IBM just announced a new part number and a product bundle called WebSphere Application Server Family Edition (read full announcement letter here). This new bundle is not a new product – it is just a new way to license WebSphere Application Server and have the flexibility to deploy any edition of it as needs arise without having to negotiate and purchase upgrade or downgrade.
I have not seen Oracle or Red Hat or other competitors implement this kind of license model. I think this is a good news for IBM customers and provides great level of flexibility for deployment. With Oracle or Red Hat if you want to move from WebLogic Standard up to Enterprise (or back), or from JBoss EAP down to JBoss EWS (or up) – you will have to re-negotiate with vendors. It is time consuming, and you will likely end up paying extra cash for such moves. Not so with IBM. Here is how this new license model works with IBM:
- Customer buys certain number of licenses of WAS Family Edition (pick a random number, say 300 PVUs);
- Now customer can decide to deploy WAS Liberty Core, WAS or WAS ND using these licenses above in certain proportions and can change these deployments at any point in time;
- For every 1 PVU of WAS Family Edition a customer can deploy one of these (a) 1 PVU of WAS ND, or (b) 4 PVUs of WAS Base, or (c) 8 PVUs of WAS Liberty Core;
- Using our 300 PVUs example, means that one could deploy 100 PVUs of WAS ND, AND 400 PVUs of WAS Base, AND 800 PVUs of WAS Liberty Core;
- If customer decides that he/she needs to change his deployment, there is no negotiation required. All that matters is that the total entitlement for licenses adds up, but the specific allocation of licenses for WAS ND, WAS Base, or WAS Liberty Core can be changed at any time. So you could deploy none of WAS ND or WAS Base and 2,400 PVUs of Liberty Core in our example above;
- This new licensing works for moving up or down the scale of WAS editions (meaning from WAS Liberty Core up to ND, or down from ND to Liberty);
- Customer can change deployment proportions at will (many times a day if so desired) – no need to renegotiate with IBM.
Do not forget that Liberty Profile is included in WAS Base and WAS ND as shown on the diagram below: