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248 comments

Mary-Kate Olsen, 1986 - 2004 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756225)

Truly sad. You will be missed.

Re:Mary-Kate Olsen, 1986 - 2004 (1)

ExtremeGoatse! (778447) | about 10 years ago | (#9756437)


ExtremeGoatse misses you Mary-Kate!!!

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)_______|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

I get first post... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756229)

...and all I got was this lousy "Move along, nothing to see here" message.

YOU AND THAT OTHER FAILURE FAIL IT, FAILURE! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756256)

Dead Mary-Kate PWN3ZZ0RZ your sorry ass!!!!!1

Reporter: Now that you're dead, what's next in your Hollywood career?
Mary-Kate: BRAINS!!!!!!!!

I doubt it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756230)

I'm sure higher-end software will charge per physical chip if nothing else.

Re:I doubt it (2, Interesting)

The Snowman (116231) | about 10 years ago | (#9756481)

I'm sure higher-end software will charge per physical chip if nothing else.

I am sure that newly licensed software will explicitly state whether it means physical chips or cores, but remember, companies exist to make money. By licensing per core instead of physical chip, they make more money. The software is the same no matter how many chips, only the price varies.

The real issue is how current licenses handle multiple cores per chip. This may wind up in the courts, or licensees may wind up being extorted for extra money they probably do not owe.

Despite being dead, BSD scales well with SMP and runs SMP apps very well, plus it is free. I know what license I will use...

Competition keeps prices down (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#9756498)

By licensing per core instead of physical chip, they make more money.

Not if Oracle's customers defect to less expensive competitors [postgresql.org] , as you begin to recognize with your reference to BSD.

FIRST POST?!? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756233)

FIRST POST!!

I can't believe it! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756291)

I get to be the first to tell you

YOU FUCKING FAILED IT!!!

haha (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756240)

Oracle play nice and lose millions ?
nah.
They WILL find a way :)

I doubt it (-1, Flamebait)

pablo_max (626328) | about 10 years ago | (#9756244)

"Can multi-core processors put the final nail in per processor licensing?"

no, but i bet linux can.

Re:I doubt it (5, Interesting)

jarich (733129) | about 10 years ago | (#9756275)

"Can multi-core processors put the final nail in per processor licensing?"

no, but i bet linux can.

Oracle runs on Linux.

Oracle charges per CPU.

Your point was?

Re:I doubt it (4, Interesting)

globalar (669767) | about 10 years ago | (#9756424)

Oracle [oracle.com] charges for cores individually. (see the Processor section)

Perhaps a compromise will result. Eventually a 2CPU license could entirely replace a single CPU license. At such a stage licenses could be bundled as 2CPU, 4CPU, etc. As multicores become the norm, naturally 1CPU licenses should phase out entirely.

This would allow companies to keep their per core licensing scheme. Customers would get the feeling of a deal by getting a muticore license. Perhaps the market would lower the cost of 2CPU license to what a single CPU would be worth.

HT is another matter - architecturally and performance-wise.

Re:I doubt it (2, Funny)

dasmegabyte (267018) | about 10 years ago | (#9756439)

His point being:

Many Linux afficianados don't know the first thing about the software industry or how it works.

I thought this was fairly well communicated.

Re:I doubt it (3, Funny)

einer (459199) | about 10 years ago | (#9756691)

Insulting linux zealots on slashdot? Think of your karma man!

Re:I doubt it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756476)

For crying out loud--have you even bothered to read the article? And if you read the article, learn to think before slamming someone. Even the mods have your post at a 4.

The article clearly, openly, with links, also mentions Solaris and MS (the latter briefly) besides Oracle. Yes, operating systems. That means that, at least with Solaris (MS is only mentioned in name), companies are being charged more for multicore processors which were unexpected. You don't have that issue obviously with Linux.

Oh, and even IF the article only spoke about Oracle, gee whiz, free software becomes even a more viable cheaper option when the cost of closed, commercial products doubles or quadruples. If you have a small cluster of machines and all of the sudden your licensing for each doubles because you have a multicore processor, companies may be tempted to bring in a full time Linux specialist (esp. if the Linux/PostgreSQL fellow has a lower salary than your experienced Oracle admin) or figure it covers the cost of the migration from a properity system to Open Source.

Sorry if I come off pissy, but I hate when a parent makes an abundantly clear point, and someone decides to act like an ass because they couldn't think a little for themselves or pretend to read (hell, skim) the content of a short article.

Re:I doubt it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756494)

Well, hmmmm, does an HT processor equate to 2? Not really! The theoretical max, according to Intel (and almost certainly less than that in any real-world app) is 1.3. Now, given that I got 2 HT processors, should I be paying for 2? Or 2.6?

How about the future AMD processors that include 2 cores on one package? Does that count as 2 processors? Or only one, since it involves only one package?

Do you see? Software licensing or no, these limits are based on arbitrary concerns. It used to be cut and dry, but has changed as technology moves around and past the arbitrary software licensing.

As the man said, Linux puts an end to all these licensing per CPU (whatever that is) debates.

Oracle, with their new emphasis on Linux, will soon follow suit!

Re:I doubt it (2, Interesting)

halowolf (692775) | about 10 years ago | (#9756521)

We shouldn't forget that competitive products can also bring down the price. There have been a number of beat ups between DB2 and Oracle for instance, so all we need is a competitor to significantly undercut Oracle on per processor licensing and have customers switch to a different database platform.

Losing money, normally gets a companies attention, that perhaps their customers think that their licensing is getting too expensive for them to consider Oracle.

