A reader just informed me that there's a huge problem with Red-Gate's licensing for SQL Backup. I never would have dreamed this, but I checked, and it's true.
The basic problem is this... if you buy a SQL Backup license, it's not transferrable. That means that you buy it for a specific machine, and not for use as a license in your organization. If you get a license and end up decommissioning that machine, you can't reuse that license in your company. You have to buy another license for a new machine. This scenario is very common where you move an application to another box because you initially over or under spec'd the hardware. Or perhaps you are simply consolidating servers and you want to put your SQL Backup licenses back in the general pool. Well, won't happen here. Oh, and if you doubt what I'm saying, it's right on their site. Here's the text from their online license agreement.
All software is licensed on a per computer basis. For example, if you wish to use SQL Backup on more than one computer you will need an additional license for each additional computer on which the software is downloaded and installed. Furthermore, this license is not transferable between computers and as such you may not transfer the software between computers without purchasing an additional license from Red Gate Software.
And here's the link to it so you can see for yourself.
Personally, I find that not only incredible, but maybe even a bit offensive. It shouldn't be that hard to upgrade or downgrade a box. If I buy a license, I should be able to use it any way I like.
Here's my problem with this. What constitutes a server? Is it the motherboard, the CPU, the chassis, the RAM, the disks? What combination of those things is a server? If I change the motherboard is it a new box now? Because Embarcadero has a similar licensing plan. They build the unlock key off of the hardware, so if you change a significant part of the hardware, your box will need to be re-licensed. Now, the big difference is that Embarcadero doesn't charge you for that license. It's wholly transferrable to other servers, you just have to build a new key based off of the new hardware. So that comes back to the question, what makes a server a server? At what point in this scenario am I going to have to buy a new Red-Gate license?