From the Blogosphere
Scalable Pricing in a Scalable World
Nati Shalom: Need scalability in the new dynamically-scalable world? Don’t forget pricing
By: Nati Shalom
Dec. 5, 2008 10:05 AM
Nati Shalom's GigaSpaces Blog
- The free license of a software product typically does not include support: not an option for most mission critical applications.
- When you do pay extra for support, you will typically be charged just like any other run-time license on a per CPU basis.
- Make sure that the company behind the product has a sustainable business model, otherwise there is a good chance that it will either die when its funding dries up or change its license model to monetize its user base. That's fine, but all it means is that it's not really a free offering in the long run, and you don't know what the pricing model will be exactly.
- In terms of total cost of ownership (TCO), free products are not necessarily the cheapest option. TCO is dependent on many factors, for example, dependency on other products (and their license costs), the need for integration and maintenance, etc. See my post, Economies of non scale, for more on the topic.
Which model to choose?
Each of the models has pros and cons and therefore the answer depends on your situation. Also, over time, as the situation changes, you will probably realize you need a different license model, and so it becomes equally important that the product you choose will give you the freedom to move from one model to another in the future.
GigaSpaces scalable pricing
With GigaSpaces we continuously look into ways to make our software license cost fit the on-demand world. For example, we launched a free Start-Up program that provides a totally FREE version of GigaSpaces for startups (hundreds of start-ups have already signed up for this program since we launched it last year). We also provide a Pay-Per-Use model for those running on Amazon EC2.
We felt that even though this is a fairly flexible pricing, we could do better. As of our 6.6 release, we added the option to buy our software at a yearly subscription price, and we also launched a new package called XAP Standard Edition, which is sold at a very low price of $9,500k per package (not CPU) where the package includes two servers, 4 GigaSpaces nodes and up to 50 clients or remote servers.
These changes were designed to address the needs of developers looking to start running their applications at a relatively low scale, who need the full functionality of the product, but cannot afford the full XAP price. Another principle that we kept when we designed this package is that moving from Standard to Premium edition wouldn't require any change in your architecture or code - which means that you could always scale to the premium edition just by changing the license key.
Nati Shalom was part of the star-studded lineup of speakers that spoke at SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Expo. Between them, they covered every aspect of the hottest IT topic for years, with not just Amazon but also IBM, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Intel, HP and a host of others all offering, using or developing high-end computing services typically described as “cloud computing” - through which massively scalable IT-related capabilities are provided as a service using Internet technologies.
Forrester Research analyst James Staten calls cloud computing "classic disruptive innovation - where the mainstream dismisses the product and small companies have time to create a real differentiated value." But there are so many offerings just now that what infrastructure architects are looking for above all is a set of organizing principles they can use to guide them in choosing between them all.
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