Thursday, September 28, 2006

BizTalk on Virtual Server

There is considerable interest these days on virtualization and the benefits of virtualization in terms of bringing down the hardware and licensing cost .While I agree that the hardware cost and annual support cost does come down. The software licensing cost is not so straight forward. The answer really is it depends.

Let us say your organization A has 2 SQL Servers and 2 BizTalk servers. So that means you would have 4 Windows licenses to run those servers. I am assuming BizTalk and SQL are not on the same server.

Your present scenario is

BTS - 2
SQL - 2
WIN - 4

Now consider a virtualization scenario where you have a single Quad proc machine.
Now let us consider this has 4 virtual processors and 2 of them runs BizTalk, 2 of them runs SQL

Now in the old licensing model you need to pay license per processor that would mean you need to have

BTS - 4
SQL - 4
WIN - 4

Effectively by virtualization the license cost went up. But with the new windows licensing model you pay only if the virtual processor runs the Server, In our example that would mean

BTS - 2 ( as it is running only on 2 virtual processors )
SQL - 2
WIN - 4

So effectively your BizTalk and SQL licensing costs have not changed by virtualization but your actual hardware and annual support cost will be driven down considerably and you can take other advantages of virtualization. Let us say you want to emulate 6 virtual processors using your Quad proc machine and run 4 BTS and 2 SQL servers you can do that without buying any extra hardware by paying only the additional BizTalk server licensing cost . In this case

BTS- 4
SQL -2
WIN - 6

So as I said before virtualization does bring down support cost but not always software costs. But there are other software’s which are still using the physical processor based licensing. In that case you will have licensing benefits when you run more virtual processors than the actual processors and pay more when you have lesser virtual processors running your application.