In the recent period of time, it is found out that end users typically purchase those IBM software licenses and services generally against a so-called passport advantage agreement. It might appear to be a case for an individual as well, especially if you are using an IBM software. On the other hand, Passport advantage agreement is listed as the most common used agreements on the IBM terms page, but does that answer all your questions? In this blog you will have a look at the best-known IBM agreement which is known as Passport Agreement and we’ll explain it in detail as the most important terms and conditions included in it.

Nowadays, end-users can seamlessly order new software licenses, renew its subscription and support and also subscribe to IBM cloud services offerings especially with the assistance of the IBM passport advantage agreements (IPAA). In general, there basically exists two versions of the IPAA

  • The regular version is basically a relationship based, as it requires enrollment and are mainly designed for larger and multi-site end user organizations as a whole.
  • On the other hand, the express version offers the simplicity of a transaction-based purchase that are designated mainly for smaller and bigger corporate houses.

Depending on the size and duration of the transaction, being an IBM customer can significantly reduce cost as you can take advantage of the bigger discounts. Whereas, for non-IBM customers more differences can be found between the regular and express version as a whole.

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IBM Passport Advantage Agreement – Why is it so Important?

The following section basically provide you an overview of the five most crucial terms and conditions that one have agreed upon and which should be taken into account while deploying the IBM software programs within a particular organization:

  1. One may have agreed that they can provide auditable recording of their software utilization to provide that the use of entitled program is in compliance with the actual contractual terms and conditions as agreed upon.
    As a result, these records can include the following things
    • An ILMT audit report when licensing is basically under sub capacity term
    • Program specific scripts like db2 license commands
    • LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) group membership
    • Program screenshots
  2. One may have agreed that they have subscribed to IBM support notifications, thus by making the use of support notifications, IBM will immediately notify you regarding price changes, metric changes or support withdrawals. Always, one should keep in mind that with every new order or renewal, one is required to review the updated terms and conditions.
  3. One might have agreed that they have acquired sufficient subscription and support for all kinds of software usage and installations. All software uses and installations basically means usage and installations of all kinds of IBM softwares independent of its version, regardless if a part of the deployments is out of support. This is also known as All or nothing rules.
  4. One might have agreed that they will allow IBM to verify their compliance and conduct thorough verification on-site during their working hours within a short notice period. IBM might use an independent auditor to help in such kind of verification processes.
  5. Individual might have agreed that they will Inform IBM and purchase sufficient licenses prior to increasing capacity. For instance, adding additional processor capacity or allowing additional users to access the software product. On the other hand, whenever one receives an update, fix or patch to a program, they basically accept any additional or different terms that are mainly applicable for such updates, fix or a patch that are specified in its licensed document.

The Needs of IBM Sub-Capacity Licensing Terms

In general, the sub capacity terms and conditions in almost all cases require an individual to deploy the IBM license metric tool. According to the IPAA, one might have agreed to implement ILMT within a time period of 90 days of the software product deployment.

The Importance of IBM License Information Documents

The License Information Document (LI Docs) of IBM is considered as the starting point to find the parameters which requires review of software compliances. In general, a compliance check involves comparison of the installed product, component, versions and utilization against their very own entitlements.

Thus, the LI Docs website allows an individual to search for a program version and provides

  • A list of components (Supporting Programs) which are included with the Primary Program
  • A list of possible Units of Measure
  • A list of components which are used or not used for determining the number of required entitlements for the program
  • Usage limitations
  • Prohibited component or features.

As an instance, one can find below a shortened version of the LI Doc of IBM Db2 standard edition 11.5.

Supporting Programs:

  • IBM Database Add-ins for Visual Studio 11.5
  • IBM Data Server Driver for JDBC and SQLJ 4.26
  • IBM Data Server Driver for ADO.Net 11.5

And more

  • Units of Measure
  • Authorized User
  • Virtual Processor Core
  • Not used to determine the number of entitlements
  • Data Server Clients
  • IBM Data Server Driver for JDBC and SQLJ
  • PureScale cluster caching facility (CF)
  • Prohibited Components among others
  • If licensing under the Terabyte metric: pureScale clustering technology
  • Q Replication Functionality

And more

  • High Availability / Failover Configurations options
  • Hot Standby
  • Idle / Warm Standby
  • Cold Standby

One will be more interested to know that if a specific software component is required to be licensed separately or if it is a part of another IBM software license. Firstly, one need to find out to which primary program the component part is related to. Also, they have to verify it in ILMT’s software inventory if other programs exist on the same server or not, even they need to ask the owner of the system and use Google to find out the possible primary program that component is associated to.

For instance, ILMT might have detected the component of Universal agent and the automatic bundling rules is bundled to “IBM spectrum protect.” However, one may not have license for “IBM spectrum protect”.

Once an individual has found the primary program and confirmed that the component is part of a supporting program, a combination of below sources is required to find the final decision if and how the component is charged with

  • Entitlements
  • LI Docs
  • Announcement Letters
  • Knowledge Center

In conclusion, it can be said that one need to take into account the number of contractual terms and conditions as defined according to the passport advantage agreement, which is also associated with sub capacity terms and associated product and version specific license information document should not be underestimated. Any end user can encounter challenges regarding controlling and managing its IBM license compliance position, due to the level of detail, knowledge and expertise required.

Does your IBM software and services are governed by IBM’s Passport Advantage Agreement? If not, contact us, our ILMT consultant will guide you to get your IBM software and services in compliance with the following IBM passport advantage agreement.