IBM Ends Sub-Capacity Licensing and ILMT Support for

Windows Server 2008

IBM Ends Sub-Capacity Licensing and ILMT Support for Windows Server 2008

On January 14th, 2020, Microsoft officially ended support for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Both of these server operating systems were fundamental to running corporate networks, and the connections, databases, and functions within them. While this was exceedingly useful during the lifetime of Windows Server 2008, end of support has presented some challenges. These servers were deeply entrenched in many organizations, and may have run business-critical applications that are not supported by subsequent versions of Windows Server 2008.

Instead of upgrading, some organizations determined it was in their best interest to pay for extended support. This was a perfectly feasible option for many – until very recently, when IBM announced that Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 would no longer be eligible for sub-capacity licensing and will no longer be supported by their IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT). This changes everything for users that planned to take advantage of these tools and pricing structures.

Thankfully, organizations have some time to prepare – this shift will not take place until the end of Q3 2020. However, this deadline isn’t far in the future. If you’re still running Windows Server 2008 in a sub-capacity licensing framework, you must act fast. IBM’s end of support for ILMT and sub-capacity licensing has both financial and operational implications for all organizations that rely on these services. Let’s take a close look at how this change will affect organizations.

What End of Support Means for IBM’s Customers

Overall, IBM ending support for ILMT and sub-capacity licensing as a whole will present quite a few challenges. If you’d like to be fully prepared for this shift, then it’s important to begin constructing a roadmap today. This roadmap will point out some of the most challenging aspects of IBM’s end of support for services associated with Windows Server 2008, and help ensure that you have enough time and resources to plan your next steps accordingly.

As a note – if you’re not paying for extended security updates for Windows Server 2008, then your entire server is in peril. Even though extended support is expensive, a cyberattack would be disastrous for your company. If you would like to avoid paying for extended support, then it’s important to upgrade as soon as possible. If you’re still paying for extended support, keep the below considerations in mind as you plan your next steps.

No More Support for IBM’s License Metric Tool

IBM’s license metric tool helps users determine their licensing requirements, namely by calculating how many Processor Value Units (PVUs) are needed. This helps organizations estimate costs and maintain an up-to-date inventory of their software assets. This assists with budgeting and compliance.

However, for servers running Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2, this service will no longer be supported. Chances are, it will still function for some time and continue to count your sub-capacity licenses and evaluate your software estate. However, IBM has made it abundantly clear that there will be no technical support or fixes if an error occurs. This can cause organizations to over or underestimate their installed software assets, which can turn billing and budgeting into a headache.

No More Support for Sub-Capacity Licensing

Sub-capacity licenses let organizations license a PVU-based software program for a reasonable sum. This is different than full capacity licensing, which requires the entire capacity of the server’s processor core. Consequently, full capacity licenses are significantly more expensive.

If you are using sub-capacity licenses for your Windows Server 2008 deployment, you have until the end of September (Q3 2020) to complete your retirement or upgrade plan. Any organization that ignores this cautioning will receive some bad news on future audits – all of their sub-capacity licenses will be reverted to full-capacity licenses. This will result in significant expenses on your bill.

If you need to continue running Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2, there are other options. IBM is willing to offer extended sub-capacity licensing on a case-by-case basis to organizations who pay for Windows Server 2008’s extended support. However, this is not a guarantee – and they may withdraw support sometime in the future. Furthermore, this may flag your organization as an audit target – so, ensure all IBM and Microsoft services are fully complaint before applying for extended support.

How SoftwareONE Helps with End of Support

It’s tough to navigate end of support for any product, especially for a fundamental service like Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2. These challenges are compounded by other vendors following suit and refusing to support legacy products, as well as ongoing compliance concerns for those who obtain ongoing support through IBM or Microsoft. Thankfully, help is available to those who need it. At SoftwareONE, we can offer assistance in several ways:

  • