You can license a software product at a lower price than the full capacity of a server or set of servers when you use sub-capacity licensing. It provides granular licensing for leveraging multiple multi-core chip and virtualization technologies. As far as licensing is concerned, a change in platform will most likely affect the amount of capacity on which the software is installed and/or running, thereby changing the number of licenses required.

IBM’s License Metric Tool (ILMT) and its associated BigFix platform require installation, configuration, and proper management. The end user is often unaware of all the steps and steps that need to be taken in order to qualify for sub-capacity licensing. There is often a challenge in installing, configuring and properly managing the ILMT/BigFix platform for end users. It is quite common for end user organizations to be unable to provide such in-depth knowledge, expertise, and the time required to implement it in a complete and accurate manner.

IBM Sub-capacity licensing is only available to customers who:

  • Implement IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT) within 90 days of first use of eligible Sub-capacity products.
  • Maintain quarterly reports (ILMT audit snapshot) for at least two years and make them available to IBM upon request.

Installing ILMT requires you to first install BigFix. It is free for IBM customers to use the IBM BigFix platform and IBM ILMT. A BigFix solution is a scalable and versatile solution with many different applications (functionality).

Things to be Validated before Installing BigFix and ILMT

Before you begin the BigFix/ILMT installation, make sure you have validated the following steps:

  • BigFix has network connectivity (TCP/UDP) with agents, virtual infrastructure, and the cloud
  • You have internet access (BigFix requires an internet connection).
  • You have permissions to access the virtual infrastructure.
  • A concern you raised related to BigFix’s system management functions.
  • You have permission to install agents on IBM Software-based systems.
  • If you’ve been using IBM software, then you know where it’s been installed.
  • Concerns about the possible impact of software scans are raised.
  • Schedule regular management of BigFix and ILMT.

Installing BigFix

To take advantage of sub-capacity pricing, IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT) or BigFix Inventory (BFI) deployment is required.

The average time to install and configure BigFix and ILMT is 8 hours when all requirements are met (an operating system and database are ready). It entails installing BigFix server, retrieving License Metric Tool content, and deploying BigFix agents. Despite being relatively easy to install, BigFix can be confusing without experience.

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Configuring BigFix and ILMT

Once BigFix is installed, use the BigFix console to configure BigFix and ILMT. A BigFix-content-server obtains fixlets from the internet by connecting to BigFix-content servers. A fixlet is an executable script that runs on a single device or a group (Example: Microsoft Security Patch). In other words, a fixlet is visible only to the devices it is relevant to. So, that Microsoft Security patch is visible (relevant) only to Microsoft systems, but it is not visible on Linux devices.

IBM provides a fixlet version of the ILMT installer. You can install or upgrade IBM License Metric Tool by searching for the fixlet “Download IBM License Metric Tool” and executing (activating) it. After the fixlet has been completed, perform the initial configurations and then deploy the fixlets to install the hardware and software scanners.

So, installing BigFix and ILMT requires in-depth knowledge and expertise. In addition to that ILMT also requires proper maintenance as it will be used by IBM to record the consumption and license position during an audit.

To maintain sub-capacity licensing, you are required to-

  • Have up to date information of each software deployment.
  • Meet the sub-capacity requirements.
  • Perform the cleaning action in ILMT whenever the licenses are removed in order to avoid inappropriate peak usage of licenses.
  • Keep practice of verifying the automated audit report with the actual usage of licenses on a regular basis.

If you are looking to learn more about Installing and configuring BigFix and ILMT, contact us today to talk to an All Blue Solutions expert.