What Is Capacity Licensing?

Capacity licensing is a pricing model that allows customers to purchase data storage based on how much capacity is provisioned on their storage infrastructure. This model delivers the cost and flexibility benefits of software-only storage without the supply chain, system integration, and support complexity normally associated with this approach.

By decoupling market-leading software from the underlying hardware, NetApp offers a modern purchasing model that better aligns with how storage is bought and consumed today. It balances the flexibility of software-defined storage with the convenience of purpose-built appliances.

What Are the Benefits of Capacity Licensing?

Capacity licensing allows customers to purchase the software they need today and benefit from a “pay as you grow” model to deal with ever-changing data center needs. It also passes through hardware at cost, eliminating customers’ need to source, validate, and integrate their own hardware.

Capacity licensing further allows customers to only pay for what they use in different sized packs. Large-scale customers with hundreds of terabytes to petabytes of data can realize a return on investment much faster with capacity licensing than with traditional purchasing. Capacity licensing allows for economic benefits across an entire data center footprint to better align with ever-changing needs.

The Element® capacity licensing model delivers flexibility, efficiency, and predictability not accessible through traditional storage purchasing. These purchasing benefits transfer to the customer’s business, especially to the bottom line with large-scale growth.

  • Benefit from licenses that are transferable and not locked to a particular hardware.
  • Pool capacity across your enterprise to eliminate stranded capacity and enable geographic flexibility.
  • Scale your hardware and software independently; only buy what you need, when you need it.
  • Use pricing based on provisioned capacity to reduce dependency on data reduction efficiency rates.
  • Realize the long-term time value of money by delaying the purchase of hardware or software packs until you are ready to utilize each.
  • Use volume discounts to drive down the cost of software as storage capacity grows, creating a more predictable purchasing model.

Who Will Benefit Most from Capacity Licensing?

A capacity license can benefit a variety of company environments based on a range of needs.

Flexibility is the greatest benefit of a capacity license. With the ability to provision a license across geographic locations, the provisioned capacity can be shared on infrastructures from Germany to Brazil and everywhere in between. Small test environments can be spun up, and the software use can be moved around the globe freely, without necessarily having to purchase more infrastructure for each growing location, preventing stranded, unusable resources.

For those seeking financial long-term benefits of cloud infrastructure, capacity licensing moves some of the burden of capital expenditures to operating expenditures. Because you can push off costs for both hardware and software, you are realizing the time value of money for your company today and reducing unused resources on your books.

Hyperscalers are quick to realize capacity licensing as a more cost-effective purchasing model, often around 400TB of provisioned storage, depending on efficiencies. Enterprises, too, benefit from the same tiered pricing model for software and at-cost hardware.

The most common use case benefitting from a capacity license is one heavily reliant on data with low deduplication abilities, such as databases, media, and streamed content. SQL, MongoDB, Cassandra, Splunk, Microsoft Exchange, Oracle, and Hadoop are just a few of the applications that will take the greatest advantage of capacity licensing pricing in the long run.

Capacity licensing gives customers better visibility, tracking of utilization, and flexible changes to a cloud infrastructure that needs to shift and expand with the increasing demands of data today.

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