In the last article, we learned about common IBM licensing challenges and how to stay safe during an IBM audit.  In part 2 of this series, we’ll break down IBM’s PVU based licensing, other common licensing models/metrics of “Big Blue,” and solutions for tackling IBM license management.

 

Introduction to PVU licensing

A processor value unit (PVU) is a unit of measurement that is used to determine the licensing cost of IBM middleware products. It is based on the type of processor that is deployed on the server where the software is installed. For each product, you must acquire the appropriate number of PVUs that is defined for the specific processor on which the software is installed.

The number of required PVUs is based on the processor technology and the number of processors that are available to the software product. For PVU-based licensing, IBM defines a processor as a processor core on a chip. For example, a dual-core processor chip has two processor cores. PVUs are assigned per core, not per processor. The number of PVUs that are assigned to a processor core is defined in the PVU table (link).

Calculation of PVU’s for both full capacity and sub-capacity

Scenario 1 – A physical standalone machine (no virtualization)

IBM Product is installed on a server with model Intel Xeon E5-2667 v2 with hardware configuration of 2 processors and 8 cores per processor which gives 16 cores in total. Because the environment is not virtualized, sub-capacity license does not apply. Full capacity license is counted as the highest number of PVUs on the server where the software is installed. According to the PVU table, when the server has two sockets, this processor model is assigned 70 PVUs per core

Description Full Capacity
Total Cores 16
PVU per Core 70
Total PVU’s 16*70 = 1120

 

Scenario 2 – A virtualized machine on a host with no cluster (Host – VM configuration)

IBM Product is installed on a Virtual server1 which resides in Physical Host1. The model of the server is Intel Xeon E5-2667 v2 with hardware configuration of 2 processors and 8 cores per processor which gives 16 cores in total. The cores assigned to Virtual server1 are 2. Then the PVU requirement for that software will be 1120 PVU’s = 16 cores (2 processors*8 cores per processor) * 70 PVUs per core as defined in the PVU table at the full capacity level. The Sub capacity will be 140 PVU’s (2*70).

Description Full Capacity Sub-Capacity
Total Cores 16 2
PVU per Core 70 70
Total PVU’s 16*70 = 1120 2*70 = 140

 

Scenario 3 – A virtualized machine on a host part of a cluster (Cluster – Host – VM configuration)

IBM Product is installed on 4 Virtual servers (VS1, VS2, VS3 and VS4) which are part of a cluster. The Cluster has 2 Physical host. Each of the physical hosts have 16 cores in total. The model of the Physical hosts is Intel Xeon E5-2667 v2 with hardware configuration of 2 processors and 8 cores per processor. The cores assigned to Virtual servers are 2 each. Then the PVU requirement for that software will be 2240 PVU’s = 16 cores (2 processors*8 cores per processor) * 70 PVUs per core for each of the physical host as defined in the PVU table at the full capacity level. The Sub capacity will be 560 PVU’s (8*70).

Description Full Capacity Sub-Capacity
Total Cores 16 + 16 = 32 Cores 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 8 cores
PVU per Core 70 70
Total PVU’s 32*70 = 2240 8*70 = 560

 

User based licensing

Authorized User is a unit of measure by which the Program can be licensed. An Authorized User is a unique person who is given access to the Program. The Program may be installed on any number of computers or servers and each Authorized User may have simultaneous access to any number of instances of the Program at one time. Licensee must obtain separate, dedicated entitlements for each Authorized User given access to the Program in any manner directly or indirectly (for example: via a multiplexing program, device, or application server) through any means. An entitlement for an Authorized User is unique to that Authorized User and may not be shared, nor may it be reassigned other than for the permanent transfer of the Authorized User entitlement to another person.

Floating User is a unit of measure by which the Program can be licensed. A Floating User is a person who is accessing the Program at any particular point in time. An Install is an installed copy of the Program on a physical or virtual disk made available to be executed on a computer. The Program may be installed on any number of computers or servers, but if the Floating User simultaneously accesses more than one Install of the Program, the Floating User requires a separate entitlement for each such Install. Licensee must obtain separate entitlements for each Floating User simultaneously accessing the Program on each Install in any manner directly or indirectly (for example: via a multiplexing program, device, or application server) through any means.

User Value Unit (UVU) is a unit of measure by which the Program can be licensed. UVU Proof of Entitlement (PoE) are based on the number and type of Users for the given Program. Licensee must obtain sufficient entitlements for the number of UVUs required for Licensee’s environment as defined by the specific software terms. The UVU entitlements are specific to the Program and type of user and may not be exchanged, interchanged, or aggregated with UVU entitlements of another program or type of user.

Capacity based licensing

Install is a unit of measure by which the Program can be licensed. An Install is an installed copy of the Program on a physical or virtual disk made available to be executed on a computer. Licensee must obtain an entitlement for each Install of the Program.

Server is a unit of measure by which the Program can be licensed. A server is a physical computer that is comprised of processing units, memory, and input/output capabilities and that executes requested procedures, commands, or applications for one or more users or client devices. Where racks, blade enclosures, or other similar equipment is being employed, each separable physical device (for example, a blade or a rack-mounted device) that has the required components is considered itself a separate server. Licensee must obtain Server entitlements for each server made available to the Program, regardless of the number of processor cores and/or partitions in the server or the number of copies of the Program on the server.

