DMTF to Examine Need for Software License Management Standards

Press Release Content: 

PORTLAND, Ore. – Feb. 28, 2011 –The Distributed Management Task Force(DMTF), the organization bringing the IT industry together to collaborate on systems management standards development, validation, promotion and adoption, today announced it has formed a group to address the need for effective software licensing management in virtualized and cloud computing environments. This “Software License Management Incubator” will work to develop a set of recommendations to guide future industry standardization of software license management in these environments.

There is currently a lack of standards-based practices and supporting tools to consistently describe licensed products and product usage.  The emergence of cloud computing along with virtualization adds additional complexity to software license management for customers, platform vendors, and application providers.  These difficulties combine to increase the amount of effort required to produce an accurate software inventory. 

Virtualization provides customers with an opportunity to improve the efficiency, availability and flexibility of their IT systems over time.  However, these gains may erode if the costs of managing a virtualized environment increase. Standards-based approaches to describing and reporting software products and product usage can greatly benefit users by limiting the potential for unexpected cost increases.

“DMTF has a proven track record of developing industry wide standard and is an industry leader in the development of cloud management standards through our Open Cloud Standards Incubator and our Cloud Management Working Group,” said Winston Bumpus, DMTF president. “The addition of the Software License Management Incubator will add to these efforts by focusing on solutions to key customer challenges that impact effective management and by providing a jumpstart on future industry standards development for virtualized and cloud computing environments.”

The Software License Management Incubator will develop whitepapers focused on the challenges identified to enable the industry to manage licensed software product(s) and product usage, and to move closer to interoperable solutions.  The Incubator will identify real world use cases and scenarios, and capture existing or proposed solutions that identify licensed software products and product usage based on a common set of definitions.

Improving access to, and reporting of, software inventory and product usage could provide an organization with a host of benefits, including improved IT governance and the capability for customers to understand their product usage as an input to purchase decisions.

“With DMTF’s Software Licensing Management Incubator, we hope to evolve software licensing management to be a key business enabler, streamlining today’s inefficient processes and allowing firms of all sizes to unlock the value and flexibility of emerging distributed and cloud computing platforms,” said Adrian Kunzle, Managing Director, Firmwide Head of Engineering and Architecture at JP Morgan Chase.

The Software License Management Incubator was formed as part of the DMTF Standards Incubation process, which enables interested DMTF members to work together to produce informational specifications that can later be used in the standards development process. The incubation process is designed to foster and expedite open, collaborative, exploratory technical work that complements the DMTF mission to lead the development, adoption and promotion of interoperable management initiatives and standards. 

DMTF has had previous success with the standards incubation process through their Open Cloud Standards Incubator, which was dedicated to addressing the need for open management standards in cloud computing. The Open Cloud Standards Incubator led to the creation of the Cloud Management Workgroup (CMWG), a group which uses the recommendations developed by the Incubator to create standardized interactions between cloud environments. 

The current SLM incubator leadership board consists of CA Technologies, Citrix, Microsoft, IBM, Novell, and VMware.

About DMTF
DMTF enables more effective management of millions of IT systems worldwide by bringing the IT industry together to collaborate on the development, validation and promotion of systems management standards. The group spans the industry with 160 member companies and organizations, and more than 4,000 active participants crossing 43 countries. The DMTF board of directors is led by 15 innovative, industry-leading technology companies. They include Advanced Micro Devices (AMD); Broadcom Corporation; CA , Inc.; Cisco; Citrix Systems, Inc.; Dell; EMC; Fujitsu; HP; Hitachi, Ltd.; IBM; Intel Corporation; Microsoft Corporation; Oracle; and VMware, Inc. With this deep and broad reach, DMTF creates standards that enable interoperable IT management. DMTF management standards are critical to enabling management interoperability among multi-vendor systems, tools and solutions within the enterprise. Information about DMTF technologies and activities can be found at