IBM uses their own proprietary software asset management tool, ILMT. “The IBM 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. Customers are responsible for supplying hardware and installation services required for installing the tool” according to IBM.
To clarify a possible misunderstanding or a case of not reading all the directions, if you wish to have an exception from IBM to not run ILMT, your exception should be granted in writing. Do not assume IBM will grant you an exception, especially during the course of a Software License Review (SLR or audit).
IBM lists basic exceptions where you could use manual quarterly reporting in lieu of ILMT:
- Less than 1,000 employees and contractors – this is total employees, not just those using IBM technology.
- Less than 1,000 PVUs total physical capacity of your servers with Sub-capacity licensing within your global enterprise
- Customer’s eligible virtualization technology is not supported by ILMT. However, you would be required to use ILMT within 90 days of a virtualization technology becoming eligible.
- ILMT eligible technologies are listed by IBM at http://www-01.ibm.com/software/passportadvantage/subcaplicensing.html
After not meeting the above conditions that IBM has stated, an IBM customer would need to contact IBM to request an exception to not use ILMT with a reason and what you plan to use in place of ILMT. IBM could decline to accept your proposed alternative.
In 2015, Flexera updated their FlexNet Manager for IBM to mimic ILMT’s minimum scan frequency of every 30 minutes beginning with 2015 R2. IBM has given exceptions to customers using this SAM tool, but you need to ask IBM for an exception to use FlexNet Manager for IBM 2015 R2 or later in lieu of ILMT. When that exception is granted by IBM, the IBM customer should be required to sign a Passport Advantage amendment with the related terms.
Although FlexNet Manager for IBM has its own native discovery, IBM recommends using it as an data aggregator with your ILMT, TAD4d, or BigFix agents. There may be a downside to this because ILMT or other products and their updates would still be necessary.
Additionally, IBM has not certified Flexera’s product as accurate and leaves the responsibility with the IBM customer to verify the reports. The Flexera tool also needs to remain the equivalent of the current ILMT release.
With or without an exception, IBM software customers are still responsible for knowing where they deploy IBM software and having an adequate number of licenses.