It’s a simple maxim: Prevention is better than a cure. So here are a few handy survival tips to make sure the auditors have what they need when things get serious. In case you are wondering how we know all this, the answer is simple: Project experience. Over the last twelve months, companies have increasingly requested our assistance with VMware issues in our capacity as a Software Asset Management
service provider. After all, we are delighted to provide SAM, even as a Managed Service. Interestingly, the requests have come from the public sector in addition to our industrial customers.
First things first: The classic situation that the customer does not have enough licenses is virtually unknown. Of course it is possible to split, merge or reallocate license keys. Customers are required to exercise a certain prudence in respect to old keys. But those are the exceptions. VMware is more concerned with the interpretation of documents. So a warm welcome to EULA, which on the one hand is a nice location south of the German COMPAREX headquarters in Leipzig. And on the other hand it is the document that determines what customers may do with the license, and what they may not.
Private users with some IT skills are familiar with EULA because it pops up every time you install a program. So what now? The best strategy is straight from the manual: "Basic Rules for a Happy Marriage". In other words: Just say 'OK'. Alternatively, you can listen to everything and end up completely confused. And then say – or click – 'OK'. But unfortunately this strategy is not particularly suited to a business setting.
VMware has a few important things tucked away in the EULA. A couple of examples?
- Are you allowed to use a license you purchased in Germany in your branch in Russia? Broadly speaking: No.
- Is it compliant to use a license purchased in Switzerland in another country? Not really.
- Are you permitted to offer other companies hosting services based on the licenses that you have purchased? Actually, no.
- Is it okay to give your colleagues in China access to your properly licensed VMware environment in Germany? It is, but only if they pay.
- Are you allowed to equip half of your productive servers with Basic Support, and the other half with Production Support? In general: No.
In some cases it is pretty astonishing to see all the details that fit into such a short text .