Had a great trip to Boston for our 2013 sales and marketing kick-off meeting.  Tremendous excitement and energy from the team – as befits a group that led the company to 88% year-over-year growth.  While up in Boston, some of us got into a discussion concerning backup licensing – which inspired this blog post.  A few folks had questions asked by buyers about the reasoning behind our appliance-based “No Limits” licensing and our software-based Unitrends Enterprise Backup(TM) virtual appliance protected capacity licensing.  The differences are fundamentally simple:

What physical backup appliance licensing and protected capacity licensing have in common is simplicity.  Where they differ is that protected capacity licensing allows infinite retention (unlimited direct backup storage) and is not tied to the life of the hardware while physical backup appliances offer all-in-one integration and the ultimate in total cost of ownership, time to value, and ease of use.

Or in haiku form

Both: simple, elegant
One: infinite, immortal
Other: TCO

(I told some folks that I could explain it in a haiku.  It was more difficult than I expected – technology tends to have a LOT of syllables.)

Background

There are a lot of different schemes for licensing backup software.  The ones Unitrends uses are:

  • Free.  This means that the backup software doesn’t cost a dime.  Unitrends has a Free Edition of Unitrends Enterprise Backup(TM) virtual appliance that meets this criteria.  The advantage of free is that it’s simple and of course the price; the disadvantage is limited functionality and/or support.  Unitrends limits its Free Edition to 4 VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (or if you have a VSP, VSTP, VCP, MCSE, etc. license you can get two sockets for free) – but other than that it works pretty much like our paid products.
  • No Limits.  This is available for our physical backup appliances.  It means that you can backup as many physical, virtual, or cloud entities as you wish and you can use the appliance as you wish.  The advantage of this form of licensing ” is it’s simple; the disadvantage is that the user is limited to the physical storage space of the appliance.  Also note that the license is good for the life of the physical backup appliance.
  • Per Resource: This is available for our Unitrends Enterprise Backup(TM) virtual appliances.  You pay on a per-socket, per-server, and per-application basis.  The advantage of this form of licensing is that you get infinite retention, your entry cost can be lower and it can be much less expensive if you have fewer sockets, servers, and applications you want to protect and a lot of data; the disadvantage is it can be more expensive than protected capacity licensing if you have a lot of sockets, servers, and applications.
  • Protected Capacity: This is available for our Unitrends Enterprise Backup(TM) virtual appliances.  You pay per terabyte of protected data.  The advantage of this form of licensing is that you get infinite retention and it’s simpler than per-resource pricing; the disadvantage is that it can be more expensive than per-resource licensing if you have a lot of terabytes to protect.
  • Cloud.  Today we price our cloud data at $0.25/GB/month.  Soon we’ll offer unlimited replication on a per-appliance basis.

That’s about it?  Any questions?