Virtualisation and Grid: a fundamental challenge to the software licensing model? – Webinar, Thursday 10 April, 2008 [Updated]

Update: I was just reviewing Peter Patterson’s comment last night and noticed this morning that Earl Dodd, Executive Director, Rocky Mountain Supercomputing Centers, Inc. (, has a recent piece along these lines at HPC in the Cloud: Licensing Blocks Path to HPC Cloud Business Development. Apparently licensing continues to be a major challenge. – Editor

Virtualisation has spread like wildfire through the data centres of UK organisations during 2007.

Before virtualisation it was relatively easy to keep control of business IT expenditure through the assigned hardware costs and software applications licensed to execute upon them. Even at the individual level it was possible to keep track of licensing terms and conditions by counting the number of employees who had access to their office and other work applications.

  • If we struggled to keep track of licence agreements and their provisions in the past, does virtualisation help or hinder the task looking forwards?
  • What tools and techniques are available to help us manage in this new age of computing?

This webinar brings together some of the pioneers in this industry, working at the leading edge to shed light on the new responsibilities of IT managers; to provide tools and methods to gain insight and to set policies and industry direction in the new situation.

Join us at 14:00 on Thursday 10 April to learn more from:

  • David Gittins, Capgemini who has been working with the public sector on this challenge
  • Neil Sanderson, Product Manager for Virtualisation at Microsoft
  • Mark Cresswell of Scalable Solutions, a leader in the provision of tools for monitoring and reporting usage.

Ian Osborne, Project Director of Grid Computing Now! will chair the session and invite those attending to an online conference to discuss the topic following the broadcast. Grid Computing Now! is working closely with FAST, the Federation against Software Theft, to bring insight and understanding to this issue for IT managers in all sectors of the industry.

Registration Link:


How it works: You will be able to take part online from your desk by watching live video, viewing slides and asking questions through an interactive webpage.

Date: Thursday 10 April 2008

Time: 14:00– 15:00 (UK time)

For more information contact:
Tara Kelly
T 020 7331 2171

One Comment

  1. This licensing issue is a series barrier to the uptake of Grid technologies. The support for Licence Management in Grid environments currently is almost non-existent. The reason lies in the fact that most current middleware have an academic background where applications either do not require a license and/or where application licences are used in closed environments. In contrast industrial environments typically rely on commercial code basis of ISVs with an associated Licence Management — usually FlexNet from Macrovision, which is the quasi standard in this area. (see {now redirected and I think deprecated – Editor})
    The other thing that causes a headache in the corporate would with open source is the dreaded viral clause. This is one of the most feared, and misunderstood aspects of going open source. The viral clause is that one present, for example in the GPL, which states that even if only 0.1% of your code is GPLed, ALL your code has to be GPL – in other words open souce and free! However, what most people do not fully grasp that this only counts if you then redistribute the software – modifications and compliations for your OWN use do not have to be shared with anyone. However, having surpassed this, Grid computing raises another problem in that in a virtual organisation you may want that modified GPL code to run on your VO partner’s machine – and then you ARE distributinging it and you do have do make it free and provide the source code. Your partner then has the right to send it to whom they like!
    Finally the third challenge is just the myriad of different open source licenses. BSD, Apache, MPL, GPL, GPLv2, l-GPL, and now GPLv3!

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