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Dr Dobb Digest, June 09

Dr Dobb Digest, June 09

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Published by Ruxo Zheng

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Published by: Ruxo Zheng on Jun 21, 2009
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Entire contents Copyright© 2009,Techweb/United Business Media LLC,except where otherwise noted.No portion of this publication june be repro-duced,stored,transmitted in any form,including computer retrieval,without written permission from the publisher.All Rights Reserved.Articlesexpress the opinion of the author and are not necessarily the opinion of the publisher.Published by Techweb,United Business Media Limited,600Harrison St.,San Francisco,CA 94107 USA 415-947-6000.
Why can’tsoftwareengineering have more rigorous results, like the other parts of computer science?
 June 2009
The Art and Business of Software Development
Dr.Dobb’s Digest
Editor’s Note
DR. DOBBS DIGEST2June 2009 www.ddj.com
Distributed Computing
nnovation makes things easier. That’s the plan anyway. But often times, solutions toone problem give rise to unanticipated problems elsewhere. Take distributed comput-ing technologies like cloud computing, for instance. In general, the problems cloudcomputing is intended to solve involve reducing time, cost, and complexity; and by allaccounts, it appears to be working out that way. That is, until you add software licensinginto the mix.Until now, the dominant licensing approaches have been the processor, site, and seatmodels. For the most part, these work. But what if your data center has multiple servers,each running multiple virtual operating environments? And what if the number of instancesof OSs change from day-to-day— or even hour-to-hour? Or what if you need to move thevirtual environment from one server to another? How much more will this cost? It’s safe tosay that the existing models of software licensing just don’t work for today’s distributedcomputing world.Proposals for alternative licensing models are in the works, with attention being paid totransaction approaches that range from monthly (or even hourly) subscription to utility-based “pay for what you use” models. Volume-based licensing is an attractive alternative incases where hundreds of employees may need access to a particular software package, butfor only a few hours per month.You’d think that major software vendors would have a handle these problems, but that’snot so. The different versions of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 are a case in point— stan-dard, enterprise, and data center — each has its own set of licensing rules. Likewise, pric-ing for Oracle software with “Standard Edition” in the product name is based on the size of the Amazon EC2 instances; its Database Standard Edition can only be licensed on Amazon’sEC2 instances up to 16 virtual cores, and Standard Edition One can only be licensed on EC2instances up to 8 virtual cores.I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s easier to understand than “one-processor/one-license.”
By Jonathan Erickson,
Editor In Chief 

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