or, is one server acting as the primary admin node and the other registered to it?
    – one.time
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 12:44
  • The secondary should backup the primary node in the same policy deployment. I guess that means the secondary could register to the primary ISE node
    – Delta5
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 12:50

2 Answers 2


One license is all you need.

I assume since you have the licensing, you also ought to have TAC support along with it.

If not, the docs on Cisco.com will really help in pointing you in the right direction.

Here's a good place to start: ISE HA Docs

And here's another helpful link: support forums question

  • Doc ref is exactly what I needed. Thanks!
    – Delta5
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 13:02

"Cisco ISE licenses are specific to a deployment and not to individual appliances in the deployment."

-From the Cisco ISE Ordering Guide

For example, if you had five Cisco ISE nodes in a distributed deployment between two datacenters, one license would need to be applied to the primary admin node and all registered devices will operate under that license.

If you had two standalone Cisco ISE nodes that were deployed completely separate from each other, each primary/standalone node would require a license before the 90-day Evaluation license expires.

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