I havn't looked into database pricing for a long time (ignoring MySql type "free" databases), but from what I remember, Oracle was one of the more expensive ones. Is it so now?

Re:I doubt it (1)

nelsonal (549144) | about 10 years ago | (#9756721)

The company everyone loves to hate from Redmond did just that with SQL server. Oracle responded by some price cuts (mostly on large negotiated deals) and supporting linux on intel rather than Solaris on SUN. this lowered the total cost of an oracle database, rather than a $25,000 server and a $25,000 database they began pushing a $5,000 server and a $25,000 database.
Eventually a company like SAP or Siebel will begin supporting (and contributing signficant coding resources to one or more open source data bases to lower the cost of a SAP (on Oracle on Linux on x86) system by replacing it with an SAP (on SAP DB on Linux on x86) and oracle will begin struggling. Oracle is still pretty pricy, but from what I've seen they are the gold standard of commercial databases (DB2 is mostly on mainframes and SQL server is confined to Windows).

Re:I doubt it (2, Insightful)

jbplou (732414) | about 10 years ago | (#9756380)

Last time I looked Linux wasn't a DBMS. Oracle, SQL Server, DB2 they have per processor licensing. How will Linux stop this?

Re:I doubt it (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#9756463)

Last time I looked Linux wasn't a DBMS.

Many operating system distributions sold under the "Linux" trademark do include the PostgreSQL brand DBMS. Or do you call the operating system "GNU/Linux"?

Per Processor -- Per Core (5, Interesting)

Iesus_Christus (798052) | about 10 years ago | (#9756247)

If the efforts of other corporations bent on protecting their intellectual property (RIAA) are any indication, per-processor licensing will move to per-core licensing. If the RIAA can force you to pay multiple times for the same song (which you, unfortunately, cannot move between preferred mediums), then it would make sense that software companies bent on collecting money would make you pay multiple times for one processor. On the other hand, they are somewhat different issues: usage of music would be governed under fair use (in theory), while usage of software (at in terms of licensing per processor) would be governed by the EULA or another contract between the corporation and customer.

Alternatives (2, Interesting)

MrChuck (14227) | about 10 years ago | (#9756420)

I worked at a company and we busted our butts making software that was core-enterprise type software.

To help envision it, lets say its a firewall - the firewall has no concept of "users" really, it routes packets. (it's not a firewall, but the situation is close enough).

Now our basic question, which we reluctantly answered with per-processor licensing, was how to charge for it.

If you buy our software and your company of 20,000 people is RELYING on it you'd pay more than if your company of 50 people was RELYING on it.

We could have priced into the middle - but then companies under 2,000 people would feel (rightly) ripped off, while the GMs are getting a steal.

Charge per "user behind it"?
Charge by your corporate revenue?
"Pay what you feel is about right"?

On not so minor goal was to be able to make a living for 40 people and continue to develop a product that had, by and large, come up pretty short in the open source arena.

So what models of licensing do you WANT that will keep the vendor and the buyer in business and happy?

(and yes, I've slipped in a 4CPU license for 1-2 CPU price at a place with old, slow machines in use. We tried to do "right".)

Re:Alternatives (2, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 10 years ago | (#9756554)

So what models of licensing do you WANT that will keep the vendor and the buyer in business and happy?

Why not have your software measure how much real work it's doing. If over time it exceeds the amount of processing that the user paid for, then it starts to throttle itself back. That would be a lot more accurate than going with a crude measure like "number of CPUs" anyway.

Re:Alternatives (2, Interesting)

topham (32406) | about 10 years ago | (#9756581)

And I, as the end user, can trust the measurement of the software ' cpu usage, how?

firewall solution (1)

SHEENmaster (581283) | about 10 years ago | (#9756658)

Assuming it is a firewall, just charge by the number of computers on the local side of the firewall that packets are being routed for. If the user pays for 50 users, have it remember the states of sockets for 50 computers. If the user pays for 20,000 users, it could handle the states of sockets for 20,000 computers.

I realize it isn't a firewall, but the solution works for nearly any networking tool. Charge by connected systems rather than users. Failing that, you can always assume the honesty of your customer and charge by the number of people relying on your product.

Re:Per Processor -- Per Core (FUD) (2, Insightful)

chathamhouse (302679) | about 10 years ago | (#9756609)

Whoa. You're comparing RIAA tactics to non-free (as in _libre_ and dollars) software vendors.

Your comparison is totally inappropriate.

With per-cpu licensing, the assumption is that the software can do more for you on a multi-cpu system, hence you pay more for it. There's nothing terribly dodgy about this.

After all, whey you're paying for performance, the vendor (and buyer) wants to find a useful billing metric that's easy for everyone to understand. Anyone who's dealt with Veritas's 20 or so tiers will appreciate this.

Per cpu is the way to go then. The customer maximizes their investment when running on the fastest CPUs available, which isn't normally a big deal when the cost of the software far exceeds the cost of 3.2GHz Xeons or equivalent Athlons.

Per-cpu also solves the issue of pricing a single-cpu x86 (little $), versus a 32+ cpu sparc box (big $), versus 32x single-cpu x86 clusters.

So, when multiple-core chips come out, they'll essentially be multi-cpu. easy. Use them, pay more.

Because of competition from free ($/libre) software, licensing arrangements have gotten a lot more sane in the past couple years. Vendors are trying to stay away from that line in the sand where it becomes cheaper to re-train,re-build,re-deploy than to re-license.

