When the licensing is updated on certain Cisco switches, the reported model number also changes. One of my coworkers ran into this issue recently while trying to coordinate an RMA with TAC for a 3850 switch. He replicated this in the lab and sent me some screenshots of his terminal session to document what he saw. I thought I’d share it here to help others.

Out of the box, with the ipbase license, the switch shows up as an “-S” model.

‘show inventory’ before

This matches the physical sticker on the back of the unit.

Photo of sticker highlighting model

Then, he activated a different license, ipservices.

Activate license

With no other changes, the switch now reports that it is an “-E” model.

‘show inventory’ after licensing