The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has sunk its teeth into the fuzzy, grey world of virtualisation. The anti-piracy body said it has got together with a number of big name firms, including Hewlett-Packard, Symantic/Altris, and Computacenter to work out ways of tackling potential problems that could arise when running …
Licensing in Virtualised Environments
Well, there is a real problem here with ensuring you are neither under nor over licensed in a consolidated and virtualised world. Within the SPARC/Solaris world the degrees of confusion include:
How many CPUs do I count my 8 core, 64 thread UltraSPARC T2 socket as being?
If I cut my servers into Logical Domains, do I need to license the whole server or just the stuff in the domain?
What are the steps needed if I want to add more capacity to the domain?
If I have lots of Solaris containers running on a server, do I license by the share given or by the maximum the container could take if everything else went quiet?
If I have lots of Solaris containers running the same licensed software, do I license each container or just the server/domain?
This is heavy stuff, and short of agreeing some form of "all you can eat" licensing regime, it takes great skill and judgement to remain neither over nor under licensed.
Well, yes, it's in the software suppliers interest to make it hard to work out exactly what you need, because then you are likely to over buy to compensate.
Or be under licensed by accident, in which case they can sue for loadsamoney and then force you to buy more licenses.
Or you could just more to Free-er software and save yourself some heartache.
I will buy a virtual licence with my virtual money
Pay by virtual money for virtual software.
Chicken Egg... Egg Chicken
And in the fuzzy, grey world of virtualisation, is software running on virtualized systems or virtualised systems/quantum computers running on software?
Houston, we have a problem, this thing's got a mind of ITs own. Please advise.
Had a FAST raid once
We actually had a person from FAST come snooping around once. He wanted to know what measures we had implemented to prevent anyone from copying applications from their workstations (beyond the obvious; i.e. no floppies and read-only CD drives).
You should have seen the look on his face when I told him, with a straight face, that we did *nothing* to prevent anyone copying software from their workstations -- in fact, we would actively encourage it!
Once he had calmed down a bit, I then continued that the reason why we were so unbothered was that everything on users' workstations was Open Source -- and, therefore, they would not be breaking any laws if they did actually find a way to copy it (at the very worst, they might impose an obligation on us to provide the Corresponding Source. Which would be on our favourite distribution's FTP server, if not right there in /usr/src).
Tail wags dog - again
There was that episode of $64m man
"We have the technology - we can rebuild him"
Lawyer - "not so fast there johnny - I'll be needing my cut - that will be $640m in wrangling fees please"
What's the difference between a lawyer and a catfish - one's a scum sucking bottom dweller and the other is a fish.
Avoid problems by avoiding problem software
If you can't understand what running some commercial software costs, then perhaps it's time to change to software that isn't licensed based on some arbitrary cutting up of a computer.
The crash is coming then
The VM fad is not turning out to be as cheap as we expected. You need a kick-arse ram-stuffed server to replace the work that a few cheap boxes could do. WIth the added headache of retraining and bringing in consultants to keep the house of cards from collapsing.
Add in licencing costs and it'll quickly be seen as more cost and bother than simply using a few old physical 2ghz dual core boxes.