Delivering IT infrastructure at scale means that you must transform your operations to be more efficient. You have to be ready to respond quickly and with budget flexibility so that your business can be competitive. New approaches to business, more applications, the need for data access, SLAs, growth, and more buyers are all taxing and are difficult to plan for. On top of these factors are technology enhancements and refreshes every few months that can leave your IT organization with limited resources and with an expensive, reactive method of operation. NetApp® SolidFire® Element® OS capacity licensing, however, can help your IT transform from reactive to proactive, making the most of your existing resource investments.

Freeing Software Licensing from Hardware to Cut Costs and to Boost Elasticity

Purchasing and deploying hardware can drive up your operational expenses and can lead to unused capacity. Maintaining all that storage adds complexity and inflates your service and maintenance costs. And with most storage offerings today, you are bound to purchase more hardware and another software license that’s tied to that platform generation. This approach restricts your ability to scale effectively and to transform operations efficiently.


Your IT organization needs flexible options that enable growth and that future-proof your infrastructure. Acquiring software independently from hardware is one way that your IT group can become proactive when scaling while also protecting your investment. Decoupling software from hardware platforms presents a scale of implementation options while reducing risk and complexity. Ideally, you can preplan, provision capacity, defer hardware acquisition, and transfer your license to a future platform with geographic availability.


Freeing software licenses from hardware platforms provides nearly boundless elasticity. What if you could provision capacity for your applications and not have to purchase and house hardware until it was necessary? And what if the more provisioned capacity you bought, the deeper the discount was? Or if you just wanted to try capacity in smaller increments, it would help to have that option. If capacity licensing also gave you the opportunity to purchase hardware at commodity prices, you could improve your bottom line.


Even better, let’s say that you just purchased your provisioned capacity, then a technology refresh was introduced with greater density. What if you could transfer your license to the coming platform without having to perform a data migration? And wouldn’t it be great if that license were enterprisewide and all-inclusive?


NetApp SolidFire Element OS capacity licensing offers all these benefits and more. Tackling complex challenges, rethinking the supply chain, and keeping up with rapid technology innovations so that you can streamline and grow your business cost effectively and with agility are what we do best.

Putting Customers First by Offering Plenty of Choice and Flexibility

In a recent CRN interview with NetApp CEO George Kurian, his customer-first approach was evident when he described how NetApp technology is available in the widest possible range of form factors. About this approach, Kurian said, “I think we will allow customers the broadest range of choices and let the market decide how it wants to procure the technology.”


In support of that statement, along with the already-available 100TB pack, NetApp released a 25TB pack SolidFire Element OS capacity license, and both are independent from the hardware. With capacity licensing, you get the cost and flexibility benefits of software-defined storage combined with the convenience of purpose-built appliances.


SolidFire capacity licensing gives you the flexibility to buy what you need when you need it. The software license is also:

  • You buy it once and use it forever.
  • You can upgrade or replace hardware at any time without rebuying software.
  • Your purchased capacity can reside across multiple sites.
  • All-inclusive. There are no additional charges for features, plug-ins, integrations, or upgrades.

You purchase SolidFire storage nodes separately for the Element OS. These nodes pass through hardware qualification, so you don’t have to source, validate, and integrate your own hardware, which are tasks that are normally associated with software-defined storage.


SolidFire capacity licensing also gives you business flexibility with economic benefits across your entire data center footprint. If your organization scales with hundreds of terabytes to petabytes of data, you can realize a return on investment much faster with capacity licensing than with traditional purchasing. And no matter what size your organization is, you can cut costs by not overprovisioning. Now you can plan and can acquire just the software that you need, in different sized packs, to help you meet your ever-changing data center requirements.


What do all these facts mean for you? They mean business agility with purchasing power and investment protection. You gain:

  • The ability to defer hardware acquisition until it’s necessary. With this flexible purchasing model, you buy what you need when you need it.
  • Cost savings. You don’t have to overprovision with this scalable pricing model, which includes usage-based software packs with volume pricing tiers and commodity pricing.
  • Investment protection. You can transfer your perpetual license and avoid software purchases with hardware upgrades.
  • The ability to pool capacity. Make the most of what you have by eliminating stranded capacity and by pooling capacity across your enterprise geographically.

SolidFire capacity licensing is designed for dynamic, unpredictable, and rapidly growing environments like yours, giving you superior value with flexibility and cost savings for your enterprise. Now you can plan for the unknown and take advantage of the latest technologies, all while reducing costs and gaining investment protection. To learn more about the benefits of NetApp SolidFire capacity licensing, read our solution brief.

Cynthia Gutowski

Cyndi Gutowski is a Product Marketing Manager at NetApp where she drives business agility through SolidFire and Element OS. With over 25 years in the storage industry she has held a variety of roles in the lab and as a Product Manager, Tech Marketing Manager, and Strategic Customer Manager for disk, flash, and software only solutions aimed at digital transformation. Prior to joining NetApp, Cyndi was the Technical Product Marketing and Strategic Customer Manager at Oracle responsible for Hybrid Cloud solutions

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