This is very much unlike the RIAA,MPAA, and their friends in other countries who see it fit to take a much more extortive stance. Remember that most vendors let you move a per-cpu license around to different OSes and architectures, something that surely can't be said of the entertainment industry (oh, you own this on videocasette? You can have the DVD for media & packaging costs, or just download the content from http://videos.com)

Oracle 9i RAC doesn't charge for HT (4, Informative)

photon317 (208409) | about 10 years ago | (#9756249)


I don't if it's any indication of what they'll do for dual-core, but on Hyperthreading Xeon's, Oracle charged us RAC licensing fees per physical processor, even though most OS tools show twice as many virtual processors.

Re:Oracle 9i RAC doesn't charge for HT (1)

DAldredge (2353) | about 10 years ago | (#9756314)

If you, or the mods, had read the damn article you would see that they covered that. Oracle and most others do not charge for HT, but they do charge for multiple cores. The article says that Oracle has added language to it's contracts that cover this and also has quotes from a fime that was hit with 100,000 USD/server additional costs due to the duel cores in the US IV.

Re:Oracle 9i RAC doesn't charge for HT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756428)

Let's just say that if Oracle thinks they can double prices because of this, they're really kidding themselves.

Maybe a Sun box is one thing, but when Dell is shipping $2000 shitboxes with 2 dualcore CPUs, there's absolutely no chance that customers will stand for this.

Re:Oracle 9i RAC doesn't charge for HT (5, Insightful)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | about 10 years ago | (#9756357)

That's because HyperThreading is a neat and very low level trick that makes it appear like there are two processors. A dual-core processor doesn't use any tricks and physically contains two processing cores on one chip. Of course, this could lead to some very interesting things such as an dual core AMD proc using one shared on-chip memory controller or Intel procs with dual-cores AND hyperthreading for a total of 4 procs.

I'm looking forward to dual-cores.

Re:Oracle 9i RAC doesn't charge for HT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756655)

Why the fuck is this modded funny? The guy is right. RTFA.

Man... the mods are smokin a whack-load of crack these days.

Re:Oracle 9i RAC doesn't charge for HT (1)

randyest (589159) | about 10 years ago | (#9756708)

Mod this -1 Offtopic if you must, but it's because of his sig:

Mod anything funny up as Underrated until the /. devs repair the mod system, or dont mod up funny at all. See Journal

Mods, it has been shown, always do the opposite of what you tell them to do in any post. Including the score (-1, +1, even moreso -5 or +5) and the proper capitalization of the moderation increase the efficiency of this method, while spelling errors in the moderation name decrease it. Hence so many posts including "I know this will be modded down, but . . ." or "Mod me down if you must, but . . ."

And, hence my opening line :)

Oracle & Intel HT (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756369)

I'm a network admin for a govt org. I'm about to buy a bunch of Oracle server licenses for a new records management system project. I specifically asked our Oracle govt sales rep about this issue and he unequivocally stated (and put in writing in the form of a formal price quote) that the Intel Xeon HT processors count as one processor per physical CPU each. He went on to explain that for other big-name Unix platforms, like certain IBM RS6000 boxes which have multiple processors included in their "cpu module" (i.e. ship with 6 procs in a module, but you may only buy the box with 2 or 4 actually enabled) that Oracle does indeed demand a per-processor license for even the dormant processors, becuae all it takes is a phone call and fee to IBM to run a firmware config utility to activate those dormant processors. If Oracle renegs on this deal, then I'll flat tell them to kiss my hiney, and kiss the $80K deal goodbye since the app I'm buying will run against MS SQL Server just fine too.

Re:Oracle & Intel HT (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#9756415)

I'm a network admin for a govt org [...] If Oracle renegs on this deal, then I'll flat tell them to kiss my hiney, and kiss the $80K deal goodbye since the app I'm buying will run against MS SQL Server just fine too.

Then why not save even more of our taxpayer dollars and go with PostgreSQL?

Re:Oracle 9i RAC doesn't charge for HT (1)

kpharmer (452893) | about 10 years ago | (#9756624)

However, Oracle is free to change their licensing once again.

Remember, it was just a few years ago that Oracle introduced, and then was forced to abandon, the "Power Unit". According to that licensing schema you paid $15-100 / Power Unit to license their product (depending on version, year, etc).

A power unit was a mhz, so for example:
- single server with 2x400 mhz CPUs could cost $100*2*400 = $80,000.

On the other hand, if they were still using this today, you could be priced for a fast four-way:
$100 * 4 CPUs * 3000mhz= $1,200,000

The only reason that they backed down from this pricing was that SQL Server was eating their lunch. In fact, their greed is the main reason sql server gained so much market share around 1999-2002.

So, anyhow they aren't charging for hyper-threading today - but if they think that they can get away with it in the future they certainly will do so. Luckily, between SQL Server , postgresql, and mysql at the low-end and DB2 at the high-end Oracle's not in a good position to raise their rates any time soon.

Re:Oracle 9i RAC doesn't charge for HT (3, Interesting)

nettdata (88196) | about 10 years ago | (#9756684)

However, Oracle is free to change their licensing once again.

Oracle Licensing is like mountain weather... if you don't like it, wait 10 minutes and it'll change.

Seriously, though, Oracle changes their licensing more than any other software company I've ever dealt with.

I won't be surprised to see their licensing change after they get some push-back from their customers.

The other thing they DO have a history for, though, is NOT helping customer out when it comes to a license change. I've seen customers sign the deal on a Monday, only to have new pricing come out on the Tuesday. If they'd waited a single day, their software licensing would have been around half of what they paid.

Joy.

