These days, one of the most common IT solutions employed by enterprises around the world is server virtualisation, which involved splitting a single physical machine into multiple, independent devices. This has a range of advantages for business users, as it can save resources and memory by allowing you to run two or more completely separate systems, with different operating systems if necessary, off the same hardware. Therefore, using virtualisation on a dedicated servers could be a good move for enterprises, but if you do this, you need to be aware of some of the potential issues that can crop up.
Software licensing issues
Tech news provider IT World noted that many firms end up operating many instances of an application on a single physical machine. However, traditional licensing agreements require the organisation to license each virtual machine separately.
Surprisingly, this may be something that many businesses fail to factor into their thinking. A poll by software asset management firm License Dashboard found only 42% of its customers use a dedicated licensing solution to help them with the task of managing software of virtualised environments, while 19% don't do anything.
Ticking time bomb
This could potentially pose serious problems if businesses are using advanced technologies such as VMware's Distributed Resources Scheduler (DRS). This automatically allocates server resources to high-priority applications as needed, which means software could potentially end up being used on every virtual machine owned by a company. As a result of this, enterprises will have to make sure their software is licensed for use on every virtual machine in order to stay compliant, in case it is needed to run during peak times.
Matt Fisher, director at License Dashboard, warned this has the potential to increase a firm's licensing requirements by up to 500% "at the flick of a switch". He said: "DRS has the potential to be a ticking time bomb for many organisations, so we urge them to review how their software is deployed in virtualised environments or risk facing significant fines in 2013."