This post came out of an email where an IBMer threatened to audit an STS customer because they didn't renew. The customer got a better deal switching to a different license type (thanks to STS) which ended up being a new-net purchase and not a renewal, hence the IBMer was none too pleased. Lisa convinced me not to make this ass-hat IBMer famous in this post. But what I will do is outline what you need to know as a customer who uses sub-capacity licensing within your organization.

When you accept your IBM software agreement (you know, that thing you never read and click "OK" on to get the software) there are several stipulations in that agreement that you should be doing as you have now agreed to them (you clicked "OK").

The backbone of this is that you agree to install and keep the results of the "IBM Licensing and Metric Tool" (ILMT). This tool basically tries to estimate your compliance to the PVUs you use to the PVUs you have purchased (I have a spreadsheet that does this way better, but that is a different story).

I will distill the requirements for ILMT into what I believe is fairly close to letter of the license. I am not a lawyer, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn so do not take this as a guarantee of accuracy. This is IBM's license, so IBM would probably win in an argument (and they almost certainty have more lawyers than you do).

All of this information is based off the Sub-capacity licesnsing FAQ on the IBM site.

The rules basically follow:
1.        All PVU licensed software installed on a "supported" sub-capacity platform is applicable to ILMT monitoring unless you are exempted (I have listed the exemptions below)
2.        No information is sent to IBM, but you are required to retain 24 months of historic ILMT data (presumably for IBM audit purposes)
3.        If you are required to use ILMT then you must install ILMT within 90 days of accepting your first PPA agreement that would fall within the need for ILMT
4.        There is no separate sub-capacity agreement any more, as it was combined into the standard agreement in 2011

So, pretty bullet proof right? Well there are some exemptions:
1.        Any per user software is not applicable, that would include CEO and most Express Domino licenses (but Domino Utility Express *is* as this is PVU based)
2.        If the ILMT is not yet supported on your chosen sub-capacity platform
3.        Customers with less than 1,000 worldwide employees, excluding service providers
4.        Customers with total physical capacity of their servers with sub-capacity licensing within their worldwide enterprise is less than 1,000 PVUs
5.        You have purchased PVUs for the full physical capacity of the server running a sub-capacity license

OK, so there you have it. Unless you can check off one of the above boxes for all your sub-capacity licenses then you are required to use and record ILMT results.

Also note, that even if you are exempt from tracking ILMT results, it does not absolve you from the need to be in compliance.

Here is the actual text from the link above describing the exemptions:

What are the exceptions to the requirement to use ILMT for sub-capacity licensing?

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There are four exceptions – the tool is not required when:
1. IBM License Metric Tool does not support the customer's eligible virtualization technology. Once support for an eligible virtualization technology becomes available (via Fix Pack, new version, release, or modification), they will be required to install IBM License Metric Tool within 90 days of that availability date. In order to be notified when IBM License Metric Tool support for eligible virtualization technologies become available, they will need to subscribe to "My Notifications". They may also monitor the Eligible Virtualization Technology exhibit for additions on the Sub-Capacity Licensing page available from the Passport Advantage Web.
2. The customer's worldwide enterprise has fewer than 1,000 employees and contractors, excluding Service Providers, and customers who have contracted with a Service Provider to manage their virtualized server environment. Therefore all Service Providers must use the IBM License Metric Tool. (Service Providers are any entity that provides IT Services for end user customers, either directly or through a reseller.)
3. The customer's total physical capacity of their servers with sub-capacity licensing within their worldwide enterprise is less than 1,000 PVUs
4. The customer's servers, with PVU-based products that are eligible for Sub-Capacity licensing, are licensed to the full capacity of the servers.

Bullet 3 above is interesting. I basically says that provided all your sub-cap servers are on physical servers with less than 1,000 PVU total capacity then you are exempt. That basically calculates to 14 cores of new Intel cores (1000 PVUs of total capacity/70 PVUs per core). So if your entire sub-capacity agreed to vCPU usage is less than 14 cores (also 14 vCPUs) then you are exempt from tracking. And example is that most Intel quad core CPUs that are Nehalem or newer are 280 PUVs. Adjust your PVU cost (in my case above "70") as necessary based on your CPU architecture.

