License Aware Resource Allocation & Enforcement in a Dynamic Virtualized Environment
Publication Date: 2010-Aug-10
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Described is an idea used to bridge the gap between current software licenses and the demands of a virtualized environment, without the need for ISVs to modify their code. Enforcement of license agreements in virtualized environments is a key need addressed by this invention.
Hardware today is capable of virtualized environments with resources being allocated based on almost any internal or external factor such as time of day, electricity cost, hardware utilization, demand, etc. Software applications are generally priced and licensed with a very narrow scope, such as per processor or per user.
There can be a mismatch between computer hardware management capability and software pricing and licensing in a virtualized infrastructure. In this infrastructure, there is a need for license aware resource planning to support the required resources being available via the virtualized hardware and software environments based on the software license constraints. Pricing and licensing need to drive virtualization in order to allow applications to perform appropriately. This idea is used to bridge the gap between current software licenses and the demands of a virtualized environment, without the need for ISVs to modify their code. Enforcement of license agreements in virtualized environments is a key need addressed by this invention.
The first reference  is the closest to the idea, but it deals with issuing (1) temporary (2) software licenses so that correct (3) charges can be added, if appropriate, for increased software use on more hardware resources. The remaining references [2,3,4] address validating configurations but do not mention enforcement based on the software licenses for a workload that is installed on a partition.
This invention provides a mechanism for software providers to ensure their applications are being used in accordance with their licensing terms and conditions, and with adequate hardware support in a dynamic virtualized environment, without modifying their application code to do constant monitoring. The invention uses a formatted license file that is plugged into the virtualized environment when an application is installed. When a configuration change is entered by a systems administrator, a license enforcer checks the environment and any proposed configuration changes to the environment, to enforce pricing & licensing based on manual input or the formatted licensing file(s).
This idea deals with (1) permanent or static application licenses specifying (2) hardware resource requirements for the application to provide adequate service, and with (3) limiting an administrator's (4) ability to change the hardware configuration to avoid violation of the application license requirements.
This type of capability described will facilitate ISVs being able to sell resource-specific service level agreements in a Software as a Service (SAS)...