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About CPU core licensing and hyperthreading in a virtualized environment

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About CPU core licensing and hyperthreading in a virtualized environment

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Hello,

do you guys have an idea if, in a virtualized environment, the licensing of cores is based on how many cores Windows sees or rather on the actual number of cores on the physical machine (host)

i.e. A machine with a 10 cores processor, with hyperthreading enabled, running VMWare, will let you assign up to 20 vCPU to a guest.

So the correct core count for licensing should be 10 or 20? And what happens if the number of vCPU assigned to the guest, in the same scenario, was 16? How many core licenses should one get?

Thanks

Regards,

JM

Verified Answer
  • If you are in the study phase, make sure to get all this in writing, It should be as easy as the sales guy adding some notes to the quote.  Particularly, you want a note confirming that the core licenses are based on the number of physical cores assigned to the virtual machine. That eliminates this H/T confusion. Also, in the not-too-distant-past, the sales side has tried to convince customers that you need to licence ALL the cores in the physical box, regardless of the number of cores assigned to the VM hosting the Progress licences. This practice has mostly gone away, but you do want to make sure that Progress provides you with clear proof of this.

    Also, don't forget about the DR licenses. You should negotiate and purchase your OE Replication PLUS licenses now if you don't already have them.

    And if you have UBrokers or PASOE, same thing, discuss moving those licenses to core-based. We have seen a lot of confusion among end users regarding UBroker agent licenses vs named user licenses. This has led to some pretty nasty surprises. Going to core-based makes most of this (or maybe all) just go away.

    As for ROI, it's really application dependent. Using ProTop, we have worked with customers to identify code inefficiencies that were consuming multiple CPUs, and have had quite a bit of success making relatively small code changes that had a large impact on CPU usage. If you can go through this exercise, your CPU requirements may go down, increasing the ROI of the switch to core-based.

    Paul Koufalis
    White Star Software

    pk@wss.com
    @oeDBA (https://twitter.com/oeDBA)

    ProTop: The #1 Free OpenEdge DB Monitoring Tool
    http://protop.wss.com
All Replies
  • Ah licensing, the dark side of the Force. The EULA says:

    “Core”: A Core is a core processor of a CPU as allocated by Licensee made up of an independent processor combined onto a single integrated circuit or silicon chip, in both virtualized and/or non-virtualized environment, and regardless of whether used in a production or non-production (e.g. test, development) environment.

    Which I interpret as hyper-threading doesn't count. It doesn't matter if your VM runs on 2 vCPU's, if your machine has 6 cores you pay for 6 cores. Disclaimer:  I'm not a lawyer :-)

  • I am not a lawyer, and I preface my comments with the same disclaimer as bronco, but I can say that I have supported MANY end-users when faced with a license audit.

    This CPU vs core vs virtualization issue comes up often and the answer, according to the real documentation, is not cut-and-dry. With that said, if you can prove to the license audit team that your virtual machine is limited to X physical cores, then that should be sufficient. This may mean showing the contents of /proc/cpuinfo AND showing the 2-for-1 allocation of vCPU vs physical cores in the hypervisor host. On AIX, you will also need to show your max entitlement as that is your actual max CPU limit.

    For other people reading this, you should self-audit, or get us to pre-audit you, as your ability to purchase licenses and negotiate price basically goes out the window in an audit situation. And to make it worse, you can expect to pay DOUBLE for any license discrepancies once you factor in penalties and back maintenance. Invest in a couple of days of work now to avoid tens or hundreds of thousands in license surprises tomorrow.

    Paul Koufalis
    White Star Software

    pk@wss.com
    @oeDBA (https://twitter.com/oeDBA)

    ProTop: The #1 Free OpenEdge DB Monitoring Tool
    http://protop.wss.com
  • Ok, so if HyperThreading is out of the equation, it then goes down to number of physical cores on the physical machine.

    We're still in the study phase as to whether moving to license per Core model has better ROI in the long run, so no issues from the auditors so far :)

    Thanks

  • If you are in the study phase, make sure to get all this in writing, It should be as easy as the sales guy adding some notes to the quote.  Particularly, you want a note confirming that the core licenses are based on the number of physical cores assigned to the virtual machine. That eliminates this H/T confusion. Also, in the not-too-distant-past, the sales side has tried to convince customers that you need to licence ALL the cores in the physical box, regardless of the number of cores assigned to the VM hosting the Progress licences. This practice has mostly gone away, but you do want to make sure that Progress provides you with clear proof of this.

