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Understanding Cloud Block Store Licensing

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Cloud Block Store (CBS) incurs costs in two ways:

  • Licensed capacity through Pure Storage. In order to successfully deploy CBS, a license must be provided by Pure Storage. This license enables CBS to activate itself with Pure1 to dial home logs for support and related analytics as well as to provide usage metrics for billing. CBS is billed by Pure Storage via effective capacity usage under the Pure-as-a-Service program. 
  • Cloud infrastructure cost. CBS is deployed into an end-users' cloud account (AWS account or Azure subscription). When deployed, CBS configures various underlying cloud infrastructure resources that incur costs from the cloud provider. This is a separate and distinct cost from the Pure Storage license.

Therefore the end user pays Pure Storage for the capacity used from Cloud Block Store and pays the cloud provider for any resource usage incurred by CBS (compute, network traffic, etc.) due to the fact that CBS is deployed into the end user account.

Cloud resource/infrastructure usage incurred by the use of Cloud Block Store is NOT included in the Pure Storage CBS license.

For more information on the resources used by CBS, please see the following KBs:

A valid license must be entered upon deployment of CBS. Deployment will fail if:

  • The specified networking configuration does not allow traffic to Pure1 from CBS.
  • The key is not associated with the target AWS account or Azure subscription.
  • The key is not valid.
Azure ARM Template Entry AWS CloudFormation Entry
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The Pure Storage license for CBS capacity can be acquired in a few different ways. Read the following sections for various options on license acquisition.

Testing/Evaluation Deployment 

A common need is to test/evaluate Cloud Block Store before committing purchase new or additional dollars to the product. Pure Storage provides ways to test and evaluate CBS without paying Pure Storage for any capacity usage.

Please note that regardless to the method chosen, the end users will still incur cloud infrastructure costs from Azure or AWS.

  • PoC License: Reach out to your Pure Storage account team for a proof-of-concept license to enjoy the full experience of Pure Storage. For the prescribed duration this option incurs no licensing cost from Pure Storage, but cloud resource costs will still apply.

    • Recommended for multi-day or longer planned evaluations where detailed scenarios need to be tested (e.g. application testing or replication deployments). Do not use this for production deployments.

  • Evaluation Mode: Enter in CBS-TRIAL-LICENSE as the license key when deploying Pure Cloud Block Store to enable a limited 45 day trial. This incurs no licensing cost from Pure Storage, but cloud resource costs will still apply. Pure Cloud Block Store evaulation mode is not supported by Pure Storage and will not appear in a customer’s Pure1 organization.

    • Recommended for single day or shorter on-demand evaluations (e.g. automation or deployment testing). Do not use this for production deployments or any instances that are intended to become production in the future. Before choosing Evaluation Mode please read the limitation details here.

Production Deployment:

For Pure Cloud Block Store deployments that are intended for production you must acquire a full license. A given license includes a few parts:

  • Reserve Commit: A license will commonly be associated with a reserved commit. A reserved commit is an agreed upon capacity that is expected to be used for a period of time (usually 1-3 years). This commit is generally meausured in 10s of TBs or more. The advantage to a reserve commit is that the price per GB will be low as compared to no reserve commit. Ideally you would want to commit to a usage that closely reflects what you intend to use.
  • On-Demand: The on-demand portion of the license goes into effect when the reserved commit has been exhausted that is associated with the configured license key. In the case of a license that has no reserve commit, the on-demand charges will apply to all capacity used. If a reserve commit is 10 TB, for instance, the reserved commit rate will apply until 10 TB is in use, and only then the higher on-demand rate will apply.
  • Duration: This is how long the price will apply. Generally, the longer the committed duration, the lower the price per GB.
  • Products: A license agreement can apply to a specific product or a set of them. The Pure-as-a-Service performance tier can be used to generate licenses for both on-premises FlashArrays and CBS deployments. A license can also be specific to Cloud Block Store only.

Effective capacity usage is billed and tracked via the Pure-as-a-Service program. See here for details. 

For sales/partner quote process information, please ensure you are logged in as additional helpful information will be below.

A general PaaS contract can be used to generate licenses for both FlashArrays and Cloud Block Store deployments. A Cloud Block Store specific license is only applicable to Cloud Block Store. A license can be used by multiple deployments of Cloud Block Store simultaneously as well. So if the effective used of CBS "A" is 5 TB and the effective used of CBS "B" is 10 TB and the license they use comes from a 20 TB contract, 15 TB of 20 available TB will be consumed from that contract.

How to purchase a license:

  • Cloud Block Store License Cloud Marketplace. You can purchase a license through the AWS or Azure Marketplace for Cloud Block Store. A contract purchased through a cloud marketplace will be valid only for Cloud Block Store but can be shared across multiple CBS deployments. A benefit of purchasing through the marketplace is that the cost of the purchased contract as well as any incurred AWS/Azure infrastructure costs for the CBS deployments will count against any committed spend with the cloud provider. Customized offerings can also be created via this listing, reach out to your Pure Storage account team to inquire.

    • Options: Reserve commits are available in 20, 50, and 100 TB increments or solely on-demand (reserve commits also always include on-demand overage rates).

  • Pure-as-a-Service. This can only be purchased via a channel partner in coordination with Pure Storage. This offering provides the ability to use the same subscription to license both on-premises storage and Pure Cloud Block Store deployments. CBS-only contracts can also be purchased in this manner. When purchased via this path, only the resource cost of running the Cloud Block Store instances will count against any cloud provider committed spend--the license cost of CBS will not.

    • Options: Reserve commit capacity increments are flexible or entirely on-demand (reserve commits also always include on-demand overage rates).

Note: Please reach out to your Pure Storage account team or email marketplace@purestorage.com if you have any questions or requirements that the above options do not address.

Retrieving/Activating a CBS License

Please see the following KB for details on how to generate and associate a Cloud Block Store license key:

https://support.purestorage.com/Pure..._Store_License