Datrium shifts licensing default to software model with Datrium Forward

Datrium moves from their original licensing model to a new framework designed to provide customers with maximum portability and flexibility.

Brian Biles, Datrium’s Chief Product Officer

Datrium, which makes a hybrid cloud infrastructure platform that converges primary and backup data for backup, replication and disaster recovery, has announced a change in its licensing model. Datrium Forward provides software licenses with portability and flexibility across all types of deployment environments. It becomes the standard Datrium licensing going forward.

Datrium’s original licensing model reflected the company’s origin with an appliance-style offering.

“We had an appliance with bundled software and hardware as a bundled array, and licenses software on servers,” said Brian Biles, Datrium’s Chief Product Officer, co-founder and original CEO. “That first product was built in a time and way that was friendly to the people who wanted to buy it. As time went buy, cloud portability became more important. Last year, we added a per TB/price for cloud backup. But we continued to find that there was a lot of interest in moving workloads to the cloud, and back sometimes. So we made this change because we wanted to take the licenses as portable as the products.”

This type of licensing model is not uncommon in IT – but Biles said that it is not general practice with the storage and hyperconverged vendors with whom Datrium competes.

“We certainly aren’t the first to do this, and I’ve been impressed with the way some others have, like the way that Microsoft approaches Azure,” Biles indicated. “But companies in the RAID and HCI areas who also started with appliance bundles are weak at this.”

Datrium Forward licenses are portable ones that can be used and moved across heterogeneous hardware versions and cloud infrastructures. They are available for the cloud in one-year options and up, and in three- or five-year options on premises. Host software, with support included, is priced per node per year, while data node software, [which provides storage persistence and HA], with support included, is priced per TB/year.

“This is now our default licensing option,” Biles said. “We are leaning into it pretty hard because it gives us much more flexibility. People have been innovating software licensing for a long time, and we are now able to capitalize on those innovations much more quickly.”

Biles indicated that some customers will be grandfathered under the old pricing model if they want that, but it really is niche cases, because there’s no inherent reason that the new model would not work in favour of all customers.

“A case where this could come into play would be if someone had been purchasing us in the old way, and had a big configuration, and just wanted to add a small piece, and wanted to keep that consistent,” he noted. “But that’s a pretty narrow use case. Most of our selling is also to new customers, and this works to this advantage because it gives more flexibility.”

Biles said that Datrium’s channel partners will adapt easily to the new model.

“They are very familiar with it from the software side,” he said. “Some tend to prefer cash up front, but a lot like to be in the software refresh business, and this puts us into that framework.”