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    In fact, a lot of the big players in the storage arena who support this kind of scale do so by licensing per terabyte (think Compellent, NetApp, EMC, etc.).

    I’ve got a couple physical petabytes in a NetApp array, and I do not license per terabyte. I’ve not heard of a per-space licensing scheme, so I’d love to have a citation for that.

    Because of the budget for this project, the first thing that popped into my head was ZFS on Linux.

    The author mentions FreeNAS in the list of alternatives, which is just as budget-friendly and uses ZFS under the covers. I’m interested in a bit more info about why tinker-your-own ZFS over FreeNAS (or NAS4Free, or whatnot).

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      One way you do license disk space from NetApp is that you must buy disks from NetApp, but it’s not like a typical”capacity on demand” license where the physical and licensed can disagree.

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        You do have to buy the hardware from NetApp, yes, but it’s not licensed – it’s not limited to specific controller installs, for example. The OS and controllers, mind you, are licensed, and time-limited.