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Big Blue turns to performance based licensing

Antony Savvas

IBM has unveiled plans to charge for its software based on how fast it runs on customer systems.

Big Blue’s plan was revealed as it announced licensing changes for its middleware this week, although these changes will have little effect on pricing.

IBM said technologies such as virtualisation, grid computing and multi-core chips were making the widely used per-processor licensing model too complex.

IBM currently charges double for its software if a dual-core chip is based on its own Power architecture, but it doesn’t charge extra for software running on dual-core x86 chips.

In future, said IBM, the supplier plans simplifying the costs by setting license charges according to the performance of the processors running the software.

Initially, a chip's processor “value unit rating” will be established. IBM will look at the performance of Intel’s quad-core Xeon processor, expected to arrive before the year end, as part of its new rating system.

IBM will draw up its own processing benchmarks and validate against them against third party data.

The introduction date for the performance-based pricing has not been confirmed by IBM.


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