Server virtualisation is a mature technology that can help you save money, time, and carbon emissions. Consequently, just about every major organisation has adopted it in one form or another, somewhere on their IT estate.
But there is a major issue with virtualisation that many organisations overlook – the impact it has on your software licensing. Unless you are fully aware of these implications and able to manage your licence position, you could end up paying more for additional software licences (and fines if the shortfall is discovered during an increasingly common vendor audit) than you saved through virtualising in the first place.
Understanding the risks
Most software vendors’ licensing rules differ between physical and virtual environments. But a common theme is that small changes to the virtual environment can have a large impact on licensing requirements. Typical examples include..