Virtual Server is a unit of measure by which the Program can be licensed. A server is a physical computer that is comprised of processing units, memory, and input/output capabilities and that executes requested procedures, commands, or applications for one or more users or client devices. Where racks, blade enclosures, or other similar equipment is being employed, each separable physical device (for example, a blade or a rack-mounted device) that has the required components is considered itself a separate server. A virtual server is either a virtual computer created by partitioning the resources available to a physical server or an unpartitioned physical server. Licensee must obtain Virtual Server entitlements for each virtual server made available to the Program, regardless of the number of processor cores in the virtual server or the number of copies of the Program on the virtual server.

 

Other IBM licensing

Resource Value Unit (RVU) is a unit of measure by which the Program can be licensed. RVU Proofs of Entitlement are based on the number of units of a specific resource used or managed by the Program. Licensee must obtain sufficient entitlements for the number of RVUs required for Licensee’s environment as defined by the specific software terms. RVU entitlements are specific to the Program and the type of resource and may not be exchanged, interchanged, or aggregated with RVU entitlements of another program or resource.

Client Device is a unit of measure by which the Program can be licensed. A Client Device is a single user computing device or special purpose sensor or telemetry device that requests the execution of or receives for execution a set of commands, procedures, or applications from or provides data to another computer system that is typically referred to as a server or is otherwise managed by the server. Multiple Client Devices may share access to a common server. A Client Device may have some processing capability or be programmable to allow a user to do work. Examples include, but are not limited to actuators, appliances, automated teller machines, automatic meter readers, cash registers, disk drives, desktop computers, kiosks, notebook computers, personal digital assistant, point-of-sale terminals, sensors, smart meters, tape drives, and technical workstations. Licensee must obtain entitlements for every Client Device which runs, provides data to, uses services provided by, or otherwise accesses the Program and for every other computer or server on which the Program is installed.

 

Managing your IBM Licenses

Now that we’ve covered PVU and other common IBM licensing models/metrics, let’s touch on available solutions to help you effectively manage your IBM license environment.

IBM’s License Metric Tool [ILMT] helps you maintain an inventory of the PVU based software deployed for your full capacity or virtualization (sub) capacity environment, and measures the PVU licenses required by software product. It is intended to help you manage your IBM software licensing requirements, and help you maintain an audit ready posture. It helps customers determine their full and sub-capacity processor value units (PVU) licensing requirements. It helps calculate the number of PVUs available to installed PVU-based software, including supported virtualized servers. ILMT is mandatory for availing the benefits of sub-capacity; however, ILMT has its own limitations worth noting:

  • If a customer is using a version of ILMT that is not up-to-date, there is a risk of losing the sub-capacity eligibility
  • If an instance of IBM PVU software is not captured by ILMT due to scan fails or compatibility issues, it is not eligible for sub-capacity licensing
  • Bundling scenarios are covered by ILMT; however, in cases of supporting products on a separate server, or in case IBM products are provided as part of a partner’s product offering, you will need to manually input rules or update ILMT to account for them
  • If a customer fails to deploy the ILMT agent within 90 days after they deploy IBM PVU software on the same virtual server, this instance of IBM PVU software will no longer be eligible for sub-capacity licensing

Other Common SAM Tools

  • Aspera SmartTrack covers all the major vendors and accurately calculates complex metrics for every device: servers, clients, mobile, and cloud. Rapid Vendor Analysis for IBM delivers a fast, complete overview your IBM licenses and what you’re actually using.
  • Flexera FlexNet Manager software and IT asset management solutions manage and optimize enterprise software regardless of location, from the desktop to the data center to the cloud. FlexNet Manager for IBM, Flexera Software’s IBM license optimization solution can be used in place of ILMT, TADd and SUA for sub-capacity reporting.
  • Snow Inventory and Snow License Manager identifies all PVU-based software across the estate and combines the data from ILMT and installed software information across the estate to pinpoint where ILMT is either not installed or not reporting.

This provides actionable intelligence to deploy the ILMT agents and ensure that all sub-capacity requirements are met. This, in turn, reduces financial risk at the point of audit and identifies cost saving opportunities upon contract negotiation.

 

There are a number of other SAM tools that can help in measuring the IBM software usage; however, like the 3 mentioned above, these tools need to be evaluated to ensure that PVU calculation is accurately performed and licensing usage/restrictions/bundling are taken into account.

 

Contact us at info@connor-consulting.com to learn more. Although IBM’s licensing rules may seem overwhelming and are not always easy to follow, Connor can help you successfully navigate through the common (and not so common) pitfalls of your IBM licensing environment. Our practitioners have years of software licensing, contract compliance, and IT sourcing experience for major vendors like IBM, and we have helped many IT organizations prepare for difficult vendor audits and boost the effectiveness of their ITAM/SAM programs.

 

IBM references/links

https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SS8JFY_9.2.0/com.ibm.lmt.doc/Inventory/overview/c_processor_value_unit_licenses.html

https://www.ibm.com/software/passportadvantage/pvufaqgen.html

https://www.ibm.com/software/passportadvantage/Counting_Software_licenses_using_specific_virtualization_technologies.html

https://www.ibm.com/software/passportadvantage/subcapfaqov.html