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SafeNet Transforms Software Licensing Management with First Solution for Virtualized Environments

January 28, 2014

The world of software licensing and entitlement management is in the midst of a profound transformation. As a result of cloud computing, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) not only have new ways for delivering customers their intellectual property (IP), but also have been looking to the cloud as the best way to protect, track and monetize that property.

State-of-the-art software monetization tools not only provide protection of the IP but also assurance that licensees have the latest updates and are in compliance with licensing terms and conditions.  All of this automation and protection leaves ISVs more time to do what they do best, i.e., create great software.

However, the last and complicated piece of the puzzle has been eliminating the need for node-locking, decoupling software licenses from physical hardware and reducing monetization risks for vendors provisioning software and enforcing license compliance in virtualized environments.

Today marks a milestone in the software licensing and entitlement management business. Software monetization market leader SafeNet (News - Alert) has introduced what is the first and only cloud-based solution for license management in virtual environments through enhancements of  Sentinel® Cloud, the company’s award winning software licensing and entitlement management service.

Sentinel Cloud provides strong licensing enforcement without inconveniencing end users for both cloud-based and on-premise applications. Cloud-connected licensing ties licenses to individuals instead of physical hardware by managing the license outside the end-user network. This ensures licenses cannot be duplicated or used without ISV knowledge. It gives ISVs unprecedented visibility and control over the entire software lifecycle making a host of back office processes, including billing, easier and accurate.  

A win/win for ISVs and customers

Sentinel Cloud enforces compliance by licensing users instead of physical machines. This creates significant benefits for both ISVs and end users.

ISVs can now have:

  • Much greater assurance that use of their software is legitimate.
  • User-centric licensing eliminates the dependency on specific end-user devices or virtual setups.
  • Full control over how many licenses are running. This allows for usage on parallel instances of VMs and enables “pay-as-you-go” and “pay-as-you-grow” usage-based licensing.
  • Remote control functionality that simplifies license provisioning, updates, and renewals/cancellations, which can be done quickly on the fly.
  • Advanced usage data collection provides ISVs with valuable insight into how customers are using their software in order to develop software that better meets users’ needs.

 As noted, there are significant benefits for end users which include:

  • Access to licensed applications from any device
  • Pay-as-you-grow usage-based license model

“While virtualization helps enterprises to reduce costs, it also poses a challenge for software providers who have traditionally relied on the ability to bind licenses to physical machines in order to control access to their software,” said Shlomo Weiss, general manager, software monetization, SafeNet.  “Software providers are in need of new tools to track, control, and manage the use of their applications when deployed in virtual environments.”

A transformative moment as major issue resolved

I characterized this as a milestone in the software monetization field. Here is why that description, and even calling this a transformative development, is appropriate. 

As SafeNet points out, “a common issue when deploying software in virtual environments is that it is very possible to maliciously or unintentionally duplicate license rights when spinning up new instances, or to move a license from one instance to another freely.”  The new Sentinel Cloud solution give ISVs peace of mind that users cannot virtualize the licensing system and over use beyond what was purchased. 

How this is done is based on Sentinel Cloud licensing a user, not a physical machine, which promises legitimate use of licenses in virtual environments. As noted above, the powerful benefits to ISVs is that they have full control of how many licenses are running, and complete visibility into the usage of their software. Plus, being cloud-based Sentinel Cloud enables ISVs to automate the processes of provisioning, applying updates, and renewing licenses. It also comes with powerful analytics so ISVs can gain valuable insights into how to improve their software going forward.

Those user benefits should not be underestimated either. We all know the hassles of not being able to use the software we need when and where we need it, especially on our device of preference for carrying out essential tasks. Sentinel Cloud allows access to licensed applications via any device without the need to generate new licenses for usage on multiple machines. This is huge for the end user.  It is also not inconsequential for enterprise IT shops who now have a full account in real time of license usage and costs. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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