Virtualization enables computer users to become more flexible when it comes to their computing needs. That’s because virtualization allows different applications and operating systems to run in a single host or computing hardware infrastructure. It started interoperability and cross platform utilization of computer resources. These technological innovations widened the usefulness of computer workstations and servers and opened up possibilities for solid linkages of programs and software.
Recent developments however tend to restrict virtualization through licensing terms. Virtualization licensing is similar to software licensing agreements. There are now strict prohibitions for its use especially on the number of virtual machines that a server can host. Virtualization licensing also restricts deployment of dissimilar software on an operating system. These restrictions could be found usually on the terms and agreements of virtualization software.
Some sectors in the IT industry have been raising a protest against too restrictive virtualization licensing agreements. They contend that it defeats the purpose and essence of virtualization. These contentions have merits. Licensing can truly limit the useful functionality of virtualization. It negates flexibility and cross platform interoperability which are the major purpose of computing virtualization.
One reason for establishing restriction on the use of virtualization is to protect the vested interests of giant software developers. Through licensing agreements, major software developers control how many virtual machines would be allowed to run on servers and what software would be allowed in virtual environments. Virtualization licensing therefore is a market issue. It seeks to protect market leadership of giant software companies by restricting the utility of virtual environments and limiting its capability to run different software in multiple platforms.