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Cloud-enabling your software licenses

  • Here's how to move forward while keeping your feet on the ground.
  • Computerworld
  • 9/8/2008
  • Joanquin Gamboa and Marc Lindsey

The promise of moving your company's software and data systems into the cloud grows more enticing by the day. Virtualization, cloud computing and grid networks have a lot to offer enterprise users. But you could put your company and your job at risk if you fail to consider certain factors that are key to getting the right license at the right price.

Whether you plan to use your own grid infrastructure or someone else's cloud computing platform, your licensing structures must accommodate the applicable virtual environment. Although many factors should be considered when licensing software, we'll focus on the available framework for licensing proprietary software, with virtualization and grid computing in mind.

Unlike in a typical computing environment, virtualization, coupled with grid computing, enables the disaggregation of operating systems, middleware, data stores and application software from the limitations of physical machines and the local-area network. This new world is colliding with traditional vendor licensing practices, producing software compliance nightmares for both licensees and licensors, and often resulting in irrational license fees.

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