Microsoft still does it by the physical processor (5, Informative)

millisa (151093) | about 10 years ago | (#9756262)

A recent example would be the Hyperthreaded CPUs. SQL Server can be licensed per CPU and with Hyperthreading, the software does for all intents and purposes treat it as a second CPU. However, Microsoft's stance is surprisingly that you only license per the physical processor. Page has doc with more info on MS specifics [microsoft.com]

Re:Microsoft still does it by the physical process (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756474)

Multiple cores on one little square are seprate physical processors, they just made a compact distribution of it. Oracle also didn't charge for hyperThreading, but they do with multiple cores, MS will more then likely do the same.

no (5, Insightful)

dark404 (714846) | about 10 years ago | (#9756266)

Most likely per-"Physical Processor" will be changed to per-"Physical Processor Die" since the multi-cores still share a die.

Re:no (1)

LostCluster (625375) | about 10 years ago | (#9756509)

However, monitoring will then become an issue. Right now, a program licenced to a 2-processor box can kick and scream if the OS is telling it there's four processors available to it.

The seperation between "logical processors" and "physical processors" is just not something software likes very much. If the software thinks there's four processors, the vendor's gonna want to charge by that unit.

Still just 1 (1)

BinaryWolf (792555) | about 10 years ago | (#9756269)

In the end isn't still just one processor? No matter how much stuff is added to it, it'll still just be a single processor.

Re:Still just 1 (1)

Inthewire (521207) | about 10 years ago | (#9756426)

No.
If one of the things they add is a processor then there are now multiple processors.
This isn't an additional ALU, extra cache, etc.
It is an entire processor sharing the same physical package.

GNAA POST (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756270)

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Almost... (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | about 10 years ago | (#9756272)

No, but PostgreSQL and Linux can :)

hee hee (2, Insightful)

MrChuck (14227) | about 10 years ago | (#9756472)

Yeah, postgres and linux do well on a pair of redundant 32CPU machine that's being HAMMERED, running with 32GB of memory in use and more waiting.

I love the view that Linux can replace all machines. There's no place for proprietary software.

Now, I'll mostly agree with Windows because too often Windows is being cobbled together and shoved into the data center (my servers need a windowing system just to boot? I have machines I've never seen or touched that I've installed from 12000 miles away and run for years.

And yeah, BSD fills lots of places in the infrastructures, but BSD and Linux didn't come up with CrayLink or NUMA. And there's something kind of nice about when your $10million company has a problem with the $100,000 server that I can make a call and have a bunch of people answer who are PAID to run around and make my problem their high priority.

But yeah, that my PDA runs Postgres and smokes the trading floor servers I used put up 10 years ago is pretty cool.

Re:hee hee (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756543)

The Altix 350 incorporates the same high-performance shared-memory SGI® NUMAflex(TM) architecture and optimized Linux tools originally implemented in the award winning Altix 3000. It supports up to 16 processors in a single system image, and features the industry leading 6.4GB/second SGI® NUMAlink(TM) interconnect.

Linux will scale to big iron; here's proof (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#9756570)

Yeah, postgres and linux do well on a pair of redundant 32CPU machine that's being HAMMERED, running with 32GB of memory in use and more waiting.

As you seem to recognize with your Windows reference, not all Oracle installations run on such big iron. There also exist small businesses with small iron, and if Linux takes those, then as the small businesses become big businesses, Linux will eventually run well on big iron as the support contracts fund development of Linux for over a thousand CPUs [slashdot.org] . There may still be a place for proprietary applications, especially in the entertainment field, but operating systems will be free.

Re:hee hee (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | about 10 years ago | (#9756579)

At least you caught the smiley :) We all know Linux doesnt scale that well... yet.

But I sure don't miss the old days.

Per processor will never die (2, Interesting)

DaKrzyGuy (25850) | about 10 years ago | (#9756276)

As long as IBM is making mainframes there will be per processor fees...and they have been around for 40 years so I see at least another 40. Heck, now they even charge different amounts for a processor depending on what you are going to run on it.

Toast. (4, Funny)

scowling (215030) | about 10 years ago | (#9756281)

Yeah, I'm looking forward to the day where you have to pay a license fee for each element in your toaster. Who needs to toast more than one slice of bread at a time, right?

Are multi-core CPUs really like SMP systems? (1)

swb (14022) | about 10 years ago | (#9756286)

I don't follow CPU development beyond what I need for my day job and what I read here (how's that for pathetic?), but do multi-core CPUs necessarily mean SMP on (in?) a single slab or does it more often mean more pseudo-SMP of the hyperthreading variety?

Re:Are multi-core CPUs really like SMP systems? (1)

ThisNukes4u (752508) | about 10 years ago | (#9756301)

Dual-core processors is basically just putting 2 cpus on one die, so a one cpu dual-core computer is basically equivalent to a 2cpu computer, although there are other issues involed.

Re:Are multi-core CPUs really like SMP systems? (3, Informative)

OmniVector (569062) | about 10 years ago | (#9756353)

multi-core means more than one physical chip. hyperthreading means more than one thread sharing resources in a single core. for example, the ibm power5 chip that just came out is a multi-core hyperthreaded chip, with 4 logical processors and 2 physical cores, on 1 total chip.

Re:Are multi-core CPUs really like SMP systems? (1)

OmniVector (569062) | about 10 years ago | (#9756365)

sorry that should be "multicore means more than one physical core"

Buy Robot (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 10 years ago | (#9756288)

Businesses charge the maximum they can, for maximum total profit: "what the market will bear". Per-processor prices are just a way to negotiate how much money the customer can make from the software, therefore how much is available from their revenue to pay the software supplier. Just like when an employee negotiates their income, they are negotiating for a share of their employer's revenue to which their work contributes. I'd like to see a software licensing model that treats the software's work as automated labor, and negotiates accordingly. Like some kind of profit sharing. People don't get paid up front, why should the software company? That allows a timeframe for a "test drive" during which both parties can get benchmarks on the actual value of the software.

