An increasingly connected world demands a more responsive, flexible and virtualized network. Software licensing technology is important because, to a large extent, it will enable the next generation software-defined network. Customers will improve asset utilization and reduce cost by better understanding what network software they own and who, where and how it’s being used. Network vendors will be able to monetize their software offerings as recurring revenue streams with new buying models. Network software licensing technology provides a foundation enabling buyers and sellers to more easily forge an outcome-driven relationship.
We can help you better understand the changing network environment and take advantage of new Network Licensing technologies that can drive immediate bottom line results.
Node Locked Licensing
With traditional node locked licensing, one or more software licenses are loaded onto a network device or server to enable networking features on that device. The software license entitlement typically resides “on box” which can make it more difficult to move or re-host the entitlement on another device. The entitlement load is often done as the device is configured prior to initial delivery after purchase, but the entitlement can also be loaded in the field after the box is deployed. Licensing network software in this manner is centered on the physical device and this legacy approach has some challenges in virtualized or software-defined networks. Node-locked network licensing will be will us for years to come, but clearly, faster and more flexible licensing technologies will be needed to support next generation networks.
Unlike node-locked licensing, a pooled licensing approach provides a centralized repository of entitlements where available software licenses can be associated with specific devices to enable desired networking features. Pooled licensing may employ “call home” technology where devices can self-register to the license pool and obtain licenses configured for a defined role in the network. Ownership and consumption of entitlements in the license pool is clearly defined, which combined with telemetry such as that described above, can provide a higher level of intelligence regarding network asset utilization. Pooled licensing approaches often employ a cloud-based software license management tool. This can provide a simple browser-based interface, but may also introduce security considerations that must be addressed through the deployment architecture.