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Enterprise license—you would have to be insane to buy this! Tell me it is not so. 
 
ShopGuy
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I decided to see what the current licenses are and what their features and cost is. I am trying to understand why anyone would buy either license. I am glad Varien is making money (as it should), but the licenses are designed in such a way to hinder business. Lets look at just the enterprise license and cost for a small shop PER YEAR:

1) $12,990 for production server #1
2) $12,990 for production server #2 (added for redundancy and speed)
3) $0 for 1 staging server, $12,990 for any additional
4) $25,980 per developer

License is based per server. This means even a small shop will need to buy 2 production licenses and 1 staging license. In addition, every developer desktop, laptop, etc will need a separate license (I assume a developer has both a desktop and a laptop). Most developers I know develop locally and then merge their changes on the staging server once features are complete.

Not only that, but there is the risk of price increases. A year ago the enterprise version was $8,900 and now it is $12,990. Based on this, Varien is raising the price ~45% per year. In 3 years the yearly cost for an enterprise version will be $39000 PER server, per staging environment, per developer machine.

True, it is unlikely that Varien will continue with the price hikes, but what if they don’t? What happens when Varien raises the price beyond your ability to afford it? Do you have to open source the code to your competitors? Does your shop shut down? Do you have to give back the features? It sounds like all of the above as you would be reverted to a community license.

And, if this is not enough, there is the lack of incentive to actually improve Magentos speed (#1 gripe about Magento is its speed), since the slower Magento is the more licensing revenue Varien gets.

So, I hope I am missing something here because if not, it seems like someone would be insane to purchase the enterprise license. The much more scalable approach would be using the community license, buying modules, and when customizing make sure no meaningful changes take place in the core (just use hooks, api calls to separate works, class extensions, etc). What am I missing here? Am I looking at this the wrong way?

 
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Flaxton
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Small shops should not buy Enterprise. It is as simple as that. If you aren’t making enough to spend 70,000 on a site then you are not ready for EE.

CE is free and gives you 99% of the functionality EE gives you. You are paying for SUPPORT.

We personally went through a solutions partner and got PE for $2995.

Magento is a solution for big & small business. There are many big businesses ready to take matters into their own hands, that is what Enterprise is for.

In other words… you are 100% right.

 
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ShopGuy
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I have looked at the PE too. Can you comment on the following since you actually own a license?

1) Does every developer machine need a license?

2) Does the agreement include price lock-ins so Varien cannot raise the price 1000% in a year?

3) What happens if you cannot pay next year? Do you lose the commercial license? Have to uninstall all PE modules?

 
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Flaxton
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1.) Maybe on paper, but I develop at home and at work with no issues.

2.) I do not think there is a price lock-in.

3.) I think you loose the license, but unsure. You site would not stop functioning though, and you could easily(for some people) move your server database and design onto a commercial Magento platform with little to no hitches.

 
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ShopGuy
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Flaxton, does the PE edition require IonCube and include non opensource code? (I have heard the enterprise version does this).

Magento is so slow that I plan to convert my stores over to HipHop PHP, which converts PHP code to C++ and therefore speeds it up considerably. If the PE edition uses encoded code though, this would be impossible.

 
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Flaxton
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Truthfully, from what I have seen the two builds CE & PE are almost identical aside from the small list of features and codepool locations. As far as the speed of Magento, it really depends on your server. We have a SIP-300 from Nexcess and it is extremely fast.  I have no idea what IonCube is, and the code is opensource, just poorly documented.

 
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rich1231
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ShopGuy,

Your figures are incorrect..

A small shop doesnt need the licenses you mention, just a single prod and a dev environment.

Now I can’t speak for your business so wouldnt like to make general remarks so I will use specifics to us.

We have just gone to EE. It was a long hard decision making process. But for all sorts of reasons we feel it is the right step forwards to help establish and grow our business further.

We need support. We want the software developers that write to code to still be in business next year. We want a platform that has development resourced properly so new features are well thought out and properly implemented.

We want scalability. We want the software to have a gravity that attracts third party development that we might be interested in.

The cost of doing this right isnt huge, and though a large chunk on money for us we can already see that it will reap rewards once we go live.
The feature differences between the various versions are what made us go EE. We need the features that EE offers. Not everyone does and so what is right for us isnt always right for others. And your blanket assertion is somewhat naive as fundementally you dont know everyone’s requirements out there.

 
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ardvanleeuwen
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@ShopGuy,

Are You talking about HipHop from Facebook?

Did you experiment already with the CE of Magento? I am looking if there is someone who has magento working under HIPHOP and what the conclusions are.

Because not all PHP can be converted I think its not that easy to use, but maybe you can tell me otherwise.

Thx for sharing

Ard van Leeuwen

 
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edmondscommerce
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Magento under Hip Hop would be awesome but I imagine it would be either really hard or plain impossible

I know they did get a Wordpress version running under Hip Hop

 
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ironMike
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\"ard.van.leeuwen\" -

...if there is someone who has magento working under HIPHOP and what the conclusions are.