Multicore will increase home PCs' Windows tax (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#9756364)

Businesses charge the maximum they can, for maximum total profit: "what the market will bear".

Linspire looks poised to change the market.

Per-processor prices are just a way to negotiate how much money the customer can make from the software

Well exactly how much money does a residential customer customer make from the Windows XP Home Edition operating system software?

Microsoft Windows XP's desktop license model currently limits the home edition to one processor and the professional edition to two, counting a single-core multithreaded processor as one processor. However, if Windows XP counts a multi-core CPU as two processors, then it won't boot both processors, and by the time PC vendors phase out single-core x86 processors, all OEMs will have to pay extra for Windows XP Pro.

I say "by the time" rather than "if" because from the article:

Intel: All chips will be dual-core by the end of 2005.

I say "XP" instead of "Longhorn" because December 2005 is before Longhorn's estimated ship date.

Re:Multicore will increase home PCs' Windows tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756456)

The only real point of Home/Pro is to segment out the business customers. If "home" machines start coming with 2 CPUs, Microsoft's customers will force them to adjust. (As in patch XP rather than waiting for Longhorn.)

license economics (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 10 years ago | (#9756611)

You're right in questioning the home user's cost:benefit analysis in terms of revenue, although many people do use eg. Windows XP to make money, or save money, at home. But I haven't heard of Microsoft requiring non-business customers to pay a per-processor license - are there any (working) dual processor gaming machines which cost more for their Windows license than their single processor versions? AFAIK, WinXP Home shuts off all but one processor to keep corporate customers from buying it for less than Pro. So it's really just a sloppy way to split the market based on their ability to pay. If it affected a large enough boundary market, Microsoft would adjust their pricing to exploit it better.

Linspire is governed by the same basic dynamics. They're going to charge what the market will bear, but the market won't bear a Windows price for their product in 2004. Whether they keep their pricing model if they become a platform option on par with Windows in the market will remain to be seen. If they stay cheap, they will expand their market more - what the market will bear tends to resemble the ability of water to seek its own level.

Re:license economics (2, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | about 10 years ago | (#9756646)

Nah, the biggest thing keeping business's from running Home Edition is the fact that it can not join a domain. This isn't an issue for small business's, but neither is the lack of multi-cpu support. Btw there are basically zero games that take real advantage of a second CPU, the reason are varied but basically come down to the GPU being the limiting force, multi-threaded code being harder to code and debug, and finally a lack of demand.

Re:license economics (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 10 years ago | (#9756727)

So it boils down to the same thing: multiproc is for biz, single-CPU is for home. Join that on multiproc costs more than single-CPU, and the per-processor fee is a way that Microsoft charges businesses more than home users. Which they can, because the biz processing generates more money to pay Microsoft. It's not that complicated, although the extra complexity allows Microsoft to maximize its profit without doing so in obvious terms of sharing the profits it can increase.

Re:Buy Robot (1)

LostCluster (625375) | about 10 years ago | (#9756541)

People don't get paid up front, why should the software company? That allows a timeframe for a "test drive" during which both parties can get benchmarks on the actual value of the software.

People usually get paid by the time period, not by how much work they actually accomplish in the hour or year. Only people in sales get a comission that's a direct percentage of the revenue that passes through them. For everybody else, pay doesn't usually directly get tied to actual performace.

Software vendors want to get paid even if their customers aren't making a profit from using the software... that's why they insist on a licensing fee up front rather than using any sort of "pay per use" in most cases.

Re:Buy Robot (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 10 years ago | (#9756642)

People get paid by the time period, but only retain their jobs if they produce an acceptable amount in that period. Of course, in most dysfunctional corporate environments, production of asskiss counts as much or more than the revenue, if others can be "managed" into making up the slack. Tying pay to performance is typically resolved during raise negotiations - although it's usually ignored by intimidated labor, and defaults to an unspoken agreement to pay the labor less than it generates. That's more sustainable than paying it more than it generates, or the salary source dries up, and it's difficult to get it exactly right, especially in varying market conditions while the stability of labor compensation terms usually increase productivity.

Software vendors have traditionally offered much less "commodity" labor in automation than people do in person. So, with the addition of sales and marketing, software vendors have gotten much more profitable terms, including lower risk payment upon sales closure, rather than after production delivery of the actual work. But with commodification of software, that might change.

There's already been a pseudo multi processor chip (1, Redundant)

TheCow (191714) | about 10 years ago | (#9756298)

As far as the OS's are concerned Hyper-Threading already looks like two processors from a single processor in both Windows and Linux. Licensing for this is luckily done on paper and not through how many processors the OS thinks it has.

So in short will this change licensing, not for applications, but there might be some modifications for everybodies "favorite" OS.

what I don't understand is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756299)

what the hell difference does it make to Oracle how many CPU's your machine has? or how many people use it, or how big your company is, or all this license BS.

It's like if I broke my arm and the doctor charged me more depending on what I did for a living. "Wait a sec, you earn money with that arm? I want a piece of that."

Ahh, the joys of free software. No BS. (And yes, I know, no Oracle either).

this is all BS. (3, Insightful)

rokzy (687636) | about 10 years ago | (#9756320)

demanding more money for multi-core is ridiculous. if you're going to do that, why not charge more for faster CPUs? why should it cost twice as much to use, for example, a 2-core 1GHz CPU than a 1-core 2GHz CPU?

on the other hand it may push more people to OSS.

