It can be a struggle to manage your licenses when your software estate reaches a global scale and has hundreds if not thousands of users. When managing IBM licensing, there are a number of license metrics that you need to manage including both Processor Value Units (PVU) and Resource Value Units (RVU). In highly virtualized environments, IBM will actually license PVU and RVU based on Sub-Capacity, something that most other software tools do not measure. Enter IBM ILMT.
IBM’s ILMT is an excellent way to do that but while ILMT is an added feature to many IBM purchases, what is it actually good for and should you be concerned now that IBM has sold the product to HCL? In this blog we’ll cover some of the advantages you can get by using ILMT and look at HCL acquisition of the tool.
Targeting Your PVU, an Advantage for Full Capacity or Sub-Capacity PVU Environments
Processor Value Unit (PVU) were first brought out as a new licensing metric in 2006. Perficient describes PVU as a license metric that uses the type of processor and number of cores that are available to the product as the key factors to determine the number of licenses that you need to purchase. IBM defines processors by the number of cores that are on the chip itself.
This definition is distinctively different from the definition given by middleware vendors and a few hardware vendors, who define the processor as simply the chip. A specific number of PVUs depends purely on the processing type. There are two types of PVU licensing types: Full and Sub-Capacity. ITAM’s Using Pizza to explain IBM’s Sub-Capacity describes Sub-Capacity like ordering a full pizza and only eating two slices. You paid for the full pie, the full pie is there should you want to eat it but you don’t need it. When configuring your processors, some technologies allow you to limit the number of cores that are available to be used by the software. The actual cores may be there but the software prevents it from being used.
According to IBM, Full Capacity licensing simply means you license all the processor cores that are available to or managed by the program, even if the program doesn’t end up using all of them. Sub-Capacity licensing is based on the highest cores assigned to the application within the virtual machine (VM), not the total number of cores that the physical server has.
Due to this difference, licensing Sub-Capacity usually requires fewer licenses and is therefore cheaper than licensing Full Capacity. Most inventory or SAM tools do not keep track of the metrics required to measure and record Sub-Capacity use. ILMT allows you to effectively capture your usage and gives you the ability to calculate your cost for either Full Capacity and Sub-Capacity, giving you the opportunity to pick the option that best suits your software budget.
ILMT Lowers Risk Of IBM Audits
In the past, the only way that IBM will allow you to license with Sub-Capacity is to have ILMT installed and to keep historic usage records. By doing this, they allowed you to utilize Sub-Capacity licensing metrics and the audit records from the ILMT tool gave an accurate depiction of your license requirements for PVU products. By keeping your logs from the tool, you have the requirement for SOT pass and IBM Audit while avoiding the penalties associated with audit findings.
With IBM’s ILMT, you’ll always be ready for an audit as continual use of the product allows for an in-depth examination of your infrastructure. ILMT allows you to prove to IBM that you are organized and have the data to manage compliance against Sub-Capacity licensing. Since audits are more likely to be sent to clients when the vendor has reason to believe that licensing and software compliance are not being effectively tracked, ILMT can be viewed as an audit insurance policy. By demonstrating to IBM that you have a system in place to account for your licensing position, it will greatly decrease your chances of being audited in the first place.
For more information about getting ready for an audit, check out our Audit Service page.
ILMT Displays a Comprehensive Software and Hardware Inventory Management
The licensing metric tool also does an effective job of centralizing your software and hardware inventory. IBM Security explains that by having this data at your disposal, you can cut costs by using the licensing metric that is most cost effective for you.
With your hardware inventory available to you, you can also have important details about your hardware infrastructure, including processor make, model and type, operating system and the host name. ILMT can also provide a list of all your virtual servers and VMs that are in public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. This data would is very useful in the event of an audit but can also serve to help calculate you’re the optimal software costs.
Offers Other Features Beyond Inventory for Better Software Optimization
Although tracking your hardware and software is its primary usage, IBM Security explains that ILMT in addition to calculating your license utilization, it can also perform discovery tasks and report on the hardware in your environment.
ILMT can provide you with quality data on the IBM Software installed in your software estate including the releases and the versions of various IBM software installed within your IT environment. It also allows you to manage security (updates and patches) of the different IBM products and software versions in your environment.
ILMT is a Free Addition to Your Purchase
There are few words that are sweeter: Free. ILMT is free of charge, although it needs to be ordered and included via IBM’s Passport Advantage Site Agreement. The challenge that most organizations face is the installation and set-up of the tool can be very difficult. If you do not set up ILMT correctly you will not get the correct audit logs to ensure compliance with Sub-Capacity licensing which is where many organizations get caught in IBM Audits.
HCL and What Does it Mean
Recently IBM sold ILMT along with their BigFix product to HCL. What this means is that HCL is taking over all support of both products (along with a handful of other products that they purchased from IBM). ILMT is being integrated into BigFix, which is mostly the same product, but it has different installation and management process. Although IBM has not stated if ILMT will be the only SAM tool moving forward that allows you to manage Sub-Capacity licensing, we are speculating that IBM will have a certification process for other SAM Tool vendors soon.
Need Help With Your IBM Audit?
IBM’s ILMT can be an effective tool in ensuring your software compliance. IBM is considered one of the heavy hitters in the software industry and their software audits can be quite challenging especially if you are licensing Sub-Capacity and do not have a correctly configured ILMT installation. It is a recommended best practice that you take the steps necessary to be prepared and perform a self-assessment to ensure your data is organized in order to assure that you have ILMT accurately configured. At Metrixdata360, we’ve helped numerous organizations with ILMT and defend organizations in IBM audit, so if you want to know more about ILMT and the benefits to you, check out our Services Page or give us a call to discuss how we can help you with ILMT.