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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Question from a reader about licenses

Today I tried Data Protector 9. In the Installation guide I read that earlier licenses cannot be used in version 9.0. Is it right? Even 8.1 licenses cannot be used? Why does HP changes license types so often making previous version unusable?

The install guide is correct.

A long time ago (in version 6 and earlier) you bought a license and that license would continue to work in later versions of Data Protector. Starting around version 7, HP changed their policy on this and each version of Data Protector now recognises licenses only for that version.

If you have a support contract, this is no big deal. You just go to and rehost your existing licenses (any version) to version 9. If you are upgrading (say) from version 6.21 to version 9 by migrating to a new box, you can rehost to the new server and keep the old version running in parallel until the migration is done.

If for some reason your entitlement doesn't appear there when it should then it could mean one of two things:

  • Your entitlement is assigned to someone else's account at your organisation. The licensing team at HP can do a search and re-assign it. I don't know about the other regions but the APAC licensing team are some of the most efficient people I've worked with at HP or anywhere else. Jianping is particularly amazing -- I've sent her emails, and within an hour had a customer's issue resolved -- and then she apologised for it taking so long!
  • Your support contract has lapsed. This happens a lot where a customer bought Data Protector and then later on added some additional licenses; you will often end up with two different support contracts with different renewal dates. You might have renewed one, but not the other. If it's only happened recently, HP offer support contract catch-ups where you pay for the time that you weren't under support, plus a little bit more. Sometimes this is cheaper than buying new licenses outright.

Of course, if you don't have a support contract, then you don't get free upgrades. What you get is a perpetual license for the version that you bought.

I've found that a lot of customers have troubles keeping track of what is and isn't licensed, and tracking down licenses can be a bit of a challenge. Feel free to contact me ([email protected]) if you need any help with anything.

Greg Baker is an independent consultant who happens to do a lot of work on HP DataProtector. He is the author of the only published books on HP Data Protector ( He works with HP and HP partner companies to solve the hardest big-data problems (especially around backup). See more at IFOST's DataProtector pages at