Re:this is all BS. (4, Informative)

jsprat (442568) | about 10 years ago | (#9756466)

It is BS. But Oracle used to charge per "processing unit". It took into account the speed of the chip you planned to run it on as well as the number of processers in the system and the number of expected connections. Or you could purchase the "Web server" edition, which would have broken our company.


Today, Oracle's price list [oracle.com] is 11 pages of different price plans that would confuse a car dealership!

maybe not (3, Insightful)

jdkane (588293) | about 10 years ago | (#9756323)

At issue is that software vendors such as Oracle and Microsoft that license software on a per-CPU basis are likely to consider each processor a separate CPU, a practice that means double the licensing costs for enterprise users

Well, these rules are obviously not written in stone. "likely" is speculative. Let's wait and see what they *actually* decide to do. Rules can change as technology changes. The enterprise users should speak up about this issue and provide feedback.

Obviously Oracle considers an n-core chip as n processors. However they are not going to be able to compete if another database company does the opposite with its licensing. However, maybe they'll all follow each other just for the sake of quick $.

Re:maybe not (1)

Donny Smith (567043) | about 10 years ago | (#9756496)

> Well, these rules are obviously not written in stone. "likely" is speculative

Well in the first place this Slashdot article is just another speculative PoS - the issue was discussed here before several times without any conclusion - I guess that is FUD the OSS way.

>From the NWFusion article: "At issue is that software vendors such as Oracle and Microsoft that license software on a per-CPU basis are likely to consider each processor a separate CPU"

WTF? Each processor IS a "separate CPU".
Each _core_ may be or not be.

Several ISVs that my company works with decided to stick with the physical licensing (with HT) and have indicated they will stick with it with multicore CPUs as well.

Not as long as SMP isn't standard (3, Insightful)

Fooby (10436) | about 10 years ago | (#9756339)

Writing multithreaded applications (or SMP-capable operating systems) that work well is hard work. It's always going to make sense for proprietary software vendors to charge extra for software that takes advantage of additional processors. Unless SMP and/or dual-core becomes ubiquitous, I something like per-processor licensing sticking around, unless the mythical day when free software eclipses proprietary software does in fact come about.

And I think single-core, single-CPU systems will stick around for a long time, if not for the indefinitely foreseeable future. CPUs get faster all the time, and since it's much easier to engineer single-core, single-CPU systems, so single-processor systems will remain the preferred solution for the low end. Look at something as basic as pipelining, that is an ancient technology in terms of processor design, yet there is still a place for non-pipelined processors at the very bottom of the chain, where microcontrollers are concerned.

SMP will soon be standard in desktop PCs (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#9756391)

Unless SMP and/or dual-core becomes ubiquitous

Dual-core will become ubiquitous during 2006, even in home PCs. The article points out that "All chips [sold by Intel] will be dual-core by the end of 2005." This includes the Celeron processors used in low-end home PCs, which then won't be able to run a single-processor version of Microsoft Windows XP.

Re:SMP will soon be standard in desktop PCs (1)

Fooby (10436) | about 10 years ago | (#9756666)

I'm willing to bet they will still be perfectly able to run the single-processor version of XP, they'll just be using one core. That's how SMP/hyperthreaded systems are now. Of course if everyone has dual-core processors then everyone will be using dual-core operating systems unless they want to take a big performance hit.

Multi-core processors? (-1, Offtopic)

Trogre (513942) | about 10 years ago | (#9756344)

Forget multi-core processors.

The final nails in the coffin for per-processor software licensing in my world were the Free Software and Open Source movements.

Use Virtual Machines to defeat Processor Licencing (1)

Erik_the_Awful (675368) | about 10 years ago | (#9756388)

If Oracle and MS continue to use "per processor" licencing, I humbly speculate that it's just a matter of time until VMWare or some other Virtual Machine vendor/software supplier creates a "virtualized processor layer." VPLWare would present "n" processors as one large fast processor. Run your Oracle or MS application there. Problem solved. Wait, can't we do this already?

Re:Use Virtual Machines to defeat Processor Licenc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756429)

Problem is: 1) The software doesn't regulate the license, so you don't even need to. 2) It's still illegal.

Use DMCA to defeat Virtual Machines (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#9756432)

It might in theory be possible to make multiple processors appear as a single hyperthreading Pentium 4 processor, but it'd probably get you thrown in jail under the DMCA for selling a circumvention device should one of the DBMS vendors raise a fit.

Re:Use Virtual Machines to defeat Processor Licenc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756591)

Unfortunately, this cannot be done. Just like laws of physics cannot be repealed

Re:Use Virtual Machines to defeat Processor Licenc (2, Insightful)

kulpinator (629554) | about 10 years ago | (#9756593)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this way you would lose almost all of the benefit of multiple cores. At least, you would if you'd run an OS inside that VM/VPL, since not only would you have to have both a host and a guest OS (more licenses), but the guest would not be able to take full advantage of the hardware (by definition of the VM), which means more complexity with (be realistic) lower performance. Not running an OS inside this VM/VPL is silly, since it is then not a VM at all, and the VPL would be doing exactly what a normal OS does (shuffling threads), making its existence somewhat absurd. Bah. Leave that to marketing.

Although the valid point has been made elsewhere that it takes effort to make SMP-efficient apps, I think the multi-CPU licensing idea in many cases is crap because the OS should make it where the processes are running transparent to the application.

