Virtualization's Impact on Software Licensing

Information Week looks at the disruptive impact of virtualization and multi-core processors on software licensing models.

Information Week has a comprehensive story that examines the impact of virtualization and multi-core processors on software licensing models, with significant implications for data center consolidation projects that use these technologies. An excerpt:

Multicore processors and virtualization are nails in the coffin for standard software licensing models, but there's no agreement on a replacement. And the problem isn't confined to the data center. ... Alternative licensing schemes range from the familiar, like open source and SaaS, to untested models like pricing based on memory or virtual cores. At best, they could mean lower costs and more flexibility. But let's be real - when have software vendors embraced low costs and flexibility? Worst case, the hardware savings from the server consolidation that virtualization enables will be gobbled up by software licensing charges.

The article is quite lengthy but includes at-a-glance chart of different virtualization architectures and leading vendors' licensing structures for multi-core and virtualized environments.