Over the years, numerous organizations around USA and North America make use of IBM software programs and some often struggles with IBM’s licensing scenarios and metrics. Thus, it provides several unique metrics for licensing and measuring usage of its software programs.

The most popularly used metric appears to be that of the Processor Value Unit (PVU), as the Processor Value Unit (PVU) is basically a unit of measure used to differentiate licensing of software processor technologies. On the other hand, most of the supported processor technologies by IBM can be found in the PVU Table.

End users can deploy the IBM software program licensed by Processor Value Unit in two different scenarios:

  • Physical Capacity or Full-capacity licensing
  • Virtualization Capacity or Sub-capacity licensing

If someone decide to license at the full-capacity of a server, one must obtain a PVU licenses sufficient to cover all the activated processor cores in the physical hardware environment on which the IBM software program is properly installed. Whereas, if one decided to license at the sub-capacity of a server, then one must obey with a number of Specific Virtualization Capacity License Counting Rules which include the use of IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT).

Is ILMT Mandatory?

You are free to choose ILMT when licensing happens at full-capacity, and the usage of ILMT becomes mandatory in case of sub-capacity licensing. There are certain exceptions where ILMT is almost unavoidable, especially when IBM software is used in a virtual infrastructure. As such, in practice, 99% of all the end users would like to only license the sub-capacity of a server to reduce the license and support costs, and are often required to make use of ILMT.

Contractual Requirements

In general, IBM allows client organization to license only the sub-capacity of a server if a number of contractual conditions are being met, including the following major requirements:

ILMT Installation:

  • In the ILMT installation process one need to reinstate and configure the latest version of ILMT within a time frame of 90 days of its first deployment of the PVU licenses for the IBM software program.
  • It will promptly install the new versions, releases, modifications, or code corrections (fixes) of the ILMT that IBM makes available to its clients.

ILMT Reporting:

  • One agrees to collect deployment data for each PVU licensed IBM program.
  • Also, one is required to prepare at least once per quarter and retain for a period of not less than 2 years reports as per the audit reports requirements.
  • The failure to generate audit reports during the course of an audit will lead to charge under full-capacity.

BigFix Platform

IBM License Metric tool appears to be one of the crucial components of the BigFix platform and are used to manage and execute software and hardware discoveries. BigFix itself is a systems-management software product required to manage large groups of computers and endpoints running on all (mobile) operating systems. BigFix provides system administrators with patch management, software distribution, operating system deployment, network access protection and software and hardware inventory functions. As a result, both ILMT and the BigFix platform itself, are available at free of cost for all IBM customers.

Risks and Warnings

ILMT are installed on a permanent basis, and it needs to be actively managed in order to ensure a complete and accurate view of your software deployments in order to remain compliant with your sub-capacity license requirements.

The maintenance of your ILMT environment includes those of:

  • Collecting up to date software deployment information on a weekly basis
  • Creating and provisioning quarterly and 2-year reports on request by an organization like IBM
  • Also, one need to maintain ILMT to its latest version
  • Maintaining a complete and accurate software inventory by applying bundling, exclusions and suppressions
  • Monitoring and controlling your license utilization

Once if all the above-mentioned requirements are met, then one can seamlessly take advantage of sub-capacity licensing.

The Benefits of ILMT

One of the biggest benefits of using ILMT is that your client organization can take advantage of only licensing and the sub-capacity of a particular server. As a general rule, installing and running IBM software at the sub-capacity of the full processor core capacity of a server often lowers the license usage and also the license and the support costs associated with it. To be eligible for sub-capacity licensing, the proper installation, configuration and use of ILMT is required, however, it includes the usage of a predefined set of hardware and software scanners, as ILMT is available for free of cost with every purchase of IBM Software via Passport Advantage. It provides an overview of the installed software, of where it is installed and how it is being used within your organization.

ILMT Health Check and ILMT Managed Services

In the upcoming days, a complete and accurate management of the ILMT environment is required in almost any IBM client’s organization who are using the IBM software. Based on the years of experience, All Blue Solutions noticed that many organizations lack experience and resources to manage their ILMT environment correctly in house, and that’s appears to be completely understandable for its clients. Whereas, it often leads to a particular situation where end users need to license the full-capacity of a server after a specific audit or verification conducted by IBM.

During this health check All Blue Solutions will verify the:

  • State of the deployment: Review of your hardware and software scans
  • Completeness: A thorough review will be conducted by the experts regarding the completeness of BigFix, ILMT and your Software Inventory
  • Accuracy: Review of your ILMT setup and suggestions to improve the Software Inventory accuracy
  • License utilization: Also, recommendations to improve and track license utilization

On the other hand, with the assistance of managed service client’s organization are able to maintain their ILMT environment on an ongoing basis, and the delivery of this managed service means that All Blue Solutions will take the responsibility on their behalf to install, configure, manage and maintain their ILMT environment in an accurate manner so that one can enjoy the actual cost avoidance and cost saving benefits of being eligible for sub-capacity licensing.

Are you struggling with ILMT sub-capacity licensing? Do you need a peace of mind, contact us!