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Microsoft adopts virtual licenses

A processor is a processor is a processor...

Microsoft is setting out a new licensing policy that addresses this age of virtualization.  The upshot is that the licensing fee is based on the number of virtual processors actually used, rather than the number of physical processors.

It certainly raises the stakes in license management software, which keeps track of just how many unused licenses are currently available in a pool. In conjunction with infrastructure that manages provisioning -- either bare metal provisioning or VM provisioning -- it seems like license management should be included as part of the resource identification and tracking data. 

Link: Microsoft adopts virtual licenses - Computerworld.

Update:  Another article, this one in ZDNet, discusses the virtual license decision taken by Microsoft.

... Microsoft's new policy seeks to reconcile new technology and old licensing models. Starting in December, the company will calculate the cost of server software products by the number of running instances of that product on any given server, rather than the number of physical processors contained in that server.

The shift will benefit customers, Microsoft says, by allowing them to parse up the processing power of a machine in a cost-effective manner. The company is looking to expand the use of virtualization with its own products, within partner programs and through its pricing policies, said Andy Lees, Microsoft's corporate vice president of servers and tools marketing. ...

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