Software Licenses: Take Your Pick

Alternatives to conventional models of software pricing.
In basic client access licensing, found in most Microsoft server products, software pricing depends on either the number of people or physical PCs that can access a server. Here are some alternatives to those conventional models:

• Core: Used by Oracle, IBM DB2, WebSphere, Domino, and Tivoli. The vendor counts the total number of CPU cores that an application can access.

• Employee: Used by Sun Java middleware. Organizations pay according to their total number of staffers, whether everyone uses the product or not.

• Memory: Used by Appistry. Customers pay based on how much memory a partition requires. This is unusual.

InformationWeek Reports

• Metered: Used by IBM zSeries. Mainframe tracks how much it's used over a baseline, and customer is billed accordingly. Pricing covers hardware in addition to software.

• Per person: Used by the Microsoft Developer Network. An individual user can run as many copies of the software on as many machines as he wants, but a separate license is required if anyone else has access.

• Socket: Used by VMware, XenSource, Virtual Iron, Windows, Solaris, and most commercial Linux. Counts the number of physical processors, regardless of type. Most vendors start at two sockets and charge extra for additional processors.

• Value: Used by Oracle PeopleSoft. Algorithm based on company head count, revenue, and industry.

Return to the story:
End Of The Line For Licensing