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By eweek  |  Posted 2005-11-08 Print this article Print

How about the complexities of licensing when it comes to virtualization? Licensings an interesting one. In September we announced more virtualization-friendly licensing from HP. Weve got multiple ISVs that are looking to move in the same direction as us. That is a big issue. As you automatically move resources around, you need a flexible licensing scheme as well. One minute you may need 100 CPUs of capacity running in an Oracle database, but in another minute you may just need 50. What kind of licensing do you pay when your usage has peaks and valleys? Traditionally most software companies go on physical machine and size of box and go for the max utilization that could happen.
If you could use 100 CPUs of Oracle database, theyll charge you 100.
But were seeing things change. At Oracle, they do more per-CPU licensing. So they handle partitions a little bit. At first they had the situation where if you took a machine and wanted to virtualize its eight CPUs, theyd want to charge you for eight CPUs. But Oracle changed, and that was a good step. So licensing is changing out there. It needs to change to be a lot more flexible to handle this virtualization, where things ebb and flow. What ISVs are you working with to change this? Were working with multiple ISVs. We have this capability to meter usage. We already server-virtualized systems and storage. The more they use, the more they pay, and the less they use, the less they pay. We do that to our customers, so multiple software companies are looking at how we do that, our metering software, and asking should they do that. We have beta programs. Were not at liberty to say with whom, but we have them at multiple sites now. Thats going to get interesting. And SLAs, how is HP dealing with that in a virtualized environment? What we have is within our virtual server environment, the ability to simply add in these SLAs, where you say, I need subsecond response time for this application, or 30-minute batch turnaround. And then you prioritize applications as well. Say you need OLTP subsecond response time but you have it at priority 1, because customers are using the OLTP database but internal folks are using [something else that gets a lower priority ranking]. Nobody else in the open systems space has anything like this. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest utility computing news, reviews and analysis.


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