How to Handle License Audits in a Virtualized Data Center

The old rules no longer apply. In the past, you knew how many processors would be committed to a particular application, and you made your software deals accordingly. Now, you face an ambiguous standard. What happens if you are undergoing a license audit during a period of peak demand?

Every IT innovation brings with it a necessary change in perspective …which tends to lag the innovation itself. In the case of server virtualization, enterprise application licensing has become the subject of disruption. Traditional licensing models don’t lend themselves to the flexibility of the dynamic data center. While there are no best practices on this in the market yet, you can be aware of the issue and work through remedies with your software providers.

In a physical infrastructure, per-processor licensing makes sense. The number is fixed, which makes the transaction relatively straightforward. This convenience is not available in a virtualized environment. Utilization may be fairly contained and predictable most of the time, but an unexpected spike in access – or even periods of anticipated peak demand – turn the model on its head. Going though a licensing audit when utilization is at its highest can result in an inaccurate view of general usage (and additional licenses). [Read more…]