Skip to main content

Progress on Grid licensing

One of the events on our SC06 stand was a vendors' round-table discussion on Grid licensing. Representatives from Platform, NAG, Visual Numerics, Allinea, among others, contributed their thoughts on how we can produce more flexible licensing schemes for Grid use cases. There are two levels of concern: technical and business.

At the technical level, some vendors expressed frustration that the licensing systems that are currently available are too restrictive. So even though they want to offer more flexible business models, the underlying technology prevents them from doing so. There was broad agreement that a usage-based monitoring technology would provide a more flexible substrate.

There were several scenarios offerred at the business level. One of the simplest is to charge directly based on use. Ohio State University want to do this for local SME's who are just setting out down the road to Grid adoption; these SMEs don't want to commit to a large upfront cost when they are just experimenting with the technology. More complex use cases were suggested that would give more predictable costs for users and more predictable revenue streams for vendors. These would take advantage of the usage tracking technology but would not be constrained by it.

What made this discussion rather different from similar panels before is that there is a plan to work towards possible solutions. A first step will be to produce sample use cases for Grid licensing, together with outlines of what licenses would be required for each. This should help to frame the discussion and set requirements on any usage monitoring system.


My thanks to David Wallom and Laura McGinnis for organising this event and choosing UK e-Science to host it. I look forward to observing developments. I am certain that we will develop the discussion further at OGF20 in Manchester next year.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Changing Principles

In EA, architecture principles set a framework for making architectural decisions.  They help to establish a common understanding across different groups of stakeholders, and provide guidance for portfolios and projects.  Michael Durso of the LSE gave a good introduction to the idea in a webinar last week for the UCISA EA community.

Many organisations take the TOGAF architecture principles as a starting point.  These are based on the four architectural domains of TOGAF: business, information/data, applications, technology/infrastructure.  These principles tend to describe what should be done, e.g. re-use applications, buy in software rather than build it, keep data secure.  See for example the principles adopted at Plymouth University and the University of Birmingham.

Recently though, I encountered a different way of looking at principles.  The user experience design community tend to focus more on how we should do things.  E.g. we should start with user needs, use iterative developm…

Why the UCISA Capability Model is useful

What do Universities do?

This may seem a strange question to ask and the answer may seem obvious.  Universities educate students and undertake research.  And perhaps they work with industrial partners and create spin-off companies of their worn.  And they may work with local communities, and affiliation bodies for certain degress, and they definitely report on their activities to government bodies such as HEFCE.  They provide student services and support.  The longeryou think about it, the more things you can think of that a University does.

In business, the things that an organisation does are called "capabilities", which is a slightly strange term.  I think it is linked to the HR idea of a combination of the CAPacity and ABILITY to do a task.  Whatever the name, it is a useful concept.  A capability is more basic than a process: a University may change the way it educates students but as long as it remains a University it will educate them one way or another.

A capability …

A new EA Repository

One of my goals since starting this job two years ago has always been to create a repository for architecture documents.  The idea is to have a central store where people can find information about the University's applications, data sources, business processes, and other architectural information.  This store will make it easier for us to explain our plans, to show the current state of the University's information systems, and to explain what Enterprise Architecture is all about.

It's taken a long time to reach this goal, mainly because we're often had more pressing and immediate work to be done.  The creation of a repository is one of those tasks that is very important but never quite urgent.  So I'm now very happy to say that we are in the process of deploying a repository and modelling tool.


This is the culmination of a careful process to select the most appropriate tool for our needs.  We began by organising several workshops to gather requirements from a rang…