Feeds

Utility computing's 'dirty little secret'

No license to print money

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
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
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
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
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.