I think what you want is an new HAL paradigm that makes whatever massively-parallel Neumann machine we run to look like a single processor, and *function as one* (I know about mosix -- I mean with performance proportional to size). I agree that this could be a good idea. Maybe. In a decade.

Already answered (2, Informative)

nusratt (751548) | about 10 years ago | (#9756431)

(for now). I've already seen official statements by vendors, explicitly saying that multi-core won't affect their licensing. I've seen none even hinting the other way. If this article says otherwise -- explicitly, naming names -- then that's news.

where's the coffin? (1)

randyest (589159) | about 10 years ago | (#9756440)

Can multi-core processors put the final nail in per-processor licensing?"

So, like a nail in a voodoo doll, MCPs are tortuting per-processor licensing? Cool as that may be, I think the saying is "put the final nail in the coffin of [ . . . ]"

Sorry for being pedantic, but it sounds funny without the coffin part.

Oh Christ... (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#9756484)

It could be an error of omission of "the coffin of", as you suggest. On the other hand, it could allude to crucifixion.


...may His name be praised.

Re:Oh Christ... (1)

dn15 (735502) | about 10 years ago | (#9756566)

It could be an error of omission of "the coffin of", as you suggest. On the other hand, it could allude to crucifixion.

Crucifixion, eh? So per-processor licensing is dying for your sins?

Re:Oh Christ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756594)

Of course, Jesus of Nazareth wasn't the only alleged criminal to be executed by crucifixion.

Multiple processors, VMWare, and such (3, Interesting)

k4_pacific (736911) | about 10 years ago | (#9756441)

I think it is interesting that, Windows running on a 2 CPU machine requires a 2 CPU license, but, say, 5 instances of VMWare running on a single CPU, each hosting an instance of Windows, requires five licenses. (Six if the instances of VMWare are themselves running on Windows)

Also, what if there was a VMWare-like program that simulated a SMP machine? Would that require a multiple CPU license to run Windows? Even if this program that emulated a SMP machine was running on a single CPU?

What does the vendor define as a CPU (1)

CypherOz (570528) | about 10 years ago | (#9756447)

Oracle count a Pentium IV HT as two CPUs. (I asked my account rep). So it gets legal definitional. What does the vendor define as a CPU or Processor?

Oracle used to have power based licensing ie: MHz x Number of Processors - they dropped that silly idea real quick.

Processor based licenses for Oracle is slowing the adoption of their 10g (grid) edition deployment on to arrays of low cost linux boxen.

These issues also apply to products like IBM WebSphere etc.

Market pressue in the end will fix this problem.

Re:What does the vendor define as a CPU (1)

cybergrunt69 (730228) | about 10 years ago | (#9756538)

MS has an interesting license issue for this...
Windows XP Home only supports one processor. However, since the P4 w/HT is only one physical processor, it will show (and use) the dual-core, and will show 2 procs in taskmgr.

Re:What does the vendor define as a CPU (1)

swordfishBob (536640) | about 10 years ago | (#9756628)


For the sake of IBM-Lotus Domino and IBM DB2 licencing, a hyperthreading Intel CPU is a single CPU.

how many? (1)

cybergrunt69 (730228) | about 10 years ago | (#9756493)

According to TFA, Sun is expecting to have more than 2 cores per die soon - up to 8 cores within a few years (I'd assume others will also, maybe I just didn't rtfa close enough). Maybe there is a happy medium for the companies that change prices based on the number of processors a system has.

Instead of gouging the price based on the number of physical processor slots are used or how many the OS sees, how about changing it to adapt to the changing technology quicker. For example, maybe they could license based on a range of procs (1-4, 4-8, 8-16, etc). I think the paying customers might end up liking this flexibility a little better so they don't have to take out a loan to turn on a virtual CPU or two.

I was mightily annoyed... (1)

Kickstart70 (531316) | about 10 years ago | (#9756505)

...when I learned that enabling hyperthreading was going to allow MS to charge twice for a single processor.

KS

re: faster versus multiple CPUs (1)

nusratt (751548) | about 10 years ago | (#9756508)

"demanding more money for multi-core is ridiculous. if you're going to do that, why not charge more for faster CPUs?"

1. Nothing new. It has been done for years on mainframes.

2. Don't assume that the two scenarios are equivalent. Ignoring issues of scaling at the hardware- or OS-level, aspects of *application* architecture may affect whether a 2Ghz processor has better or worse throughput than 2x 1Ghz.

Power4 experiences (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756548)

Power 4 has been out for awhile. Does anyone have any experiences with multiprocessor licensing on these? The CPU is multi core and multi die in a single package. Do you get charged for each core, die, package?

What Type of Cores? (1)

SEWilco (27983) | about 10 years ago | (#9756569)

Is licensing sensitive to whether these cores are hard or soft?

NEWSFLASH: Companies license by MIPS (1)

OwnStile (261614) | about 10 years ago | (#9756599)

If per processor licensing ever does go away, it will probably be replaced by some other insidious evil. Imagine having to run a program provided by Oracle that calculates the MIPS of your system...

Timothy you dumb shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756622)

You thought that you, and your butt-fucking friends could keep me from posting on your fucking shithole-in the wall site, BUT YOU WERE WRONG. ROFLS OMG!!!!

FIRst post all you slashbot whores... i totally pwned yuo alls.

