The hardware and software licensing on our NetApp box expires in July. I've been quoted nearly triple what we originally paid for 3 year support and our CIFS, NFS and Snaprestore licenses.

If I allow the licence to lapse, can I continue to use the filer at all? do the cifs, nfs and snaprestore licences die? Can i use the box for pure iSCSI?

I must say the quote was a shock, its more than buying the equivalent storage with a 3 yr warranty from HP. Do NetApp do trade-ins?

Re: Licensing

Your licenses won't stop working, but you will lose support so no tech support, no NOW site, and most importantly no software upgrades (which includes patches since ONTAP patches are essentially upgrades).  You bought the ONTAP software, what you pay for is the support and the subscription to new releases.  But your system won't stop serving data when your support runs out.

It's not uncommon for it to be cheaper to buy new gear vs. renew support on older gear.  As equipment gets older (especially after 3 years), it gets more expensive for the vendor to support it.

Hope this helps.

Re: Licensing

Thank you. I've been quoted different prices depending on whether I keep CIFS and NFS or not. Why is that?

It's the first time in the IT market that I've really felt like I'm being held to ransom, and I don't like it. NetApp seem to have a very anti-small business policy.

Re: Licensing

That's because most licenses (like NFS and CIFS) have support costs associated with them.  When you buy software support, you buy it per licensed product (although there are a few that are free like DeDup and in some cases iSCSI).  The more software you have, the more the software support.

As far as being held for ransom, every scenario is different so all I can say is try to work with your rep.  I have seen deals where you can get some credit towards new gear if you trade in your old gear.  I have no idea what % of the original price you'd get, that's probably negotiable but don't expect it to be a high % as the gear is 3 years old andI'm sure you know how quickly hi-tech gear depreciates.  But there are deals to be made.

Re: Licensing

No joy with our supplier unfortunately. After 30 months of happy NetApp ownership its just the final thing that in the past few months that has turned me against ever buying NetApp again and will not recommended them to anyone else, but thats another conversation

Its a real shame as the filer in question has 14x 300 10k FC disks, which aren't outdated (although EOL'ed) by todays performance and capacity standards. In these days of supposed more to "greener" technology, throwing out a perfectly good filer seems silly.

Re: Licensing

So....some candid thoughts while hopefully not getting myself in any trouble.

Support costs can seem disagreement there. However, just like equipment purchase cost can be negotiated, so can support costs (depends on who you're dealing with of course)....nobody wins if you just don't buy support (you don't have support, they don't sell it). I would probably buy year by year at this point for support (might help keep costs down).

There are trade-in credits available -- again up to your partner to apply them and/or get further incentives. We've helped a lot of people upgrade their FAS250/270 systems to 2020/2050 systems (i.e. turn the 250/270 head into a disk shelf (swap the head for an ESH and hook it up to a 2020 or 2050). The 2020 is more powerful than both the 250 and 270 plus it's also at a lower license tier for sofware costs.

Purely a future thought....but in a previous life we were able to lease our NetApp storage ($1 buyout) which really helped -- same payment for month that we rolled over through (2) 3-year upgrade cycles (always getting more disk (keeping some of course)/bigger heads/etc.)....just took the stress out of rejustifying a noticeable capital expense every couple years.

Again, this really is stuff your VAR/partner should be doing. If they're not, it might be time to find someone more helpful/capable/etc.

Now, to actually answer your questions -- you own the hardware and software period -- it's yours and you can continue using it exactly as you are right now. What you won't get is access to updates (pull down the latest versions from NOW before your contract expires ) or hardware maintenance. There are third-parties out there who sell overnight proactive delivery of course so keep some on the shelf. You won't be able to get software updates however though.

I'd personally really hope you could roll it over into a 2020/2050....we've done that for a lot of customers with very good results (i.e. good performance, affordable cost, happy customers).

Re: Licensing

Incidentally, while the 300 GB 10k FC disks will be End of Sale on May 1, they'll have hardware replacement service available through June 1, 2014....perfectly good disks that can keep around for a good long while.

We have some customers with 144 GB 10k discs that may be staying around for a while...just no need to replace and they're fast with lots of spindles.

Re: Licensing

Thank you for a comprehensive answer to my question, I just wish NetApp or the two resellers I've been dealing with were the same Anyway, I now have the knowledge to make an informed decision, so thanks again!

I'm very unlikely to need software updates as our FAS250 won't be supporting any new features anyway, so its just the hardware to look at.

Re: Licensing

Quite welcome....take it with a grain of salt (what I wrote that is ) but mostly on-target I think.

Support renewals are never tons of fun to pay for....but worth it overall in my mind (or can be made worth it....or can help with upgrading which is the nicest option all around often ).