Friday, August 15, 2008

IBM is Brilliant (More on Sametime Licensing)

A few days ago I posted lamenting the loss of Sametime because neither of our production Domino servers could run it (one was way too critical and the other was running Blackberry, which doesn't happily co-exist (without a lot of tweaking thanks very much Lotus Evangelist for the info).

Thanks also to the people who posted and suggested that the licensing model allowed me to install a separate instance of domino provided that it was used for Sametime-only.

This seemed a little risky in terms of licensing interpretation, so I took the time to query IBM on it.

The response I got from IBM on this issue was nothing short of fantastic.

Why was IBM's response so good?
In the first instance, I got an admission that they weren't sure and that they'd find out.

IMHO, this is a good response because it shows that they're prepared to admit when they aren't sure of something and, more importantly, that they're geared up enough to want to find out.

I'd prefer a response like that from a vendor over a blustering cover-up any day.

Secondly, In case I needed any convincing on the value of IBM's Unified communications platforms, they managed to mobilise the appropriate people both overseas and here in Australia to respond to my question in record time. I was quite impressed.

Finally, and most importantly, the solution presented fixes my problem entirely.

Well done IBM.

Sametime Licensing
The Sametime Limited Use Entitlement documentation is available online at IBM.

There is a paragraph in this document which reads as follows;

The integrated instant messaging and awareness features available from within the client do not eliminate the need to install the Lotus Sametime server software in your infrastructure. The server components have not been integrated into IBM Lotus Domino software. However, there is no additional license charge for the entitled Lotus Sametime server software when used as indicated above.

Put simply, this suggests that in the case of Sametime (including the Limited Use version of Sametime), Domino can be treated as simply a "runtime" environment which needs no further licence provided that you don't install any additional domino applications on that server.

I probably wouldn't have interpreted it that way, but I have it on record from an IBM licensing guru, (and I asked and clarified very carefully) so, I'm satisfied.

What does this mean for you?
If you've got a version of Domino (and clients) later than 6.5.1, then you are permitted to install a second Domino server and put Sametime Limited Use edition on it.

All you need is a little bit of hardware - heck, an old PC will probably do the trick.

If you have a version of Domino and Lotus Notes Clients, there is absolutely no excuse to not make use of this functionality. Everyone should be on Sametime!

If I'd known this about the licensing a few years ago, I'd have installed it pronto. As it happens, I'll be hoping to install Domino today... and I think I'll go straight to version 8.0.x.


Handly said...

The licensing for Quickr and Connections are similar. Since they are per-user, you can deploy as much server infrastructure (including clusters, replication, etc.) is needed.

Similar to the Sametime Limited license, this means regular Notes/Domino users can deploy a Quickr Entry server with no additional licensing costs.

This licensing is a huge benefit for the companies I have worked with as it makes the costs easy to understand and lets us move on with talking about business value.

Graham Dodge said...

Gavin, lets take it straight to R8.5. I can imagine the conversation at the next IT meeting...

"We're taking the servers to R Factor 8.5 Mr Masina"
"She'll nae take it Captain Bollard! Y'canna change the laws of corporate inertia. The network is breaking up!"