Open source supplier Canonical has introduced software as a service (SaaS) pricing for on-premise storage in a move that could change the way traditional software is licenced.
Speaking to Computer Weekly, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said: “You need to think of the datacentre as a pile of resources you can dynamically purpose just like a cloud. It is very hard to be truly elastic if you have to pick up the phone to speak to someone.”
Charged at just over two cents ($0.022) per gigabyte per month, the Ubuntu Advantage storage offerings enables enterprises to deploy scale-out storage technology onto their commodity hardware infrastructure, distinguishing between supported and unsupported clusters, and routing support calls to a wide range of specialist providers through Canonical as the common level one support provider.
Canonical aims to support a range of storage technologies including open source products such as Ceph and Swift as well as proprietary software from Nexenta, Swiftstack and other third-party providers.
The service includes storage software, deployment and management tools, security and stability updates, reference architectures, knowledge base access and 24/7 commercial support.
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Ubuntu Advantage Storage joins the original Advantage product for on-premise servers.
“This is Saas experience and Saas pricing but still on-premise software,” Shuttleworth said. “We will build and support your cloud for three cents per VM. The IT guys do not have to worry about how many machines will be deployed, how many VMs, how many cores, and does it need to run 24/7. It is just the cost of the VM. As soon as they switch it off, they stop paying.”
Shuttleworth believes the traditional software suppliers, who currently charge licence fees for on-premise software on a per user or per server basis with an additional fee for maintenance, will eventually change their pricing to a SaaS model.
Gartner’s recent application, integration and middleware spending report reflected a shift from traditional licensing to SaaS-style subscriptions. Gartner research director Fabrizio Biscotti said organisations running brand-new integration projects are looking at cloud or open-source software platforms rather than the big five middleware providers.