So there you have it. ILMT. Clear as mud now right? There will be an exam later on this.....
Darren Duke   |   May 9 2013 09:25:57 AM   |    licensing  pvu  vmware    |  
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Comments (7)

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1 - Richard Moy    05/09/2013 10:16:11 AM

My head hurts now after reading this.

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2 - Steve       05/09/2013 3:13:25 PM

ILMT is a pile of junk. We have it installed and it doesn't properly calculate the PVU, doesn't report the products installed correctly, and doesn't provide any value. With all of the catalogs up to date, the PVU tables up to date, and the software on the latest revisions it reports our domino enterprise install as domino messaging express and excludes it from the report. Seems like a "convenient" bug for the auditing software. A bug that could cost the customer thousands of dollars in license penalties.

If this were to be a legitimate auditing program, IBM the sellers of the software should not be the ones writing the software to audit their own software....does that make sense. Seems like there is too much potential to defraud the customer and collect higher than required fees. Just my two cents.

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3 - Darren Duke       05/09/2013 5:07:51 PM

@2, notice nowhere did I say in the post that ILMT was either (a) good, or (b) useful ;)

The goal of the post is to make customers aware of the agreement that they have accepted and what *they* have agreed to do. I don't disagree at all that the tool is crap and produces incorrect results.

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4 - Pierre       05/11/2013 9:26:08 PM

We went thru a very painful 18 months SLR with IBM. Basically the customer is guilty unless it can prove its innocence. And to squeeze the customer into submission, all renewals are halted, which means that every single PMRs has to be exempted. This IMLT software is really a piece of junk. Once would think that counting PVUs would be a fairly straight forward business but it cannot do it properly. For every count, it gives a "Confidence" level that a human is supposed to look at.

Bottom line, a full shake-down.

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5 - Lars Berntrop-Bos       05/15/2013 8:45:44 AM

We try to run ILMT on our IBM i. Even after months (a year and a half and counting) of tweaking, we have to disable it for our servers not to be overrun by multiple ILMT agents fighting over resources. Ridiculous, since other loads are handled fine.Ridiculous again because this is IBM's own lauded platform. Brought to its knees by a simple reporting tool?

I am afraid I have to concur with Steve and name ILMT a pile of junk. Very useful junk, since it saves heaps of money. But still junk.

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6 - weskus       06/04/2013 3:32:49 AM

ILMT counts ok. Steve, you must go through every instance if finds and bundle it to the correct part number/product what have been purchased. Then it will give you correct PVU. Its not "install and forget" - tool. ILMT admin must maintain instances continuously. If instance is unbundlable to the correct product, then open an the PMR.

But bundling in ILMT prior to version 7.5 is horrible. Update asap.

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7 - Demander    08/27/2013 8:39:51 AM


I work with ILMT for quite a long time. I saw all the versions including TLCM that was predecessor of LMT. Currently I'm tutoring ILMT 7.5 users for leaving. If you complain on ILMT 7.5 you really should have worked with TLCM where agent installation was a great success - <lol>

Most of complains that I hear towards ILMT are actually not directed to the tool itself, but to the very complicated matter that the tool operates on. I would say that more than 50% of the questions that are throw at me, are related to sub-capacity rules. Users simply install the tool and expect that everything will be done automatically till the correct audit report creation that they do not understand at all by the way. Not so easy ;-)

And here I enter the stage :-D Having some experience, knowledge from infocenter and ILMT wiki, and having Google as a friend make me shine in front of the users. <lol>

Of course sometimes I cannot live without IBM support, however they are really seldom situations that usually are caused by strange scenarios on virtualizations on Solarises or HPs. (Is it done on purpose by IBM? ;-) )

So good luck and if you don't want to play with ILMT, try to find my or any other offer of the help in the web!