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Adobe ColdFusion 9 License Terms in Plain English

by Simon. Average Reading Time: almost 3 minutes.

If like me, you’ve been struggling to understand the legalese of the Adobe ColdFusion 9 EULA, I have put together a brief and hopefully, helpful summary of what it actually means in in plain English.

The sections we’re really interested in are 3.1.1 and 3.1.2. These are detailed below.

Regarding production software on a per-CPU and Virtual Machine (VM) basis:

3.1.1 Adobe grants Licensee a license to install and use the Software as Production Software on a per-CPU basis as provided in a separate writing. The total number of CPUs of all of the Computers on which the Software operates may not exceed the total number of CPUs separately licensed. For purposes of this License Metric, (a) all CPUs on a Computer on which the Software is installed shall be deemed to operate the Software unless Licensee configures that Computer (using a reliable and verifiable means of hardware or software partitioning) such that the total number of CPUs that actually operate the Software is less than the total number on that Computer, and (b) a CPU shall mean a single, physical chip with the capability of housing multiple processor cores. If Licensee purchases a 2-CPU Production Software license, then each CPU to which it applies such license must reside in the same Computer. In the event that Licensee desires to apply 2-CPU Production Software licenses to Virtual Machines, then (c) for the Standard version of the Software, the number of 2-CPU licenses required shall be the greater of (i) the number of available physical CPUs for all instances of the Software divided by two (any fractions shall be rounded up for purposes of this provision), or (ii) the total number of Virtual Machines on all Computers on which the Software is installed, and (d) for the Enterprise version of the Software, the number of 2-CPU licenses required shall be the number of physical CPUs on which the Software operates divided by two (any fractions shall be rounded up for purposes of this provision).

The key information here is:

  • The Standard license is charged per 2-CPU or per-VM, which ever is greater.
  • The Enterprise license is charged per 2-CPU.

But what does this actually mean for Joe Bloggs? Fortunately the guys at Adobe, via Twitter, were on hand to help.

Here is a little table that should whet your appetite:

Server Configuration Number of Licenses Required
CPU VM Standard Enterprise
1 0 1 1
2 0 1 1
4 0 2 2
 
1 2 2 1
1 4 4 1
1 6 6 1
 
2 2 2 1
2 4 4 1
2 6 6 1
 
4 2 2 2
4 4 4 2
4 6 6 2

Regarding production software on a cloud network:

3.1.2 Adobe grants Licensee a license to install and use the Software as Production Software on a Cloud Network on a per-instance basis as provided in a separate writing. The total number of instances that may run on a Cloud Network may not exceed the total number of instances separately licensed. Licensee must purchase and apply 1 instance license to each use of the Standard version of the Software. Licensee may apply 10 instances for each license purchased of the Enterprise version of the Software.

The key information here is:

  • The Standard license supports cloud computing, but for each instance, 1 license must be applied.
  • The Enterprise license supports up to 10 cloud instances, e.g. on Amazon EC3, Azure, Joyent, Rackspace Cloud etc.

In essence, if you’re going to run a [decent] virtual machine environment, or indeed a cloud environment, it would be far more cost efficient to run ColdFusion Enterprise, since it is costed by the number of virtual machines or increments of 10 cloud instances.

You can download the original Adobe ColdFusion 9 EULA (PDF 400K) from the Adobe website.

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  • raZorTT

    Any idea how this would apply to disater recovery?

    For example I have two data centres running an ESX host each. On each host there is VM of our ColdFusion production server. Only one of the VMs is powered on, the other is there incase the primary one goes down.

    Would I need to buy two enterprise licenses because the VMs are on seperate boxes? or only one because both VMs will never be powered on at the same time.

    Thanks!