Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Thoughts regarding consolidation..

One thing ive been giving alot of thought is consolidation of Software..

The discussion comes from alot of different perspectives, from Managers regarding Cost, from architects regarding making the landscape easier to understand (less servers means less dependecies, right?) and maybe some other perspectives..

We have tried this consolidation thing.. It works great for some applications/services.. Some stuff that we have been highly successful with are WebSphere and Oracle.. We have some machines that run up to 30-40 separate installations of WebSphere in the same OS, not using zones or any other mechanism, but by using common sense regarding distribution of ports for each appserver.. Oracle is the same thing, up to 10 different oracle installation with different patchlevel's and different usage servering MANY different applications DB needs.. and it works GREAT! Our problem is the OTHER applications..

  • The applications that has weird licensing model's that makes the price skyrocket just because we move the application from a 4-way box to a 16-way 6900, but with NO extra service added..
  • The Other applications that uses a shitload of port's, undocumented and the unknown services they provide and they are most likely not configurable..
  • The Internal System Owner's that want's their OWN box just for the heck of it
First out: Outdated Licensing Models..

We have one quite famous Business Intelligence application that is quite famous throughout the world.. Its divided into 2 parts, one part does all the smart stuff, connecting to different datasources etc and the other parts is a frontend where people can read the generated reports etc.. Anyhow.. This application's licence is bound to the number of Cores available ASWELL as how many MHZ they are running at.. I find this incredibly annoying..

Why should the software vendor bother at all about how much Hardware we throw at a problem? If we are just going to generate one report that 1 person is going to read but we want this report generated LIGHTINGLY fast why shouldnt we be able to throw a 25k at the problem without running into the licensing issue? Should the software vendor really care if we are stupid enough to spend a gazillion dollars to make their software run faster? Does the vendor's costs increase if we run the application on a 25k instead of a V240? No not at all..

Many people have blogged about this issue but I still don't really see any difference at many SW vendors yet.. Please do SOMETHING! Base the licensing on something else.. Number of reports generated, the number of users with account's in the application etc etc.. Look at JES or Utility Computing or any other model, Im sure that many organizations would welcome such a move and make manager's more happy with the application and embrace it even further rather than keeping it at a distance just because of bad licensing..

Ill write more about the other 2 annoying parts in later blogs..

Take care ppl!


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