Feeds

Utility computing's 'dirty little secret'

No license to print money

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Structure 08 Cloud computing has its very own catch-22. If we can tap into the cloud, grabbing our compute resources on the fly, we can free ourselves from the old school software licensing models. But old school software licensing models may prevent us from tapping into the cloud.

"The dirty little secret of the utility computing business - and now, increasingly, the cloud business - is that if the software licensing model doesn't catch up, people will either be forced to pull from the open source world or the whole idea is going to drop dead under its own weight," AT&T cloud evangelist Joe Weinman said today during a panel discussion at Structure 08, a mini-conference in San Francisco dedicated to all things cloud. "The cost savings will not be there, and the whole idea will never materialize."

In other words, all those companies building all those clouds can't rely on the Microsofts of the world for their back-end software - unless the Microsofts of the world change their licensing rules.

"With the cloud, you need a very dynamic response. Otherwise, there's no benefit," Weinman explained. "You may need a 1000 servers or you may need a tenth of that. You can't be forced to pay for minimum increments."

This view was shared Weinman's fellow panelist Tony Lucas, the CEO of XCalibre, a hosting outfit that offers a cloud known as FlexiScale. "A lot of [cloud] companies are having trouble with is their licensing," Lucas said. "I had a long conversation with Microsoft last week on licensing. I don't think they'll go on record as saying their [current licensing model] doesn't work [in the cloud], but it doesn't work."

And as panel moderator Alistair Croll pointed out, Microsoft has good reason to keep its licensing models just as they are. After all, as more and more people move to the cloud, fewer and fewer will pay for Redmond-built software on their own servers.

Of course, there is a simple solution, as Joe Weinman alluded to. If you're building a cloud, you can opt for open source, bypassing Ballmer and crew. So there's only a catch if you believe in the power of Redmond. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.