Saving on PVU-based IBM software

IBM accepts a wide variety of virtualization technologies including VMware.

With IBM allowing subcapacity licensing, there is a misconception that this method of counting licensing is automatic. Please refer to IBM’s licensing rules. Currently the Passport Advantage agreement is in effect and it is only 9 pages long –


With subcapacity licensing, you have reporting responsibilities. Either use IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT), or if exempt follow the alternate reporting method described by IBM.

Once you’ve passed this hurdle, you are now a subcapacity customer of IBM’s for your software that is licensed based on the hardware it’s installed on. Now you can dive deeper into controlling licensing costs for this type of software or at least avoid a rude awakening following a hardware refresh.

You can check out the IBM PVU table to compare the PVUs required per core for your current or future hardware. If your old hardware was 120 PVUs per core and if you just copy the partitions on the hardware that’s 80 PVUs per core you’re now ahead of the game! If your environment is 80 PVUs and you’re moving to 120 PVUs per core that’s not in your best interest unless you have a lot of extra licenses.

Let’s say you’ve decided to outsource your environment for a different sort of cost savings. This can be a whole other beast to tackle. Your hosting company may not be under any obligation to inform you of any of their hardware changes; their obligation to you, as the customer, may be to only meet their contractual Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

Will the hosting company run ILMT for you? If they won’t, do you have an exemption to manually report your software usage? Do you need to ask IBM for a specific exemption for your new hosting set-up and are you ready with a plan to measure that software usage?

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Miro is a leading global provider of software asset management services, specializing in license management, audit advisory, negotiation tactics, support management, and cloud services. We help our clients maximize ROI on their software license investments, stay in compliance, and minimize the impact of audits. Miro's performance guarantee promises that our long-tenured, diverse, and passionate team of expert analysts provides insightful and actionable advice to help our clients achieve the best possible outcomes.