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Why the unethical licensing fee increase and forced upgrade from SoftRAID Lite 5 to SoftRAID 6 Pro?

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(@yamat0)
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Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 2
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Hi there licensing support folks,

I have been a loyal SoftRAID Lite user for several years as a replacement to Apple's native software RAID, and the cost for a SoftRAID Lite license was/has been a no-brainer for me.

Today I was surprised to see that I could not input my previous license code for SoftRAID 6, in spite of having walked through many beta versions with no previous issues and no mention of a fee increase. I was even more surprised (shocked, actually), to see that OWC/SoftRAID has not only done away with Lite versions of the product, but that my only option is to upgrade to the Pro version for $200 USD, a 400% increase over the previous fee of $49 USD for a SoftRAID Lite license.

I believe I represent a large portion of your user base that a) feels strong-armed by this action since we need to keep an up-to-date version of  MacOS - there are good reasons we maintain RAID configs after all, and b) are unwilling to pay a $200 upgrade fee in spite of SoftRAID's product quality. I also think c) the majority of us would be willing to pay a fair annual fee ($30 - $40?) to use an annual equivalent of a SoftRAID Lite license.

I would encourage the company to revisit the impact to your user base - I personally have never been so disappointed in what feels like an underhanded move from labels I have respected in the industry for years, both OWC and SoftRAID. Furthermore, this move is impactful enough to my perception of the OWC and SoftRAID brands to proactively avoid purchasing any of your products moving forward. I understand that business is business, but the consumer still has a choice in where to spend their money.

Aside from my feedback, I also have a request: is it possible to receive a trial license extension so that I may have more time to move my RAID array back to Apple's native RAID software?

Thank you in advance for your response.


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(@softraid-support)
Member Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 5263
 

We made the decision to discontinue SoftRAID lite. You are not stranded, you can convert to Apple's RAID and keep going without losing access to your data.

You can  run either version, 5.8.4 or 6.0, and "convert" to Apple RAID, no problem.

Apple has made supporting macOS extremely difficult and engineering intensive, and an inexpensive software RAID is not practical right now. Sorry about this. We actively support our enclosures with software RAID, and added 4 and 5 support to existing customers, but supporting third party enclosures for standalone Lite is not viable.

This post was modified 8 months ago by SoftRAID Support

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(@yamat0)
New Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

@softraid-support

Thank you very much for the follow-up, and I can certainly appreciate making a business decision if/when the cost of supporting a product no longer makes financial sense.

However, the sudden reality of needing to pay a $200 upgrade fee without any prior warning still does not sit well with me (a thoughtful email or announcement could have gone a long way), and perhaps the feeling may be shared amongst a significant portion of your customer base. A precedent also seems to have been set: at any time in the future, OWC/SoftRaid may suddenly charge another renewal fee, with the customer service response being, "you do not have to use our product." This is fair in business, but I suspect others like myself will be interested in exploring other options where the customer feels more respected.

My two cents; thank you.


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(@softraid-support)
Member Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 5263
 

Do you have any OWC hardware, or just SoftRAID Lite? What hardware are you running it on?

Except for Big Sur, you can stay with 5.x as long as you like.

This is an unusual situation, as we were offering a limited version of a software product which cost far more than its price returned. It could not sustain itself.

While we discontinued SoftRAID Lite, you are not at a dead end, as you can convert to Apple RAID and keep your volume working pretty much as before, without some of the additional benefits, granted, but Apple's RAID will work for most.


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(@aschuman)
New Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 1
 

SoftRaid to my knowledge has a monopoly on this type of software.  Agree with initial post that you are alienating your user base, likely to try to recoup your cost of purchasing SoftRaid.   I will revert to hardware raid array as your prices are just too high. Would rather subscribe on a yearly basis at a more reasonable cost. 


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(@softraid-support)
Member Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 5263
 

@aschuman

We may have the only RAID 5 software, but we certainly are not the only way to get RAID 5 on your mac. I think the upgrade pricing is reasonable for the RAID 4/5/10 version of SoftRAID.

This complaint is targeted at SoftRAID Lite, which there is a free version built into macOS. and SoftRAID can convert its volumes into Apple RAID's free version. SoftRAID may be better, have a nicer interface, but we are certainly not locking anyone into RAID 0 or RAID 1.

The SoftRAID company was purchased nearly 7 years ago. Since then, we have released 30+ FREE updates.

For another post, I was testing the customer who was complaining Promise hardware was faster than SoftRAID (it wasnt ,but I have not posted the results yet), but my 2018 enclosure is end of life. No more updates, go buy a new box.

How is that comparable to SoftRAID, where you get regular updates, full support, and even added features to your hardware enclosure that you may have purchased in 2014?

We all wish we could offer free updates/support/maintenance forever. Unfortunately, that is not sustainable.

Your decision to look elsewhere is respected. But we are trying to offer a great solution to our customers and support them when there are issues.


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(@arenhansen)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 5
 
Posted by: @softraid-support

This complaint is targeted at SoftRAID Lite, which there is a free version built into macOS. and SoftRAID can convert its volumes into Apple RAID's free version. SoftRAID may be better, have a nicer interface, but we are certainly not locking anyone into RAID 0 or RAID 1.

