Maybe it wasn't always like this. I'd like to think that, anyway. I'm pretty young, and have only been in the field for a while, so maybe it was always like this and I didn't know about it.
Here's the deal. I'm in the market for a SAN array. I was looking at Dell's offerings, since that's where we got our AX4-5, and browsing the options for the MD3000i. Here are some options which strike me as...just wrong.
License Keys for snapshots:
License key for Snapshot (4 per LUN) AND Virtual Disk copy software features, MD3000i [Included in Price]
- License key for Snapshot software feature - 8 Snaps per LUN, MD3000 [add $600]
- License key for Snapshot (8 per LUN) AND Virtual Disk copy software features, MD3000 [add $1,200]
They even make you buy a license key if you want > 16 partitions
- License key for 32 partitions software feature, MD3000i [add $1,599]
And the storage array isn't the only thing, by far. I have two 16 port fiber switches where I can only use 8 ports. Because I have to buy a license key to use the others. How ridiculous is this?
Does it cost them more money if I want to use more ports? No.
Does it cost less to send out a switch with disabled ports? No.
It's just frustrating as hell.
Of course, it's the same with software licensing. I can buy a license for RHEL, but I can only update the software for the first year, unless I give them another $300.
What is really happening is that installing RHEL is free. An account to connect to the update server is $300 / machine / year.
Similarly, I'm willing to bet that internally to Brocade, the switch hardware is some percentage of the price I payed, and the rest of the price is the license for using the 8 ports I have.
It's still ridiculous, and doesn't endear them to me whatsoever.