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CPU License and VMWare
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NickBurns
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:41 pm 
Post subject: CPU License and VMWare

My company has a single CPU license for Business Objects Professional XI. We purchased and setup the server in 2007. We put the application on a server with VMWare. The physical server has 2 quad core processors but within VMWare we only dedicated one processor to the installation containing Business Objects.

We are being audited by SAP and now they want us to purchase the licences for the 2 processor quad core installation even though we only gave the application 1 processor via vmware. I told them we can move it to a single cpu server but they say it is too late write the check!

Has anyone else ever dealt with this before?

Any chance anybody out there has a copy of their cpu licensing agreement from 2007?

Thx
Nick
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clarence
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:31 pm 
Post subject: Re: CPU License and VMWare

Is this your account rep telling you this or BOBJ lawyers?
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GlennL
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:30 pm 
Post subject: Re: CPU License and VMWare

Nick,

I can't too much insite other than to say I am surprised as this is not my understanding of the agreement on vmware and processor affinity. Your licensing agreement from that time should be fairly clear on it but I do know that there is documentation floating around that says under tools such as VMWare ESX etc licensing is only required for the processors assigned. There may be a blurred line when there is a pool of processors.

I kinda have to be careful of what I say on a public forum due to my companies partnership with SAP/BO. However I am (as I'm sure many others) VERY interested in your outcome. 2 Quad cores equates to 5 Cpu licenses meaning they are wanting you to purchase an additional 4 Cpus which is an extremely large amount of money.

My belief is to stand your ground and not be bullied. Ask for clear understanding and direction not from the sales person but in writing from their legal department. This will allow your software asset group to understand clearly where you stand. If need to be esculate up through their management structure.

Cheers

Glenn
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Steve Krandel
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:23 pm 
Post subject: Re: CPU License and VMWare

Your server has 2 quad core. If you dedicate 1 quad core to BO, that's still way over what you licensed.

A CPU in BO terms is a single core. You can do almost nothing with a single CPU. They count multi-core a little differently. A duo-core is equivalent to 1.5 cores. So a quad core = 3. So no matter what you do, you're out of compliance.

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Dave Rathbun
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:44 pm 
Post subject: Re: CPU License and VMWare

The reasoning I have heard is that suppose you have a simple box with two cpus in it (forget about cores for the moment). Suppose you have your virtual machine limited to using just one CPU. It would seem that a single CPU license is all you need, right?

The interpretation that has been used before, however, says that you have two CPUs available in the box, therefore you need to license two CPUs. When the VM boots the first time, it might use cpu 0. The next time it boots it might use cpu 1. So while it's not running simutaneously on two cpus, it does have two cpu's available. Thus, you need a license for both.

Unfortunately it's more of a legal issue than a technical issue, at least as far as I see it.

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GlennL
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:12 pm 
Post subject: Re: CPU License and VMWare

The existing documentation at the time was very unclear about this definition however it did state that tools such as VMWare ESX etc could be used to subset the Cpus and only require licensing for those CPUS that are subsetted.

The unclear section is what consitutes a CPU. VMWare ESX will represent a core as a CPU. So for example one of my customers using VMWare has 2 Quad cores on the server which appears as 8Cpus in the console.

So does the CPU licenses stated in that arrangement correspond to the physical CPUs on the hardware or the reported CPUs core) in VMware. So for example you may have paid for 1 cpu but in effect in VMWare you are using a core. (I know this is implistic example but just trying to keep it clear).

Dave' spin on it is also correct and I've heard this positioned by some of the sales people here down under and immediately requested confirmation and clarity for that customer. I again go back to the ambiguity of the original licensing.

Like I said I am keenly interested to see how this unfolds as I know quiet a few customers who would now be deemed out of compliance if this is now the case. It definately wasn't the message communicate a couple of years ago when custoemrs 1st asked the question.

I would also question the spirit of the license and how it would hold up in the courts. Like i said in my original post this is a large sum of money that will have the sale reps hands rubbing in glee. I know for several of my customers it would enough to change the complete direction of their BI strategy even if they had to pay the money (and associated ongoing maintenance)
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Steve Krandel
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:50 pm 
Post subject: Re: CPU License and VMWare

GlennL wrote:
I would also question the spirit of the license and how it would hold up in the courts. Like i said in my original post this is a large sum of money that will have the sale reps hands rubbing in glee. I know for several of my customers it would enough to change the complete direction of their BI strategy even if they had to pay the money (and associated ongoing maintenance)
The "spirit of the license" is very key. While I do believe what Dave has stated about using 1 of the 2 CPUs in a server, I do not believe this is the spirit of the license. If I have a license for 1 CPU, I can install it on 100 boxes as long as I only have one of them being used at a time.
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dnewton
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:00 pm 
Post subject: Re: CPU License and VMWare

I've heard that Oracle also licenses their software, if you're not using Oracle's own VM, based upon the underlying host hardware specs, not the VM's size.

This is pretty stupid.

My understanding of VMware is that if you allocate 1 or 2 "cores" (CPUs) -- whatever shows up in Windows Task Manager -- then that's all you're getting, it's an upper limit, based upon CPU cycles. Even if the underlying hardware had capacity at any given time to support 4x that amount, you wouldn't get it. So you are indeed effectively limiting it to 1 or 2 cores. Again, use the value reported in Task Manager as your guide.

Also, check: Do you have a custom agreement with SAP (or BO)? Something that pre-dates the current shrinkwrap, default, license agreement?

As of February 2009's license agreement, I don't see any references to VMs or Virtual servers. If the license doesn't say clearly one way or the other, then it's going to be a negotiating point.
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NickBurns
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:38 am 
Post subject: Re: CPU License and VMWare

It was the Office of License Compliance that contacted us with a spreadsheet to fill out.

My guess is sales are down so now letís send OLC (SAP's version of the IRS) to harass customers.

They just recently updated there license agreement to include verbage for Virtual Machines. They are using this newly revised document to try and get money out of long term customers.
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dnewton
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:51 am 
Post subject: Re: CPU License and VMWare

NickBurns wrote:
They just recently updated there license agreement to include verbage for Virtual Machines. They are using this newly revised document to try and get money out of long term customers.


OK, but that doesn't really matter -- did your company sign something agreeing to the new license agreement? If not, then the license that was in effect at the time you bought the software should be the one that "rules". SAP can't arbitrarily change a contract -- which is what the software license agreement is -- and then assume that you consent to its terms.

Where it gets messy is at maintenance renewal-time, when they may force you to agree to the latest license document, in order to renew your maintenance.

There's enough money at stake here that you need to get your corporate counsel (attorney) involved. Or at least your purchasing department. Whomever has experience negotiating with software vendors.
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NickBurns
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:22 am 
Post subject: Re: CPU License and VMWare

No we have never signed the new license agreement.

My management has notified our legal department. So now I will just wait and see.

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Marek Chladny
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:39 am 
Post subject: Re: CPU License and VMWare

NickBurns wrote:
No we have never signed the new license agreement.

My management has notified our legal department. So now I will just wait and see.

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Hi,

Let us know then how it went. And good luck.

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GlennL
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:27 pm 
Post subject: Re: CPU License and VMWare

Likewise good luck with the journey I'm sure you have alot of peoples here support.

Just an additional note I have checked the latest T&C's and yes there is explicit statement in there that all CPU's on the hardware must be licensed with VMWare. Not much point in using VMWare then is there?

Good luck

Glenn
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clarence
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:27 am 
Post subject: Re: CPU License and VMWare

Quote:
Not much point in using VMWare then is there?


I agree. I will also be paying close attention to this situation.
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Steve Krandel
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:24 am 
Post subject: Re: CPU License and VMWare

Maybe it is useful. Many people are licensed by named user.
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