Here we go yo, here we go you, so whats so whats the scenario?
2Tehmaxxxxxx

Re:Timothy you dumb shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756629)

marco tried to touch my weiner

Uh, okay (2, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | about 10 years ago | (#9756627)

I don't mind paying Intel a little more for dual core machines. I don't mind paying Microstar extra for a motherboard that supports that processor. I don't mind paying Microsoft extra for using dual core processors. But... on a per app basis? So.. I'm paying for 2x the performance, right? What if I buy a machine with ~twice the megahertz?

Maybe I'm just knee-jerk reacting here. I'm just not all that impressed with this new scheme to wring money out of people, even if they are big corps etc. I mean, if the software did something special with more processors, that'd be a little different. I just don't want the double-dipping to happen. Hardware makes the speed.

Okay, I'm done redundantly ranting. I'm just annoyed with the prospect in a year or two of adding new machines to the render farm and then having to 'upgrade' the software.

Power4 versus Itanium (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756674)

I'm afraid this is not strictly on topic, but I'm hoping to attract an informed response.

Recently my department has been entertaining the purchase of one of the following machines for both data warehousing and proteomics research,

IBM: P690 - 32P , 1.9Ghz Power4, 60GB RAM
SGI: Altix 3700 - 44P, 1.3Ghz Itanium2, 60GB RAM
HP: Superdome - 40P, 1.5Ghz Itanium2, 72GB RAM

Anyone care to comment on the best choice?

Thanks.

End of per-proc licensing not in cards (2, Insightful)

Thagg (9904) | about 10 years ago | (#9756678)

i_r_sensitive is extremely optimistic if he feels that multi-core processors are going to mean the end of per-processor licensing. I would think that most software licensors are looking toward multi-core chips as the gravy train finally pulling into town.

When you think about it, any licensing deal is a contract between a software provider and a software user. If the price doesn't make sense, then the contract won't happen.

Depending on the cost of the processor chips, the computer chassis they plug into, and the license cost -- per processor licensing could save people money when they move to multi-core machines -- assuming that the two-core machine really is twice as fast at the application as two single-core machines. If the chips don't cost much more, you save the hardware, energy, and cooling costs of the second chassis. This could be a big win.

This is one of those cases where the market will decide. In [my] visual effects business, company policies are all over the map. Pixar allows you to run RenderMan on dual-proc machines with a single license. It believe (could be wrong, we have only 2 proc machines)) that Shake will run on however many processors you have in one box using just one license. Other software requires a separate license for each processor.

But really, when I say "software requires", that's wrong and stupid. It's the contract you have with the software provider that requires it, and contracts are often quite malleable.

Thad Beier

Apple is dying: Sell stock now. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9756689)

Apple Computer, Inc. (AAPL), beset by angry creditors and faced with severe G5 production problems, is on the verge of bankruptcy and total collapse. Apple continues to nosedive into oblivion, as confirmed by industry watchers, investors, and, most painfully, by customers themselves.

As a recent study by Bank of America Securities puts it, Apple ekes out its existence by peddling new hardware to its existing customers; once those customers are satisfied, Apple will run out of steam [forbes.com] . If these disastrous financial forecasts aren't enough, one need only look to Netcraft for confirmation that Apple's market share among Web servers is slowly dwindling down to zero. The market share of Mac OS X is now eclipsed even by that of FreeBSD, another OS that is deeply imperiled.

But the abysmal server presence of OS X is the least of Apple's worries. Apple's most recent quarterly report indicates a death spiral of cash loss. Indeed, Apple has hemorrhaged some $276 million in the last quarter, while racking up a dizzying $2.4 billion in debt. Revenue from sales of the iPod, the portable music player that is barely keeping Apple afloat in this shipwreck of fiscal woe, declined dramatically, threatening to shrink further an already miniscule lifeline.

Likewise, sales of the eMac, iMac and Power Macintosh G5 lines continue to skid. Apple is unable to secure G5 processors in sufficient nubmers to supply its customers with Power Macintosh G5 and iMac computers, as Steve Jobs himself recently admitted. The staggering decline in sales numbers confirms it: there is no doubt that one-time Apple customers, dismayed with the floundering ineptitude of their favorite company, have begun turning away in droves, seeking cheaper, faster hardware from manufacturers such as Dell.

Apple teeters on the precipice of doom, one step away from plummeting to its ultimate nadir of bankruptcy, chaos, and implosion. Wise investors will quickly dump AAPL stock and abandon the doomed company, now less than one year away from complete disintegration.

It's time to move to a new platform: Apple is dead.

wake up fools (4, Informative)

GISGEOLOGYGEEK (708023) | about 10 years ago | (#9756700)

Why are any of you surprised?

Oh ya, its because you can only think with the open source half of your brain.

Of course software companies will try to charge you more money any chance they can!

Just like every other product you can buy anywhere, if they can sell it for more, they will.

Wake up!

Until you complain enough, they will reap what they can from this conundrum.

If you don't like how Oracle screws you on your new dual core processor, then send them packing, I'd bet that Postgresql / PostGIS is now sufficient for the needs of most enterprise database users .. AND ITS FREEEEEE.

In fact, I personally am going to skip the chance at ever having the topic at hand affect me .....

Today I called, found out that, ESRI in canada charges $13,500 for a 1cpu license of ArcSDE or $19,000 for a 2cpu license, it remains to be seen what they define as a CPU.

But instead of blowing that $19,000, I am installing PostGIS to serve my spatial datasets. Screw them! ... they really didnt like it when I pointed out that I'll be saving $52,000 by using MapServer + Postgresql + PostGIS over their ArcIMS + ArcSDE/Oracle setup.

And the joke is on them as my system is faster, easier to setup / deploy, and can handle much bigger raster datasets in a fraction the time.
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