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By | Kelly Fiveash 29th November 2007 16:21

Anti piracy group grapples with virtual world

So how do you crack down on virtual pirates?

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has sunk its teeth into the fuzzy, grey world of virtualisation.

The anti-piracy body said it has got together with a number of big name firms, including Hewlett-Packard, Symantic/Altris, and Computacenter to work out ways of tackling potential problems that could arise when running software on virtualised systems.

FAST reckons that, while businesses were increasingly turning to virtualisation technology, many were failing to understand the ramifications of non-compliance.

According to FAST CEO John Lovelock, the virtual environment is virtually out of control and he says software vendors should consider processes and controls that could lock down proper usage.

"It is vital at this point that we demand greater clarity from vendors and look at the potential to canvas virtualisation software vendors for their view on the future direction," said Lovelock.

Presumably, the pirate busting body is banking on the prospect of cracking down on users who are, at best, confused about whether their software licenses cover the multiple configurations made possible by virtualisation.

The problem is it seems that vendors are often as confused as users when it comes to licensing and both virtualisation and multi-core architectures. Back in April, Microsoft tweaked its licensing to allow users to use virtualisation to cut costs.

Oracle, amongst others, has flirted with more complex formulae.

While the likes of Fujitsu Siemens Computers has questioned whether virtualisation makes running data centres even more complex by obscuring what's running where.®

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