    Also, don't forget about the DR licenses. You should negotiate and purchase your OE Replication PLUS licenses now if you don't already have them.

    And if you have UBrokers or PASOE, same thing, discuss moving those licenses to core-based. We have seen a lot of confusion among end users regarding UBroker agent licenses vs named user licenses. This has led to some pretty nasty surprises. Going to core-based makes most of this (or maybe all) just go away.

    As for ROI, it's really application dependent. Using ProTop, we have worked with customers to identify code inefficiencies that were consuming multiple CPUs, and have had quite a bit of success making relatively small code changes that had a large impact on CPU usage. If you can go through this exercise, your CPU requirements may go down, increasing the ROI of the switch to core-based.

    Paul Koufalis
    White Star Software

    pk@wss.com
    @oeDBA (https://twitter.com/oeDBA)

    ProTop: The #1 Free OpenEdge DB Monitoring Tool
    http://protop.wss.com
  • Wow, licensing experts!  Can't pass up on this....

    When negotiating licensing, the Progress sales reps sometimes refer to "list price" and then they may give you an arbitrary discount base on that.  Shouldn't this imply that we can see a public list of prices somewhere?  Or is neither price public (either the "list price" or their discounts).  This seems to contradict the meaning of "list price"; I think it would be helpful to be able to see the "price list" if such a thing exists.

    Insofar as PASOE goes, my understanding is that they were selling that with "named user licenses".  Do you know of customers that have started purchasing it by core instead?

    Finally, I am wondering about "Data Server for SQL"?  Have you ever seen that licensed by core, or is it a different licensing model? It seems overly complex to have some products using one licensing model, and others using another model.  

  • There is a price list.  Partners have it.

    Consulting in Model-Based Development, Transformation, and Object-Oriented Best Practice  http://www.cintegrity.com

  • Yes there is a price list. No it is not public posted.

    A Progress sales rep will sell you almost any licensing scheme, within reason. So even if stuff don't officially exist on a price sheet, there may be a way to put together a deal that makes sense for everyone. Talk to your rep.

    WARNING: YMMV. WILDLY.

    With that said, I have many customers running core licenses for various products. If you can make the business case, you should be able to get a quote for core licenses for PASOE.

    Regarding the DataServer product, yes, I can see where if you have core-based Enterprise DB licenses, then you might want core-based DS, UBroker and/or PASOE licenses. It just simplifies everything for everyone and your sales rep shouldn't be totally opposed to the idea.

    Paul Koufalis
    White Star Software

    pk@wss.com
    @oeDBA (https://twitter.com/oeDBA)

    ProTop: The #1 Free OpenEdge DB Monitoring Tool
    http://protop.wss.com
  • It is not secret -- several former CEOs and other high level executives have said so repeatedly and in public -- but the sales people very much want you to think that it is and they resist sharing it.  If you are not a partner getting your hands on a copy is challenging.

    --
    Tom Bascom
    tom@wss.com

  • I like to be careful about selling our services here on community, but it really is important to have someone with experience (i.e. me) audit you internally before Progress comes around. Even more important is to engage a professional when the audit does come.

    Paul Koufalis
    White Star Software

    pk@wss.com
    @oeDBA (https://twitter.com/oeDBA)

    ProTop: The #1 Free OpenEdge DB Monitoring Tool
    http://protop.wss.com
  • Having an *independent* perspective is priceless.

    --
    Tom Bascom
    tom@wss.com

  • > Insofar as PASOE goes, my understanding is that they were selling that with "named user licenses".  Do you know of customers that have started purchasing it by core instead?

    PASOE is listed as being available on Named User, Registered Device, Access Agent, and Core models.  But as Paul said, what's on the price list isn't necessarily the final word.

    > Finally, I am wondering about "Data Server for SQL"?  Have you ever seen that licensed by core, or is it a different licensing model?

    DataServer (SQL and Oracle) is listed on Named User, Registered Device, and Access Agent models.