Because not all PHP can be converted I think its not that easy to use, but maybe you can tell me otherwise.

It\’s not worth the trouble. The only way to compile magento into a HipHop binary would be an own fork of development, removing all eval() calls and more. No improvements, no upgrade path.

My conclusion: Get a server with SSDs and Magento flies. Thats much cheaper than a total conversion of magento.

 
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Crucial Web Host
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ironMike - 29 October 2010 06:50 AM

Get a server with SSDs and Magento flies. Thats much cheaper than a total conversion of magento.

Mike’s right. 

Magento makes heavy use of the disk subsystem for many of its operations.  After years of working with Magento and providing hosting solutions since the beta versions of the application, we have found that disk I/O is the biggest bottleneck, next to CPU’s (cores), to optimal Magento performance. 

This is why Magento performs so poorly in cloud environments where the storage is on a SAN shared with countless other users and under stress at random times causing inconsistent performance.

SSD’s (Solid State Drives) configured in a RAID1+0 disk array locally outperforms 15.5K SAS drives in the same RAID configuration. 

A local Database is also the key to peak performance with Magento

A remote database introduces latency due system calls and network saturation.  If you must use a remote database you should make sure you are on a private VLAN and not sharing an over saturated network connection, which is common for even the largest hosting providers.  In the best of network environments, remote database will NOT be as fast as local database for a variety of reasons.

CPU speed and the number of CPU’s is also incredibly important to optimal Magento performance.  You can get an idea of the power of the high end CPU that you are using at the following URL - if the CPU is not listed here it is not considered ‘high end‘ by the benchmark “PassMark Software“;

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

Performance based web servers, such as LiteSpeed, make use of multiple CPU’s (cores) as does the MySQL server, with a proper configuration.  Using a performance based web server can significantly improve your applications performance against the Apache web server software.

Trying to rewrite or convert/compile Magento is not a solution - it’s a bandaid at best.  You will be locked out of any future upgrades (without a significant amount of development time to rewrite and test your changes) and with each upgrade we continue to see speed improvements.  Core changes to Magento should NEVER be performed, core changes to Magento should NEVER be performed - this defeats the OOP model that Magento employs.

In the end, as we have said before, Magento can not achieve optimal performance without a significant investment in the infrastructure on which the application runs.  If you are considering running Magento and are wanting to do so on a budget hosting provider understand that you simply can not and will not achieve peak performance with this application. 

Magento requires resources due to it’s complex nature - you can not provide the necessary resources on a budget hosting provider as the costs for this type of hardware system is not inexpensive.

 
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compumatter
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ShopGuy - 05 October 2010 01:56 PM

Flaxton, does the PE edition require IonCube and include non opensource code? (I have heard the enterprise version does this).

Magento is so slow that I plan to convert my stores over to HipHop PHP, which converts PHP code to C++ and therefore speeds it up considerably. If the PE edition uses encoded code though, this would be impossible.

Did you ever implement the hiphop solution. I’m finding a lot of buzz on it and am very interested in knowing if it works as expected ?

 
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Flaxton
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If anyone was wondering, the client I was referring to above went ahead with PE. We used it for one year and moved to CE after that. There was no real benefit to PE over CE. There was not one extension ever released for the platform. All extensions had to be manually downloaded and the code had to be hacked to work with PE. I went to a conference with another developer that worked on the PE platform with me, and the Magento rep there apologized to us when we told him we were on PE. He even let us know that they were dropping support and development of the PE platform at the end of the year.

We have been on CE now for almost a year and CE seems to almost be better than PE, but PE is compleley dead now, with the release of Magento Go. So PE is not even an option at this point.

We are now moving this client onto EE. I will update again… in time.

 
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EZAPPS
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Crucial Web Host - 29 October 2010 03:44 PM

Trying to rewrite or convert/compile Magento is not a solution - it’s a bandaid at best.  You will be locked out of any future upgrades (without a significant amount of development time to rewrite and test your changes) and with each upgrade we continue to see speed improve

Lately I’ve been wondering if anyone is interested in starting from scratch with a much lighter MVC core. I’d love to do it, but I’d need to assemble a team to lean on.

 
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Turnkeye
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Flaxton - 13 March 2012 10:12 AM

We have been on CE now for almost a year and CE seems to almost be better than PE, but PE is compleley dead now, with the release of Magento Go. So PE is not even an option at this point.

I think PE was development to help merchants with PA-DSS.
But it appears that PA-DSS is not needed for 99% of merchants as they use redirect payment methods.

I glad to know that now Varien is focused on Magento CE and EE.

Here some more reading for PE users: http://turnkeye.com/blog/magento-professional-phasing-out-migration/

 
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alyxwd24
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I think it is common knowledge that if you have small enterprise buying enterprise product license with that kind of price is not practical way.

 
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