Whiteboard Wednesday Episode 17: What is sub-capacity licensing
Whiteboard Wednesday is me, a whiteboard and learning about all things IT Asset Management (ITAM), every Wednesday!
Please like, follow, subscribe to Whiteboard Wednesday updates, reach out on social media and say hello, and let me know what else you want explained on the whiteboard, and we’ll get it done!
Sub-capacity licensing is where you’re licensing a subsection of a piece of hardware. Let me explain by using an example, say that you had a large piece of hardware. This is a big server and you wanted to virtualize that as we’ve described in previous videos. So, let’s say that you had a payroll application running on here, you had an accounts application. And let’s say that you had an ecommerce application.
Now, some publishers charge for their software, not based on the fact that that software is installed or the number of users that are connected to that software, but the power of the machine that that software is being run on. This is because that’s going to give you in theory more advantage. The more power in that device has, the more value you can get from the application.
Let’s take that ecommerce application. As an example, let’s say that that was priced based on the power of the device that it was set on. You wouldn’t want to price it based on the power of the device it was set on because it’s in a virtual environment and the power is enormous on this hardware. What the publisher will allow you to do is say, we will allow you to license it based on the sub-capacity of that device. What they tend to do is they want some proof or some evidence to support that, because they don’t want to price it based on that subsection of the hardware. Then when they walk out the door, you go, woohoo, let’s crank it up to here. They want to be able to audit the fact that you’ve kept it at that level and you’ve not abused their licensing.
So, this is sub-capacity licensing, they might want to track an audit trail of the fact that that’s been allocated as it has. There are also techniques called hard partitioning. This is the way that the hub of the virtual hardware is divided; these lines here are called partitions. And you can have a soft partition which moves, and you can have a hard partition, which is allocated to a specific part of the device.
These are all technical terms, but they used in licensing, and they drastically affect the price we pay for these virtual environments.