What is different IP Base and IP Services in Cisco IOS and How to choose right one?

Being and Cisco Device Administrator, you would definitely face with the task of IOS upgrade.

This kind of task will make you a bit confuse sometime I believe.

To do the upgrading task, you have to go and look for IOS on Cisco Website with the related Model of your device like below,

Once, you found out the IOS to download, you will be confuse which IOS should choose to download.

OK. That's the point I'd like to show how,

The four common Cisco IOS Software feature licenses for switching are:

1) LAN Lite      
2) LAN Base        
3)  IP Base          
4) IP Services

LAN Lite is for Enterprise EntryLevel Layer 2 Switching
LAN Base is for Enterprise Access Layer 2 Switching
IP Base is for Enterprise Access Layer 3 Switching
IP Services is for Advanced Layer 3 Switching

The IP base is for the Standard Multilayer Software Image (SMI) switches, and the IP services image is for the Enhanced Standard Multilayer Software Image (EMI) switches in Cisco IOS  Software Release 12.2(25)SEB and later.

The inter VLAN routing feature is supported on both IP base or SMI and IP services or EMI image Layer 3 switches. For Layer 2-only switches, you require a Layer 3 routing device with any of the previous images.

The IP Base feature set includes advanced quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) functions. Dynamic IP routing protocols (Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), BGPv4, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP)) are available only on the IP services image.

The IP Services image provides a richer set of enterprise-class features, which includes advanced hardware-based IP unicast and IP Multicast routing. Support for IPv6 Layer 3 switching in hardware is also available with the addition of the Advanced IP Services license to either the IP Base or the IP Services images. Both the IP base Image and the IP services image allow for Layer 3 and Layer 4 lookups for QoS and security.

But if you have a basic layer 2 access network with essentially no routing needs and no advanced security or management requirements, you might want to consider LAN Lite. For most enterprise layer 2 networks, LAN Base is a minimum requirement. It gives you a robust layer 2 access network with excellent network manageability, security and user experience.

Well, I believe you know how to choose right Cisco IOS for your device basically now.

Actually, choosing Cisco IOS is more widely and detail than I've mentioned above.

I recommend to read more details on Cisco Devies such as Release Notes , Technical Notes and etc.

May you all be happy.
(Be knowledgeable, pass it on then)

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