Feeds

Vendor grid lock on multi-core pricing

Plus ça change…

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Don't hold your breath waiting for the big software companies to simplify prices or to make it fairer for those of you running software on multi-core processors.

That was the message last week from an IT roundtable at Oracle's OpenWorld in San Francisco, where it became clear that vendors are engaged in talks about talks rather than taking solid steps to make multi-core pricing affordable or easy-to-implement in grid-based, virtualized server and storage environments.

Joining the AMD-hosted roundtable at OpenWorld were representatives from Oracle and IBM, two of the worst offenders on multi-core pricing, along with Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems.

Sun is one of a handful of influential enterprise IT vendors that have publicly come out in favor of charging for their software per chip instead of per core on multi-core systems. Sun is joined by Microsoft and Red Hat, among others.

For all its talk of grid computing, Oracle has decided to charge customers using a head-splitting multiplier that owes more to a calculator and slide rule than to any high-tech executive dashboard. IBM, meanwhile, will charge according to the "power" of the processor.

Questions from the OpenWorld audience soon revealed discontent over pricing and the way customers must man manage computing loads to avoid hefty licensing charges during peak processing loads. As far as the vendors are concerned, the answer is to throw more technology at the problem from the management console and instrumentation level rather than implement fair or accessible pricing.

"Something we are working on is enterprise management," Willie Hardie, Oracle veep of technology marketing, said. "We are doing more work with partners like the HPs, Suns and IBMs to bring our systems management tools closer together." He declined to go into specifics.

According to IBM, of course, all you need is consulting and services to architect the perfect hardware/software grid combo. After that, it's up to you. Elias Kourpas, IBM program director, said: "From a software vendor stand point we have the innovation centers... from the customer stand point we have design centers to help customers build proof of concept."

In conversation with The Register afterwards, Kourpas said pricing is a matter of balancing the economic interests of vendors and users, adding vendors need to see a market demand before they change policy. "It's a matter of having a win/win situation for the customer and the software vendor," he said.

"If grid as the licensing model gives all the money to the vendor it's not a win/win. But if you design a model that gives the customer all the benefits, and there's no money for the vendor, it's not a good situation."

Margaret Lewis, AMD's director of commercial solutions, told us her company is talking to software vendors on pricing. But she said that we shouldn't expect any dramatic change of course on their part. AMD is encouraging vendors to change their polices, but as Lewis notes AMD can only lobby; it is not in a position to tell others how they should run their businesses.

Seems you might need to start waterboarding IBM and Oracle sales staff to extract concessions, such as favorable site-based licensing deals that beat the offical price list.®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.