Are CPU Licenses the culprit for complicated architecture?

February 16, 2007

Today, for the third time in 6 years I have put in as architect – I am being pushed to create un-necessary distribution in the architecture to get around CPU licenses. I am still not convinced if I need to give in to it.

The problem is simple – Lets say I need a CMS, a Search engine, an Imaging library and a portal server in the architecture. All these components can happily co-exist on all machines, but the problem is that all these software have a CPU based licensing, and possibly the vendors will force the client to pay for 3 times as much licensing fee as required if we were to take the simple approach.

So whats the alternative ?  Distribute?

If you put a Server for Imaging library, keep CMS, search engines and Portal in their diferent machine, possibly create redundancy by having a spare machine on which all of these are there.

The result is higher network traffic, slower applications and complex deployment operations.

Its high time vendors figure out a way of defining CPU thresholds  on each machine to let clients have lets say 1 CPU license on a 4 CPU machine – or atleast monitor the utilization for license fee enforcement rather than enfocing licenses for the entire deployment architecture.

Do you think its reasonable to ask vendors that – I will buy 2 CPU license but put it on 4 machines because I know I am not going to use more than that?

What do you do in these cases ? Negotiate hard, Pay up, go for a different license model with the vendor, or complicate the architecture?

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One Response to “Are CPU Licenses the culprit for complicated architecture?”

  1. Mike Says:

    Licensing should be by virtual processor instead. Licensing should control the scale of deployment, not the specific implementation/architecture that it’s used in.

    Example:
    Buy 3 cpu license.

    Put one copy on a 8 CPU machine (does multiple things); Application only uses 2 CPUs (does not scale above that without additional licenses).

    Put another copy on a 2 CPU machine; Application only uses 1 CPU, such as for a hot backup server or development.

    Current CPU licensing models require you’d buy 10 licenses with the above configuration, so you’d be saving 2/3 of your cost.


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