Ask a Jedi: ColdFusion 8 Licensing Question

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A while back I got a question from a reader concerning ColdFusion licensing. As I know next to nothing about this I went right to Josh Adams, Adobe's newest ColdFusion specialist. He graciously helped me out and his reply is below. First, the question, from Andy:

Here at the County we are heading into a virtualized blade sever environment (using VMware). I can't find conclusive, non-conflicting information on Adobe's site that states what version of CF is compatible with a virtual environment. I found a PDF that says CF8 Enterprise is compatible and CF8 Standard is not, and I even found another page that says MX is compatible with virtualization. Can you direct me to the correct answer?

Josh's reply:

First let's start with the licensing generally; from the Adobe ColdFusion 8 FAQ we have this:

ColdFusion 8 is licensed based on the number of physical processors (CPUs) on the server on which it is running. ColdFusion is licensed in two-CPU increments. Each license of ColdFusion, whether Standard or Enterprise Edition, allows the software to be installed on a server with one or two CPUs. Additional CPUs on the server require additional licenses. Note that the total number of computers on which ColdFusion 8 is installed and used may not exceed the total number of licenses purchased. That means you cannot purchase one two-CPU license and use it on two separate single-CPU servers. Each server, in that case, needs its own license. View information regarding the licensing of ColdFusion 8.

Next let's move to additional licensing considerations related to VMs: there are no restrictions on the number of VMs onto which ColdFusion 8 Enterprise may be installed. However, ColdFusion 8 Standard can be used on no more than one VM per license. Note that this is consistent with ColdFusion 8 Enterprise's allowance of unlimited instances per license and ColdFusion 8 Standard's restriction to a single instance per license.

Finally, let's take a look at platform support considerations: the VMWare and Microsoft Virtual Server platforms are officially supported for ColdFusion 8 Enterprise but not for ColdFusion 8 Standard. That means that Adobe Support will investigate issues encountered on ColdFusion 8 Enterprise running in a VM, but they may not investigate issues encountered on ColdFusion 8 Standard running in a VM but instead they may require that those issues be reproduced on a supported platform.

Thank you Josh!

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Johnb posted on 3/14/2008 at 10:30 PM

have a look at my blog on the same subject from a while back - it's been updated recently by Jason Delmore and it would suggest a change in VM licensing for 8.0.1 may be on its way...

Comment 2 by Randy posted on 3/14/2008 at 11:40 PM

I have never understand why the license is 1 or 2 CPU's on one machine? If I had a server with 4 CPU's on it why should I have to buy another license? What would I do buy the license and set it on the shelf with the other box?


Comment 3 by Joshua Curtiss posted on 3/15/2008 at 12:09 AM

Great timing on this, as my work just bought a blade server and all our web servers will be VMs soon. On top of that, we're about to get another CF server. I'll recommend upgrading to Enterprise, having the one license, and then I get the benefits of the Enterprise edition. ;-)

Comment 4 by Johnb posted on 3/15/2008 at 1:36 AM

yep...just like Windows licensing, along with SQL Server and other enterprise products. They need to be licensed according to the CPU count. Although with virtualisation you can restrict the number of CPUs available to the VM itself.

Comment 5 by Ulf posted on 3/15/2008 at 3:30 AM

What does CPU mean? The real hardware or the number of cores. Is a MacPro with 8 Cores allowed with one license (because that 8 cores are divided on 2 CPUs)?

Comment 6 by Akira posted on 3/17/2008 at 6:03 PM

What if you don't want to bind CF to all the CPU's in the machine? Do you still have to buy the extra licenses?

Comment 7 by Rob Brooks-Bilson posted on 3/18/2008 at 9:27 PM


Adobe considers multiple cores to be part of a single CPU, so their current licensing would view your Mac with 2 4-core CPUs as a 2 cpu machine.

Comment 8 by Rob Brooks-Bilson posted on 3/18/2008 at 9:29 PM


If you are using virtualization, you can usually restrict the number of CPUs available to a VM, meaning you wouldn't have to purchase an additional license.

Comment 9 by Steve Lohmeyer posted on 4/29/2008 at 6:11 PM

Another twist...What if you have a server w/ 2 physical CPUs that is used to host two VMs, each with a different OS, that will each be running CF. Would you need to purchase two enterprise licenses, or could you skate by with one?

Comment 10 by Daniel Godinez posted on 8/30/2012 at 9:42 AM

In a virtualised environment you can take advantage of the cores per socket feature and nominate the number of cores per vCPU. This allows you to treat the vCPU as a core. I.E in an 8VCPU environment, using the cores per socket method you can actually make them appear as 2VCPU with each vCPU having 4 cores.
See the following kb article from vmware. It'll break it down for you
or google "cpuid.coresPerSocket".