How do I use Raid 5 on Big Sur on my Thunderbay 4, without purchasing additional software from you? Could you clarify about not locking someone into RAID 0 or 1 please.


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(@softraid-support)
Member Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 5263
 

@arenhansen

You can convert your RAID 0 and 1 volumes to Apple RAID if you choose not to keep using SoftRAID.

RAID 5 is only available in software by SoftRAID. (No one else has succeeded in creating such a product)

SoftRAID version 5.8.4 does not work with Big Sur.

Users who are under warranty receive a free upgrade to SoftRAID 6.

 

Hope this clarifies.


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(@steve223)
Trusted Member Customer
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 98
 

@softraid-support Promise is definitely fast than Soft Raid I tested a Thunderbay 4 with Thunderbolt 3 and a Promise Pegasus 4 Bay with Thunderbolt 3. I used the same HD's for both devices and a Raid 5 Set Up

 

Thunderbay 4

DiskSpeedTest OWC

Promise Pegasus

PromisPegasusSpeedTest

 


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(@softraid-support)
Member Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 5263
 

I got different results for the most part, I will post them in a day or so. Need to process the data.

I tested Pegasus RAID 0 and 5 and SoftRAID in the enclosure as JBOD, also the Thunderbay RAID 0 and 5, all with generic 4TB drives.

 

AJA gives stable, more consistent results.

For settings, use:

5K video

RGBA

16GB or 64GB file size.


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(@tecnogaming)
New Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 3
 

Oh I agree with the original poster.   I've just reinstalled my Windows 10 today and the license I have for SoftRAID Lite is no longer working so naturally I went to the website and they are forcing me to update to SoftRAID 6 Pro which has 0 advantages on the Windows version, for $150 more.  Are you kidding me?.

 

I can only get RAID0 and 1 on Windows and I cannot use my current copy because you're wanting me to upgrade to a new version which basically has ZERO advantages over my current Lite version.  On top of that, just by reinstalling Windows the service now tells me that I've filled my quota for the seats, because it didn't registered that I've reinstalled and now I have a RAID full of data and a warning saying that my "trial"  license will end in 10 days.  This is ludicrous.

I think I've made a mistake by going to this company. What's even more ludicrous is that you do not have any kind of competition in the Windows Market and you could easily keep the Lite version for Windows and keep supporting your current customers.

I wanted to say that I'm also the owner of a hardware/software online magazine and I had everything ready to publish a full review of SoftRAID Lite as an excellent alternative on Windows. Since you've let your greedy run free and removed the lite version, there is no incentive for me to do a review of a software which such a high price since no human being will pay $200 for a software RAID on Windows when they could do it with STORAGE SPACES.

This is a really wrong move on your part,  it may be complicated to maintain the software on Mac but that's a Mac thing,  on Windows your software works great and doesn't need any further improvement as far as I can see. You could easily maintain a Windows Only version for a cheap price (like the one I've paid) and keep all your Windows fans happy.  You just shoot yourself in the foot with this move.  The software is death for a Windows Freak and this is truly a shame since there is so much people (specially my readers) who will love to have such an amazing alternative to the horrible Storage Spaces or the dedicated intel and AMD raid which never work properly.

This post was modified 8 months ago by tecnogaming

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(@softraid-support)
Member Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 5263
 

@tecnogaming

The Windows version is still Lite, and there should not have been any upgrade notices. We do not have full Windows support yet, just Lite.

I need you to get to tech support to fix your activation. that is first order of business.

We are definitely going to keep offering Lite for Windows.

We made a lot of changes with SoftRAID 6 upgrades, and apparently the web site should not have removed the SoftRAID Lite for Windows option.  It is coming back.

I will post an update when I have more information on this.

 


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(@tecnogaming)
New Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 3
 

Oh that's wonderful news!. I was completely mislead to think you're removing windows support for the inexpensive product, which could be shocking as most RAID solutions on Windows simply suck, even Intel and AMD Raid are a major step back compared to your solution.

Will you maintain your price for the Lite version on Windows?.  Please do let me know when the Lite version is back on the store.  I will want to do a review of the product but I absolutely need that the product can be purchased prior to posting a review.

I have not seen a single review of SoftRAID Lite for Windows,  considering the amount of advanced users who could benefit from this is truly shocking. Why is that?. Do you have any idea of the amount of users that purchase extreme hardware (such as me,  dual PCIe 4.0 M2 at 5000Mb/s speeds to RAID), I can picture at least a few thousands who would benefit from your solution but think there is none and are fighting with the popular solutions which does not work and are a nightmare to use.

Do you not want to be popular on Windows?.   This could be a direct replacement of any and all the other RAID solutions, including Microsoft own Storage Spaces, which also suck and is slow.  Truly, you do not have any competition.   Would you like a full review of the product?.  Please, contact me by email I will be more than happy if you think that will work for your company.


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(@softraid-support)
Member Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 5263
 

Send an email to support at softraid and I can put you in touch with some one in marketing.

 

We are really just getting started on the Windows end!


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(@tecnogaming)
New Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 3
 

You already fixed my license issue through support. Will send another email so you can put me into contact,  thank you!!


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