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6 Steps to Unlocking ThousandEyes for Catalyst 9000

By Lila Rousseaux
| | 6 min read


Cisco Catalyst 9300 and 9400 customers can meet their WAN performance needs with ThousandEyes—here's a step-by-step guide on how to leverage it.

Modern businesses rely on network connectivity, including across the Internet and public cloud. The more secure, stable, and reliable these networks are, the better the user experience is likely to be. Understanding WAN (Wide Area Network) performance, including Internet transit networking and how it affects application delivery, is key to optimizing your network architecture and solving business-impacting issues.

Troubleshooting any technical issue in environments so distributed and fast-changing can be a difficult and tedious process. First, there is the scope of what the problem could be. Is it a configuration error? An application issue? Did someone forget to change a DNS entry? Without knowing what domain the problem resides, it is hard to approach troubleshooting effectively.

To help enterprises meet the needs and requirements of their expanded enterprise networks, new and existing Catalyst 9300 and 9400 switches customers have a powerful entitlement in their toolkit: ThousandEyes Enterprise Agents. ThousandEyes runs on many platforms, but there are several advantages to running ThousandEyes tests from Catalyst 9000 switches.

Installing it is easy, and you can use your existing compute resources to monitor connectivity and digital experience as close to the end user as possible.

How to Leverage Your ThousandEyes Entitlement

ThousandEyes provides visibility into digital experience across your enterprise, the Internet, cloud, and SaaS (Software as a Service). The correlated visibility helps IT teams identify issues and facilitate proactive troubleshooting, significantly reducing the business impact caused by them on employees and customers.

If you are a Cisco Catalyst 9300 or 9400 customer with a DNA Advantage license, you have ThousandEyes test units included with the subscription. That means you can begin running tests today to support your network and application troubleshooting and optimization efforts. Not to mention it is cost-effective; there is no extra hardware, software or license required to leverage ThousandEyes with the entitlement.

How does this entitlement work? 

The ThousandEyes entitlement is based on units. And there is a certain number of units required for each ThousandEyes test, depending on many factors like the type of agent, type of test, and frequency of the test. These units are automatically provisioned for new switches but are also available on request for existing Catalyst 9300 or 9400 customers.

Please see this guide for more information about the free Cisco ThousandEyes entitlements that come with your Cisco Catalyst 9300 or 9400 Series Cisco DNA Advantage subscription.

A Step-by-step Guide on Activation 

When you are ready to begin, you will need the following: 

  1. A Cisco Smart Software Manager (CSSM) account 
  2. The email address configured on your Smart Account or Virtual Account  

Step 1 – Log into Cisco Smart Software Manager (CSSM)  

Navigate to Software.Cisco.com --> Smart Software Licensing --> Manage Licenses 



Navigate to Inventory --> Licenses 



Step 2 – Select Licenses to upgrade 

These entitlements are automatically deposited and have an expiration matching your existing DNA licenses.  

Locate “ThousandEyes Enterprise Agent Tests” entry. 



Note that the legend above indicates “+7 pending” licenses, representing the number of switches in your environment with unused ThousandEyes credits. This snapshot was taken in an environment with seven Catalyst 9300 switches. 

Navigate to Actions --> Complete Upgrade 



Step 3 – Select Licenses to upgrade 

In this step, we need to select the quantity of DNA licenses we want to leverage for ThousandEyes activation. The most common use case is to select the whole quantity available.



Step 4 – Review & Submit 

Click Submit 



The submission automatically triggers the provisioning call to ThousandEyes. Afterward, you will be able to see the DNA licenses in your account being used for the ThousandEyes entitlement. 


Step 5 – Confirm Your Account 

Your ThousandEyes Account is created, and the units have been deposited into your account.  

To get access to the ThousandEyes dashboard, you must confirm your account via the customer welcome email. To ensure you receive this confirmation email, be sure to have access to the email address configured on your Smart Account or Virtual Account. 


Step 6 – Install Agent and Begin Running Tests

You are ready to install the ThousandEyes Enterprise Agent in your switch using CLI or DNA Center and start reaping the benefits of end-to-end visibility from your campus all the way to private, cloud, and SaaS networks. 

If you need additional support, please reach out to support@thousandeyes.com or open a support chat from the app.thousandeyes.com login page.

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