The ongoing debate around virtualization shows no signs of getting old. Virtualization has always created a ‘conflict of interests’ between those who worry about the technology (the software vendors) and those who enjoy the benefits it offers (the end customers of the aforementioned vendors).
There was a temporary sigh of relief in the world of automated license enforcement when new methods and techniques became available to bind software licenses in a more secure and reliable manner to a virtual machine . Almost overnight, all the concerns and fears of license duplication and misuse (albeit accidental or intentional) went away. The ultimate goal of eliminating the requirements for ISV’s to make a ‘VM/no VM’ decision at the time of deploying or activating their software was finally achieved. End customers could deploy applications where they liked, the vendors no longer had to care, and the world was a happy place.
Or so it seemed….
There are many virtualization related debates underway right now (even as you read this!), but one that I recently came across seemed to stand out above the others. It was all about who should be dictating the direction software companies should take to tackle software licensing and virtualization. Treating that topic independently, there are essentially 3 players involved: