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Why Should I Pay for Free Software?

Why Should I Pay for Free Software?


By introducing the ability to subscribe to our software online we obviously invite the question: “why should I pay for free software?”

There are two conditions and three reasons:

The conditions under which you should pay for free software:

MinIO is the primary storage system for your organization (e.g. production)
The data stored in MinIO is a critical part of your infrastructure

If you meet these conditions, you are at risk without a commercial relationship. While our documentation is superb and our community Slack channel support is legendary, no rational organization would risk its data using just those components.

As a result, there are three reasons why you would pay for free software:

  1. You don’t want to lose your data
  2. You don’t want to experience a data breach
  3. You don’t want to put your company at risk of a license violation

Let’s explore these reasons:

You don’t want to lose your data

Subscribing to MinIO’s software via SUBNET does not provide a guarantee you will not lose your data - but it does lower the likelihood considerably. In modern data infrastructure, failure is to be expected - whether network failures, drive failures, silent data corruption or even OS crashes. How software responds to that failure is what is important. SUBNET, though its collection of tools and direct-to-engineer model provides the expertise and software to optimize your data infrastructure and ensure resiliency.

You don’t want to experience a data breach

When it comes to data security, you cannot ask for forgiveness. Security has to be embedded into your culture and must be continuous in nature. Subscribers to SUBNET are proactively alerted with specific, prescriptive and precise recommendations on how to patch the vulnerability - across configurations and versions. Where necessary, MinIO will backport fixes to support our customer’s production deployments where upgrading is not an option.

You don’t want to put your company at risk of a license violation

MinIO’s software is licensed under Apache License v2 and GNU AGPL v3. While these licenses provide freedom they also carry restrictions on linking, modification, redistribution and attribution.

The majority of enterprises build proprietary software using open source. For a number of reasons, these enterprises want to be free of these open source license restrictions. Because MinIO is the copyright owner of the source code, we can grant them exceptions to the Open Source obligations without taking away the benefits that open source software provides.  

For Enterprise plan subscribers, MinIO also provides copyright indemnification.

To see our pricing and plans, visit the pricing page.

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