If you thought it was difficult to manage IT infrastructure when everything was on-premise only, think about how much harder it has become to properly manage software with today’s combined on-premise, SaaS, and hybrid cloud scenarios.
That is the point of Michael Corey’s Data Summit 2019 presentation, titled “Straight Talk on the Cloud License Landscape.”
The sixth annual Data Summit conference will be held in Boston, May 21-22, 2019, with pre-conference workshops on May 20. Registration is now open.
Keeping software in compliance is a more significant challenge today than ever before, and getting straight answers from the vendors on the proper way to license software in this complicated world is nearly impossible, asserts Corey. Making matters worse is the fact that many software vendors are actually leveraging software license audits as a way to generate additional revenues, he adds. “And, as companies transition to the cloud they are constantly looking at ways to revise their licensing to optimize revenue.”
In the presentation, Corey plans to cover software licensing trends, important lessons learned from the real world, common sense advice for negotiating licensing agreements, and the steps every organization should take now to avoid becoming a victim of a software license audit for which the real purpose is to generate revenue for the vendor. Frequently, he said, companies are catching customers in loopholes when they change their licensing rules.
For example, said Corey, when a software vendor changed its licensing rules about hyper-threading on public cloud platforms, it made it substantially more expensive to use hyper-threading despite this feature only increasing performance by 20%. “The easy way to deal with it would be to shut it off but the real issue is that, by changing this policy, it could dramatically change the cost but also the outcome of an audit. A customer might be deploying on the cloud and think everything is OK and then this new policy comes out and it gets audited, and it might find out that its bill has doubled because it was not paying attention to the change,” said Corey.
In addition, if a customer is using a third party to support its business such as a public cloud platform provider, and that hosting provider makes a change such as moving a virtual machine from a 16-core system to a 32-core system, the licensing obligation to the software vendor can increase steeply. “Relying on third parties can be dangerous if they are not careful about licensing,” said Corey.
“Companies are creating license policies and enforcing those, but a policy is not a contract. And so people have to understand that just because a vendor says this is the way it is, does not necessarily mean it is the way it has to be. It is really a case of ‘let the buyer beware.’ I would argue that the cloud is still the Wild West, everyone is still trying to figure it out, and licensing is still evolving.”
Corey, who is co-founder, LicenseFortress, plans to co-present with Don Sullivan, system engineer database specialist, VMware. They will present their talk at 2 pm on Tuesday, May 21.
For more information about Data Summit 2019, and to register, go here.