Monday, January 22, 2007

Welcome 2007! Let's make a difference!!

I always like to reflect on the past year and immerse myself in future looking publications around the New Year. This year was no different and I resolved to focus on making one or two things change as a result of the activities of Grid Computing Now! in 2007. The first issue to be faced is that of Software Licensing. This issue has hung over the industry for many years, the issue being that the irresistible force of software vendors wanting to exercise control of user behaviour has been resisted by the immovable mass of reality in the guise of customer business needs. Now, Open Source movement aside, no-one seems to be disputing the need to pay a fair price for a valuable piece of software for use in business.

The issue appears to be all about the mechanisms by which the supplier is paid. On the one hand we have software in the enterprise which is widespread on every desk, such as Office; Outlook; Explorer; etc.. On the other we have a smaller penetration of higher value tools for use in engineering design; manufacturing planning; mathematical modelling and simulation; etc.. With the advent of virtualisation at server and network level and the introduction of multi-core systems the problem has just been magnified substantially. Each of the vendors is trying different mechanisms to try and manage their way around the fact that their software may be used in a more widespread manner than licensed. This could become a tail-chasing proposition of epic proportions to keep up in these rapidly evolving virtual environments!

It seems that there ought to be easy ways of managing this problem and I intend to find out what you, the users and readers of this blog, think those easy ways should be. I'm intending to canvass 100 opinions in the lead up to the Grids Mean Business event at the Open Grid Forum conference which will be held in Manchester on May 8th and 9th, see
How can you help? Well let me know via email the answers to the following questions:-
1) Is software licensing a problem for you?
2) Why or why not?
3) If you could wave a magic wand what would your ideal solution be?
4) Any other thoughts?
Send your message to and watch this space for updates on my progress to 100 opinions to make a difference in 2007!

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