Large IT organizations hate licensing software because of its capacity for one simple reason: data grows exponentially – a fact over which they often have little or no control. And they have even less control over the license price, which rises steadily as the amount of data stored increases.
What is affected is the range of products for storage, backup, archiving, replication, data management, data monitoring and data movement.
Software vendors love software licenses that can be billed by capacity. The procedure is the same for most providers: a cheap entry-level system and expensive extensions once the company has decided on a manufacturer. With each extension, the term is extended. The classic vendor lockin.
In the cloud age, another component determines the price: performance. Network bandwidth licensing adds further complexity to the license jungle. Not only the bandwidth is licensed based on the cumulative amount of data that is transmitted over the network. It also licenses the maximum amount of data that can be transmitted through the network at any given time. Such licensing is typically based on bits per second. If more data needs to be transported within the same period, the license must be extended. Sounds reasonable and fair for most IT departments.
As always, the trick is in the complexity.
Software license tied to the hardware
Own software license for each switch
Software license for monitoring
Software license for backup according to data volume or optionally services to be backed up (!= clients)
Central Management Licenses Transmission Path Licenses
Licenses for cloud storage and additional licenses for movements (uploads, moves, downloads, etc.)
Licenses for processor cores (which can get expensive with an Oracle database on an AMD server with 64 cores – per CPU!)
Licenses for virtual instances, which can quickly become unpredictable with containers
In general, these licenses are also asynchronous. For example, it is much cheaper to load data into the cloud than to get it out again. We’re talking about data lock-in here.
StrongBox Data Solutions has set out to make the management of capacity-based licensing transparent and automated with StrongLink. For the development of the StrongLink Autonomous Data Management solution, therefore, all forms of capacity-based metering licenses were eliminated as the central design principle of a scale-out architecture. There is no capacity licensing at StrongLink and never will be. With StongLink, only the performance that a company needs to manage its workflows is licensed.
The license is calculated using four simple variables:
What is the power of a node?
How many nodes are there per site?
How many locations are there?
Is tape storage involved?
For example, we refer to an instance of StrongLink that becomes a client on a server or VM as a Star or StrongLink node. The license amount of such a Star Node (Star License) is based on the number of CPU cores in this node allocated to the system. For lighter workflows and simpler use cases, a smaller number of CPU cores would also be used and licensed. Heavier or more complex workflows with higher system requirements can be allocated a larger number of CPU cores to increase the node’s performance. Here the license costs are also higher.
The second component of the StrongLink licensing model is figuring out if more than one star node, e.g. B. for HA or additional performance requirements are combined in one configuration. We then speak of a constellation. With its scale-out architecture, StrongLink can be deployed with three or more nodes. StrongLink can be expanded to as many nodes as needed to meet performance requirements.
The question of the number of geographic locations that e.g. B. connected remotely for DR or other replication use cases is easy to answer. From two locations or StrongLink constellations we speak of a galaxy.
The final variable is tape library support. This is an optional add-on as not everyone requires tape storage. For those who do, the ability to seamlessly expand their flash and disk-based storage with on-prem tape libraries without capacity limitations offers a tremendous benefit.
“Predictable, consistent pricing makes it easy to plan for the future with no surprises. This works even when it’s difficult to predict how fast the data will grow over time. Just like a network switch vendor doesn’t charge you a variable rate based on the amount of data going through your pipes, StrongLink licensing lets you control your storage costs without adding another capacity tax to your environment,” says Floyd Christofferson , CEO of StrongBox Data Solutions.
The ability to automate policy-based data placement across different storage types, including tape and cloud, doesn’t help organizations completely break away from closed vendor or data ecosystems. However, it helps them not to be further penalized for the growth of their data.
Do you want to see for yourself how you can manage your data and storage resources more efficiently and effectively? Arrange a PoC with us.