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Jan 13, 2016 - 09:19 AM
In terms of outsourcing or Cloud deployment, the first is to understand if it is actually possible or cost effective. Then and only then should you start looking at the migration / ongoing management / monitoring processes. It is where outsourcing or cloud migration is undertaken without appropriate due dilligence that, expensive, problems occur. For each application that you wish to migrate to cloud or outsource review each of the license agreements and determine if it is permitted or if it includes some stings in the tail.
Publishers Banning Cloud Deployment
You will be surprised the number of publishers that have a blanket ban on cloud / virtualisation deployment. The reasons are many and range from them having their own SaaS solution they want users to migrate to and are using the ban as a migration lever; all the way to publishers who have complex user / device product activation processes that require unique ID's for devices. Cloud has benefits to the management and deployment of devices, but there are unintended consequences. Specifically, with cloud / virtualisation, it is possible to “clone” a virtual machine exactly (giving it the same name, address, hardware IDs). For licensing that depend on these attributes of the physical machine to determine its fundamental uniqueness (like many license management programs do), this “feature” is a right royal pain.
For example, a customer purchases a software license from a publisher with this type of model, the publisher requests a “device ID” for either the deployment target or the license server. This Device ID is a value based on physical characteristics of the machine a bit like the Mac address. Publisher then creates and sends out a license key for the software company has purchased allowing the appropriate number of purchased licenses to be served from ONLY THAT device with the matching device ID or for a single licence on one unique device. If you could arbitrarily set the device ID on a computer or duplicate it absolutely, it is very easy to pirate licenses because one license key could be used on many, many computers.
Publishers With Unfair Terms
Oracle is top of the list here. Oracle account managers often tell their customers that with a ULA “You can deploy software covered by the ULA to cloud without restriction.” However, what they will be less likely to tell you is that customers are unable to crystalise any deployments they have in the cloud once their ULA comes to expire. We have seen numerous customers forced to renew a ULA as they deployed thousands of processors to cloud under a ULA and have no way to migrate out; other customers have been forced to bring large volumes bck on premise as the cost of teh new ULA was prohbitive. I will stop short of saying it is a deliberate technique of some Oracle account managers to force customers into renewing ULA’s !
Fees For 3 rd Party Rights & Outsourcing
When outsourcing applications it is likely you will need 3 rd party use rights and it is common for publishers to charge a fee for this. What is key here is a well planned, well structured negotiation. Not done on the back foot after the event. Plan in advance and try to bundle the ask for third party rights along with a new / additional purchase or a renewal. Other restrictions from publishers are geographic, we had one publisher of a small code snippet very popular in web development that prohbited any deployment or remote usage to developers in India or China.
I wont answer this in too much detail except to say that you need to ensure that your cloud systems have equal if not tighter control than your physical systems. That means policy, process and monitoring. All of these need to form part of your cloud adoption project.