Manage licenses overview (cluster administrators only)


A license is a record of one or more software entitlements. In ONTAP 8.2 through ONTAP 9.9.1, license keys are delivered as 28-character strings, and there is one key per ONTAP feature. A new license key format called a NetApp License File (NLF) was introduced in ONTAP 9.2 for cluster-wide features only, such as FabricPool.

Beginning with ONTAP 9.10.1, all license are delivered as NLFs. NLF licenses can enable one or more ONTAP features, depending on your purchase. You can retrieve NLF licenses from the NetApp Support Site by searching for the system (controller) serial number.

You can find licenses for your initial or add-on software orders at the NetApp Support Site under My Support > Software Licenses (login required). If you cannot locate your license keys from the Software Licenses page, contact your sales or support representative.

ONTAP enables you to manage feature licenses in the following ways:

  • Display information about installed licenses (system license show)

  • Display the packages that require licenses and their current license status on the cluster (system license status show)

  • Delete a license from the cluster or a node whose serial number you specify (system license delete)

  • Display or remove expired or unused licenses (system license clean-up)

ONTAP enables you to monitor feature usage and license entitlement risk in the following ways:

  • Display a summary of feature usage in the cluster on a per-node basis (system feature-usage show-summary)

    The summary includes counter information such as the number of weeks a feature was in use and the last date and time the feature was used.

  • Display feature usage status in the cluster on a per-node and per-week basis (system feature-usage show-history)

    The feature usage status can be not-used, configured, or in-use. If the usage information is not available, the status shows not-available.

  • Display the status of license entitlement risk for each license package (system license entitlement-risk show)

    The risk status can be low, medium, high, unlicensed, or unknown. The risk status is also included in the AutoSupport message. License entitlement risk does not apply to the base license package.

    The license entitlement risk is evaluated by using a number of factors, which might include but are not limited to the following:

    • Each package’s licensing state

    • The type of each license, its expiry status, and the uniformity of the licenses across the cluster

    • Usage for the features associated with the license package If the evaluation process determines that the cluster has a license entitlement risk, the command output also suggests a corrective action.


Note: ONTAP 9.10.1 also supports 28-character license keys using System Manager or the CLI. However, if an NLF license is installed for a feature, you cannot install a 28-character license key over the NLF license for the same feature. For information about installing NLFs or license keys using System Manager, see “Enable new features.”

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