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January 31, 2009


Shibin Zhang

I started a kind of battle with Ms. Warrior:


because I still insist that the future is green IT and virtualization is just a sub-set of next generation.


Sudhir Brahma

Hello Chuck,
As an avid user of "virtualization", I realize there is a dark side to it and am not sure why no one is talking about it: I can actually build a complete Virtual machine , install all the licensed software I want (just pay for it once and register)...and then this image file on the hard disk or whatever storage media is used, is ready for replication. Each replica has all the software I paid for once and it can be used by just about anyone I choose to give!!
I think we are getting close to the paradyme created by Xerox, when they created the photo-copying machines and had the book-publishers running for cover.
PS: I am typing this message out one one such cloned machine-still with me and not give out to anyone :-)!!

Chuck Hollis

Interesting point -- maybe that's why so many software vendors are reluctant to embrace a virtualized world!

That being said, just about every enterprise I talk to wants to be 100% compliant on licensing -- regardless of technology.


Sudhir Brahma

They may still be 100% compliant with the licensing policy as it applies today- all of it depends on what the licensing policy itself is. If it is tied to a "machine" or a "drive", they may still be on the right side of the legal, though treading gingerly enough to be let off with a warning!
Besides, there is no law with says you cannot "share" your machine...it just happens that this process of "sharing" just gets extended since the machine itself can now be transmitted over the wires!!
So theoretically, I can "ship" the whole machine with MS office for someone to work on a word document!!...that so as long as I don't use it at the same time! But there is nothing which "enforces" this "use one at a time only".
I think this a Paradyme change and the licensing processes and the regulations have to adapt suitably (while still not being a nuisance for legitimate users).


Lee Paul

Chuck, your commentary on rethinking traditional business processes reminded me of a great book from grad school - "Blue Ocean Strategy" by Kim & Mauborgne. It promotes creating new market space or "blue oceans" rather than competing in an existing industry "red oceans".

In this context, the company your wrote about gained a competitive advantage by rethinking existing solutions to their business problems. This company is discovering how to move non-mission critical requests away from the system admins that support them. This saves time and resources by letting the admins focus on more important initiatives. Once a project gains momentum, the company can re-prioritize how they allocate storage space based on business need. Meanwhile, this company's competitors may still be operating in the traditional BAU process.

To Sudhir's licensing comments:

When a customer licenses applications on a registered client/device model, it makes no difference which persons access the device. Only that the device itself has the right to access the application.

Consider this example:
A corporation purchases a Bloomberg license on a dedicated desktop. Since the device itself was licensed, anyone in the company is allowed to access the application. Since it's just one desktop, only one person at any given time is physically able to use the machine.

Does Bloomberg care if the application is virtualized, and someone across the world accesses it? Not if only one person can access it's application at any given time.

Virtualization didn't provide the corporation with additional usage. (Other than not needing to buy a separate desktop license somewhere else in the world).

If the application was licensed to a specific user, virtualizing would still not be a factor, considering only that person was granted the right to use the application. Thus, someone across the world cannot use it in order to be compliant. To Chuck's point - corporations have become extremely wary about compliance, and almost always act in good faith.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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