Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Virtualisation is still a big minefield

Whenever I go to seminars where they talk about how virtualisation will help businesses cut down costs, and allow their staff to Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) which increase productivity, I always have to resist the urge to speak out and ask them one important question... How much does that software cost?

For those who purchase enterprise software, I'm sure many are aware that nowadays, vendors seem to be gradually changing their licensing model for their enterprise software because they realised that the virtualisation take-up rate is actually reducing the number of licenses being bought by businesses.

So what do that they do? They create complicated licensing mechanisms which in the end, translate to higher costs for customers. For example, I heard of a licensing model where they charge based on the blade server processor cores instead of the number of cores that the particular virtual machine is using.

Yes, you're hearing it right. That means if you are using a blade server with 16 processor cores, operating one virtual machine with 4 processor cores running that particular enterprise software, you end up paying for 16 processor cores even though that particular software is only using 4.

Not only that, you have to pay more if you have enabled the failover feature in most virtualised environment because they tie your licensing to that particular blade server. Therefore, if your virtual machine failover to another blade server, you need to pay for that particular blade server configuration in addition to the normal blade server you're using.

Sounds crazy? You bet... I think there is going to be a backlash for those customers using virtualisation and who knows, people might either start going open source (which doesn't have all these crap), or go back to physical servers.

Counter productive but with this kind of restrictive licensing model, they've taken out all the benefits of owning a virtualisation environment. Pity...

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