Poor licensing forces poor hardware architecture

09-12-2011 02:42 PM
New Contributor II
Currently there is no solution offered by ESRI to deploy a dual socket server and be in compliance with its base 4 Core licensing since the minimum size of a modern server CPU is now Quad core.  What will we do when 8 core is the smallest CPU being sold?  ESRI Support gave me several contraditory answers and unacceptable and untested OS hacks but ultimatly the final word was to install it in a virtualized environment (we don't have virtualization yet)or a single processor server (reduces the reliability of the mission critical system).

It is very wrong for a software vendor to dictate a hardware architecture that is operationally incorrect (1 socket on a mission critical server) via its unruly licensing model.  Most other vendors (except Oracle) license by the socket or named user. 

ESRI needs to change its licensing model to be based on sockets or provide a software solution that limits the number of processors available to the application to comply with the 4 core limit.
Love it
Totally agree
to me the count seems based on the CPU that you choose to use for the AGS SOC servers.

You can select them with the task manager
(with Process explorer of sysinternal just right click and choose
Processor Affinity).

checked on Windows XP 2002 SP3.

It would be help full that at the installation/configuration ESRI manage this configuration
and provide a clear licensing document available online
(or better a little online service cpu/license calculator).


IMHO it is not so complex. As work around may be used tool like StartAffinity (http://www.adsciengineering.com/StartAffinity/). But much better would be to incorporate this feature into the ESRI products, licensed by number of processors (CORES).

we have the same problem. we have a server based on two xeon processors. this means 8 cores to license.
We should also support a pay-per-use model. Assign part of the CPUs to ArcGIS for Server and let the customer vary this over time, depending on their needs. Many software vendors started supporting models like this years ago. E.g. Under the IBM Unix (AIX) you can define virtual machines in .01 parts of a CPU at OS level. Oracle RDBMS can be licensed in .1 parts of a CPU. Server busy? Just increase the assigned CPU and you're done.

What Esri doesn't seem to understand is that there is zero reason to license by named user at all for Enterprise/Server. Just license by individual core. That is it. Scaling the platform to maintain performance and reliability will automatically increase licensing costs proportionally. Who cares if I have 10,000 named users if I only ever have 100 concurrent connections? That's what matters and what should drive cost - actual usage.

The Named User Licensing scheme coupled with the inability to license less than 4 cores cause 98% of licensing complexities and inefficiencies that lead to customer frustration.