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Adobe Flash Media Server Multi-core Licensing Policy FAQ

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Licensing Change with Flash Media Server 4.5 affecting CPU definitions.

Effective September 8, 2011 All editions of Flash Media Server 4.5 will be sold “per server” replacing the “per CPU” license limits of previous versions.

Customers of previous versions who upgrade to version 4.5 will assume the new End User License Agreement (“EULA”). Customers who do not upgrade will be subject to the previous version EULA.

Licensing Change with Flash Media Server 4.5 affecting Virtual Computer definitions.

Effective September 8, 2011 All editions of Flash Media Server 4.5 will be sold “per server” which will include Virtual Computers. All virtual computers will be licensed as 1 server license. If multiple virtual computers are running on a single computer, each virtual computer will be required to have a valid license.

Customers of previous versions who upgrade to version 4.5 will assume the new End User License Agreement (“EULA”). Customers who do not upgrade will be subject to the previous version EULA.

Why did Adobe change the licensing policy?
We have heard from customers that with the advancements in computer systems and multi-core definitions, it made business sense to make this change to simplify customer licensing and deployment calculations and simplifying the licensing model was a great solution to reduce the complexities in server deployment.
If I have a previous version of Flash Media Server, does this new policy apply to me?
This policy and new EULA applies to both new and upgrade licenses of Flash Media Server 4.5. Customers who do not upgrade will be subject to their previous version EULA including the multi-core and virtual computer policy.
What was Adobe's licensing policy for multi-core processors prior to Flash Media Server 4.5?
Adobe Flash Media Server products (including versions 4.0, 3.5, 3.0) were licensed on a per-CPU basis, Adobe implemented a pricing and licensing policy, which addressed the multi-core processors being brought to market by leading hardware vendors.

The Adobe policy on multi-core licensing stated that every 2 core processors on a multi-core machine were equivalent to one CPU from a licensing perspective. In addition, any remaining unpaired core processor(s) were also be deemed a CPU.

The following products were covered by this policy with different CPU limits:
Adobe Flash Media Enterprise Server (4.0, 3.5, 3.0) — licensed per 1 CPU
Adobe Flash Media Interactive Server (4.0, 3.5, 3.0) — licensed per 8 CPU
Adobe Flash Media Streaming Server (4.0, 3.5, 3.0) — licensed per 4 CPU
Adobe Flash Media Development Server (4.0, 3.5, 3.0) — licensed per 2 CPU

Example scenarios
Example 1:  Adobe Flash Media Enterprise Server was licensed on a per-CPU basis, if a customer planned to deploy the software on single a quad-core processor, they required a license for 2 CPUs.

Example 2: Adobe Flash Media Interactive Server was licensed on an 8-CPU basis, if a customer planned to deploy the software on a single quad-core processor, they required 1 license.   If the customer decided to deploy 2 physical (or virtual) servers, each with 1 quad core processor, they required 2 licenses.

Example 3: Adobe Flash Media Streaming Server was licensed on a 4-CPU basis, if a customer planned to deploy the software on a single quad-core processor, they required 1 license.  If the customer decided to deploy on a dual CPU with quad core processors (total of 8 cores), then they still only required 1 license.
What was Adobe's CPU policy for Virtual Servers prior to Flash Media Server 4.5?
Adobe Flash Media Server products could be run on virtual servers of supported operating systems.  Virtual servers could be used to run multiple instances of Flash Media Server on a single physical computer. 

The Adobe policy on virtual servers stated that each virtual server was counted as 2-CPU (4 cores) per instance from a licensing perspective.  This meant that the per CPU license could be distributed over multiple virtual servers running on a single physical computer, however each virtual server running was counted as 2 additional CPU's on top of the existing physical CPU's.   If the virtual servers increased the CPU count beyond the license, then additional licenses were required.

Example 1: A customer plans to install Flash Media Interactive Server (licensed per 8-CPU) on a dual 8-core server (4 CPU's per socket, total of 8 CPUs).  The customer plans to run FMS in a virtual server, this will increase the CPU count by 2, bringing the total CPU's to 10.  This customer will require 2  licenses of Flash Media Interactive Server.

Example 2: A customer plans to install Flash Media Enterprise Server (licensed per 1-CPU) on 2 virtual servers (counted as 2 CPUs each) running on a single socket quad core server (2 CPU).  The customer will require 4 licenses to support this deployment.
What about single core CPUs prior to Flash Media Server 4.5?
Single core CPUs will count as one CPU.
What about CPUs that have less efficient cores prior to Flash Media Server 4.5?
Adobe's multi-core licensing policy does not differentiate between the multi-core machines offered by the various hardware vendors.
What about the use of partitioning to reduce the number of CPU licenses required prior to Flash Media Server 4.5?
Customers can partition their servers to run Adobe software on a fewer number of cores as long as the total number of cores/CPUs that are enabled to run the Adobe software does not exceed the licensed number.
Why did Adobe implement a multi-core licensing policy?
The policy has been in effect since the release of Flash Media Server 3.0 released January 2008 and was removed on September 8, 2011 with the release of Flash Media Server 4.5. Pricing is determined based on the relative value offered by the Flash Media Server software according to the license metric chosen. The multi-core processors provide a significant performance improvement over present single-core architectures. The multi-core licensing policy seeks to create pricing alignment across the disparate hardware architectures.