DEC’s new worldwide software licensing policy, introduction of which started this week (CI No 912) means that layered products anything from DEC that runs above the operating system and DECnet – can be priced on a cluster-wide basis by adding together the power of the machines in the cluster. Any workstation is rated at 10 units, a VAX 6210 or MicroVAX 3500 is 300 units, an 8400 is 2,400 units and an 8978 is 4,800 units. Under the new policy, to be phased in progressively across the product line, users can resell old machines that were linked into a VAXcluster and replace them with others without losing the value of the layered product licences – and DEC looks to the new policy to encourage users to implement clusters. And in cases where only a few users of a system need a particular piece of software, a site can pay for it for a designated number of users. The system manager will be required to bar access by other users to such programs. To take advantage of the new arrangement, users need Cluster software which has now been unbundled from VMS. The UKP250 administration charge for transfer of licences that are still tied to processors – notably VMS and DECnet – is abolished. DEC reckons the new policy can save users up to 65% compared with the system it replaces.