IBM Insight: Stay compliant and optimize spend with the IBM license metric tool – ILMT


IBM License Metric Tool

Stay compliant and optimize spend with the IBM license metric tool – ILMT

Koen Dingjan, IBM specialist at ITAA

The most significant compliance risk for IBM customers

If your organization uses IBM, you may be familiar with the sub capacity requirements for processor-based licenses such as PVU and RVU MAPC. Failure to meet the sub capacity terms and conditions is the single most significant compliance risk area for IBM customers, as it requires you to pay licenses for the physical host capacity instead of the capacity allocated to virtual machines. This can increase the required number of PVU or RVU MAPC licenses ten-fold.

Ensuring the IBM license metric tool (ILMT) is properly configured

While customers are increasingly complying with the sub capacity reporting requirement by installing ILMT, IBM and its auditors are becoming increasingly stringent in their requirements of how ILMT should be configured and maintained. IBM often uses any discrepancy to claim that the full capacity license requirements apply – essentially the same scenario as if ILMT had not been installed at all.

During software license reviews, IBM’s auditors are trained to quickly check certain metrics in ILMT such as:

  • The date the ILMT catalogs were last updated
  • The software classification accuracy in ILMT audit reports
  • Historic reporting data (minimum 2 years)
  • Completeness of BigFix agent deployment
  • Installed version of ILMT and its components

Some of these items can be resolved easily, others require more work. Maintaining ILMT in good shape should therefore be a continuous activity and the ILMT dashboard is a good tool to monitor the health status of these metrics. Any ILMT Audit Snapshot report also contains useful details in the data condition audit file.

How you can avoid unnecessary spend

As well as avoiding the full capacity licensing risk, it is important to consider factors that can inflate PVU values. These issues won’t necessarily cause IBM to claim full capacity, but they can cause unnecessary spend by incorrectly inflating reported PVU values.

Three areas in particular may cause inflated numbers in ILMT.

  1. Product bundling: Many IBM software installations are free components that are part of another IBM product. For example, many IBM products include DB2 Enterprise Edition as a free component, where DB2 is used as a database to capture application data. However, DB2 may be flagged by ILMT as an installation that requires PVU licenses. By carefully applying product bundling in ILMT, you can avoid inflated PVU calculations.
  2. Assumed PVU values: When ILMT can’t successfully connect with VM managers, it will assume a license requirement of 120 PVUs per core, which is much higher than the more common requirement of 70 PVUs per core for Intel-based machines with 2 sockets. Fixing the VM manager connection will correct this problem, although historical ILMT reports will still reflect the inflated PVU value.
  3. False positives: IBM software installation files on backup servers or shared files servers are sometime incorrectly identified as reflecting full software installations. Also, product installations for subsequent versions of the same software may be incorrectly identified as separate products, allocated to separate licenses. You can often avoid additional costs by parsing the technical evidence used by ILMT to flag software installations.


Helping you to benefit from ILMT reporting

When first installed and deployed, initial ILMT reports are usually far from accurate. Carefully reviewing your IBM entitlements and the technical environment is critical for accurate software classification in ILMT. The administrator of ILMT in your organization cannot shoulder this responsibility alone, as correct ILMT reporting requires input from many parts of the business, including contract holders, technical administrators and business owners of the IBM licenses.

When ILMT is successfully installed and configured, you can reduce your compliance risk and gain useful insights into cost-saving opportunities. After the initial implementation and configuration, keeping ILMT up to date and accurate can be a simple activity if the right processes are in place to apply updates, generate reports, and resolve discrepancies.

If your organization is struggling to get ILMT to work properly, or you need help with a fresh installation, our ILMT implementation guide can help. Please contact me at to receive a copy.

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