Portworx licensing operations


This topic explains various Portworx license types, and how you can use them.

NOTE: If you already set up your cluster using any of the paid or free Portworx licenses (trial, extended, traditional), you can switch to pay-as-you-go (PAYG) billing by acquiring a PAYG account key from Portworx, Inc. support. For more information about switching to PAYG, refer to the pay-as-you-go topic.

Portworx products support the following license types:

License type Description
Portworx Essentials Free Portworx license with limited functionality, suitable to run small production or proof-of-concept workloads.
Trial Default license installed with 30 days trial period for full Portworx Enterprise functionality.
Portworx Enterprise VM Enterprise license, suitable for Virtual Machine (VM) installs on-prem and in cloud
Portworx Enterprise Metal Enterprise license, suitable for installs on any bare metal hardware

Depending on the type of the container you are installing, a different license will be automatically activated. For example, the Portworx Enterprise automatically activates the Trial license (limited to 30 days), which you can upgrade to a Portworx Enterprise license at any time.

Checking your License

A brief license summary is provided with the pxctl status command:

pxctl status
Status: PX is operational
License: Trial license (expires in 30 days)

More details about each individual licensed feature is displayed via pxctl license list command, ie.:

pxctl license list
Number of nodes maximum         1000
Number of volumes maximum       1024 [...]
Virtual machine hosts            yes
Product SKU                     Trial    expires in 30 days
7 days before your Portworx license is set to expire, an alert will trigger saying that your license is getting ready to expire. The alert will tell you how long you have to renew your license. Note that the alert will also keep triggering after the license has expired. For more details, see this page.

Licensed features

In the table below, we can see the overview of features that are controlled via licensing as of Portworx v1.2.8.

Description Type Details
Number of nodes maximum number Defines the maximum number of nodes in a cluster
Number of volumes maximum number Defines max number of volues on a single node
Volume capacity [TB] maximum number Defines max size of a single volume
Storage aggregation yes/no Defines if volumes may be aggregated across multiple nodes
Shared volumes yes/no Defines if volumes may be shared w/ other nodes
Volume sets yes/no Defines if volumes may be scaled
BYOK data encryption yes/no Defines if volumes may be encrypted
Resize volumes on demand yes/no Defines if volumes can be resized
Snapshot to object store yes/no Defines if volumes may be snapshotted to Amazon S3, MS Azure and Google storage
Cluster level migration yes/no Defines if applications and data (using K8s namespace) can be migrated between paired clusters
Disaster Recovery (PX-DR)[Add-on] yes/no Enables synchronous and asynchronous DR features (requires 2.1 or later, needs additional license)
Virtual machine hosts yes/no Software may be deployed on VMs (including Amazon EC2, OpenStack Nova, etc…)
Bare-metal hosts yes/no Software may be deployed on commodity hardware

Type of Licenses

Portworx Essential License

For more information about Portworx Essentials and license, refer to the Portworx Essentials topic.

Trial License

The Trial license activates automatically when the Portworx Enterprise license is installed. The trial license provides the full product functionality for 30 days.

Number of nodes maximum         1000
Number of volumes maximum       1024
Volume capacity [TB] maximum      40
Storage aggregation              yes
Shared volumes                   yes
Volume sets                      yes
BYOK data encryption             yes
Resize volumes on demand         yes
Snapshot to object store         yes
Bare-metal hosts                 yes
Virtual machine hosts            yes
Product SKU                     Trial    expires in 6 days, 20:40

Trial license expiration

When the trial period expires, you will no longer be able to create new volumes or volume snapshots. You may restore normal functionality by purchasing and installing a Portworx Enterprise license.


  • The Trial license can be upgraded into a Portworx Enterprise license by contacting support@portworx.com, and activating via the activation code or via the license file. see the Portworx Enterprise section for details.
  • The Trial license itself cannot be upgraded or extended with another Trial.

Portworx Enterprise License

The Portworx Enterprise license is our most flexible license, which comes with a number of options. Please reach out to support@portworx.com to determine which type of Portworx Enterprise license will work best for your needs.

License sharing

Once installed, the Portworx Enterprise license is locked to a single Portworx cluster via the unique UUID identifier of the cluster. Such license (or, license-file) will not work on other clusters.


The easiest way to install the Portworx Enterprise license, is via the “Activation ID” (reach out to us at support@portworx.com for purchasing licenses), ie:

pxctl license activate c0ffe-fefe-activation-123

Note that the license activation process will require active Internet connection from the Portworx nodes to the license server, as the activation process automatically registers the cluster UUID, generates and installs the license on the cluster. Upon activating the license on one Portworx node, all remaining Portworx nodes will automatically update to the new license.

Install on air-gapped environments

If you’re running Portworx in an air-gapped environment, contact Portworx, Inc.’s support team at support@portworx.com. Note that you will follow a slightly different process.

Customers will be asked to provide the Cluster UUID information (available via pxctl cluster list command):

pxctl cluster list
Cluster UUID: f987ad4b-987c-4e7e-a8bd-788c89cc40f1
Status: OK [...]

Upon supplying the “Cluster UUID”, the customers will get their license file. The license file will need to be uploaded to one of the Portworx nodes, and activated via the following command:

pxctl license add license_file.bin

Finally, please note that the license installation is a non-obtrusive process, which will not interfere with the data stored on the Portworx volumes, nor will it interrupt the active IO operations.

Transfer licenses

You can transfer a valid enterprise license between two Portworx clusters. Both Portworx clusters need to be operational at the time of license transfer. The source cluster must have a valid Portworx Enterprise license, while the destination cluster can have either a valid or expired Trial license or expired Portworx Enterprise license.

License transfer command requires ‘clusterUUID’ from the source cluster, (available via pxctl cluster list command) and remote Portworx cluster node IP.

pxctl license transfer -h
   pxctl license transfer - Transfer license to remote PX cluster

   pxctl license transfer <clusterUUID> <remoteIP>

   Command swaps licenses between the two Portworx clusters.

   Note that both Portworx clusters need to be operational at the time this
   command is ran.
   The source cluster must have a valid Portworx Enterprise
 license, while the
   destination cluster can have either a valid or expired Trial license or expired Portworx Enterprise

   pxctl license transfer f91531d9-bf65-46f5-9619-eb99128e3270
  • The license transfer happens directly between the Portworx clusters, so at least one node from source cluster must have a network connectivity to a node in the target Portworx cluster.
  • After the successful license transfer, the two Portworx clusters will have swapped identities, and licenses (for example, Portworx cluster A will have Trial license originally from Portworx cluster B, while the cluster B will have the Portworx Enterprise license originally from cluster A)

For information on purchase, upgrades and support, contact support

Last edited: Tuesday, May 31, 2022