Video: Virtualization vs. licensing


David Berlind of ZDNet with a nice little post and video on the complexities of software licensing with virtualization. Actually "little" is the operative word here, because although the whiteboard ends up appropriately messy by the end, he spends the first 3 minutes explaining (hosted) virtualization, leaving only about a minute at the end to talk about licensing. Still may be a good video for a newbie in your organization. Link: » Video: Virtualization vs. standard software licensing practices | Berlind’s Testbed |

Some of the same confusion exists around application software.  One
fear software companies have is that people will use virtual machine
technology to build little multi-user mainframes (sort of like Citrix)
where anybody can use the built-in remote access technology to simply
take control of a VM on a computer and run their software remotely,
that way. If XYZ software company says it’s OK for me to copy its
software to as many VMs as I want, but only one one system,
technically, I could let lots of users access that one system remotely
and abuse the license.


0 comments have been added so far

  1. Nah, Berlind is one of the good guys. He and his colleague Ed Bott have been the single best source of clarion calls about licensing, Vista, and VM mobility. Real voice of the end user work. The topic is confusing because licensing is always confusing, virtual or not.

  2. I think we need to have the license features like, for a one license on physical machine there can be say 2 or 3 licenses virtual machines. This can be like a offer extended to the buyers.
    Is it feasible?

  3. So, who cares? If the license doesn’t say anything about running the software remotely, why should I even care if its “abuse”? Do you think the software company sits there and thinks, “what’s fair to the user?” No way. They think about maximum profit. So, the user should think the same way. Hold to the letter of the license, not the spirit.

  4. I don’t think the licenses I use are at all confusing. Generally, what affects me as the user is that there is no warranty. Otherwise, I”m free to use it how I wish and nobody will care. If I distribute it, on the other hand, I either still have free rein (BSD license) or must distribute it under the GPL (GPL license, natch). I don’t see why licenses should be complicated wrt virtualization or number of processors.
    If your licensing is complicated, maybe you’re using the wrong software. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *