IBM, Market Head Toward Pay-Per-Use Licensing


The march toward pay-per-use software licensing continues as IBM announces a new pricing model, based on something it's calling "processor value units."


In a nutshell, a company will need to pay twice as much to run IBM software, such as DB2, on servers that run two processors instead of one.


Sounds simple enough, but IBM execs say it's just one response to the new realities of dual-core processing and virtualization, which allow multiple sessions of the same software to run on partitioned machines. The entire software market has been struggling with how to adapt to "grid" computing: Last year, VMware announced a per-socket pricing model; more recently, Microsoft announced it would allow unlimited virtual machines of its high-end data center Windows platform.


Ultimately, the emerging SaaS model may well force traditional software vendors away from processing power as the basis for their licensing models. Sun Microsystems has already taken such a step, charging a flat annual fee per user for its Java Enterprise System server software.

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