IBM Insight: Full capacity licensing risk from legacy operating systems


ibm full and sub capacity licensing

Avoiding risk from legacy operating systems no longer eligible for IBM sub capacity licensing

Seasoned IBM license compliance managers know that meeting the requirements for sub capacity licensing is an essential task when deploying products with PVU licenses. Fully deploying Bigfix agents on all target machines, updating installed versions/catalogs and correctly applying software classification in ILMT are already enough to keep someone busy. However, there is another important risk to consider: making sure that your PVU products don’t run on legacy operating systems, as those are not considered “sub-capacity eligible technologies”. Here are a few tips to avoid IBM full capacity licensing risk:

Tips to avoid IBM full capacity licensing risk

  • Periodically check the IBM site for their list of technologies that are no longer supported. Windows 2008 support was removed as of March 31, 2021. VMWare vSphere v6.0 support has been removed as of Q2 2021. IBM will announce 180 days in advance whenever they plan to remove support.
  • Check your ILMT reports to see which operating systems your IBM software is running on. For example, the PVU sub capacity audit snapshot report shows both the installed IBM products as well as the operating system.
  • Make timely plans to remediate full capacity risk. Upgrading the OS/virtualization technology is one solution, but that can take time. Another solution is to reconfigure your virtual environment to optimize full capacity deployment values.

This issue has already caused material risk in the IBM audits we have seen and is likely to become more prevalent as more operating systems are added to the list of technologies no longer supported. Given IBM’s sub capacity licensing requirement for maintaining two years’ worth of reports, this risk can even materialize up to two years after you have upgraded unsupported technologies. In our experience, IBM may sometimes show leniency when missing deadlines such as these, however it is then critical to carefully document any mitigating arguments you have.

If you are unsure about how to best address this topic, or would simply like to receive confirmation that your implementation of ILMT fully meets sub capacity requirements, please reach out to our IBM vertical lead Koen Dingjan ( to learn more about our ILMT health check services.

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