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What are Data ONTAP 8.2 and 8.3 licensing overview and references?

Last Updated:


Applies to

Clustered Data ONTAP 8.2 


This article provides an overview of Data ONTAP 8.2 and 8.3 licensing, and provides links to additional, more detailed reference materials. This article covers the following topics:

  • Data ONTAP 8.2 and 8.3 License Enforcement Model
  • Data ONTAP 8.2 and 8.3 License Keys
  • Situations that require new license keys
  • Additional Resources 

Data ONTAP 8.2 and 8.3 License Enforcement Model

No license keys are required to enable Data ONTAP itself, but license keys are required to enable value-add features (such as protocols, SnapMirror, etc.). All license entitlements are sold per controller, for the life of the controller, and for the original 'sold to' customer. HA-pairs and clustered ONTAP implementations require uniform software entitlement on all the controllers (i.e., each controller must be entitled to use the features that are enabled in the pair or cluster).

The same license keys are used for both Data ONTAP 8.2 and 8.3 7-Mode and clustered Data ONTAP 8.2 and 8.3.  

A Cluster Base Key is required to create a cluster, but value-add features are enabled by installing the controller-specific license keys within the cluster. It only takes a single license key to enable a feature across a cluster; however, it is a best practice to install all license keys for all nodes in the cluster to avoid any potential issues (e.g., appearing to be non-compliant with the ONTAP license terms). Also remember that NetApp's licensing policy requires that all the nodes in a cluster be entitled for any feature enabled within the cluster. This is called Uniform Software Entitlement.

Data ONTAP 8.2 and 8.3 License Keys

Data ONTAP 8.2 and 8.3 license keys are node-locked to the controller serial number for which they are purchased, and they will only work on that controller.  Data ONTAP 8.2 and 8.3 license keys are 28 characters long, easily recognized when compared to Data ONTAP 8.1 license keys which are shorter.

Note: Node-locked license keys mean some situations might require new license keys. See the Situations that might require new license keys section.
If you require new license keys for a HW Replacement scenario (Controller or Motherboard replacements), contact CSS.

The Data ONTAP 8.2 and 8.3 Evaluation ('Eval') License Keys have explicit expiration dates. An Eval key is typically issued for a 90 day period. To extend a software evaluation after an Eval key expires, obtain and install a new Eval key. Work with a NetApp representative to obtain Eval license keys.

Situations that might require new license keys

Because of the changes in license key formats across Data ONTAP versions and modes, there are some situations where new license keys might be required. While NetApp is working to make license key generation self-service as soon as possible, current policies require a valid support case to provide new license keys for Data ONTAP versions other than the version originally purchased.

Three points to remember:

  1. Any clean installation of Data ONTAP requires version-appropriate license keys for the Data ONTAP version and mode being deployed
  2. New license keys are not required to upgrade from Data ONTAP 8.1 to Data ONTAP 8.2 or 8.3, unless point # 1 applies.
  3. Data ONTAP 8.2 and 8.3 node-locked license keys must be changed if a controller serial number change is detected.

For Data ONTAP 8.2 and 8.3 7-mode HA-Pairs that experience a failover, Data ONTAP will automatically enable a 90 day grace period on any replacement controller (when installed) for all the features licensed on the failed controller. A Software Entitlement Transfer (from the old controller to the new controller) must be completed with Support Services in order to obtain new license keys. The new license keys must be installed before the 90 day grace period expires. 

To understand if a specific scenario requires new license keys or not, see KB: When should Data ONTAP License Keys be replaced?



Additional Information



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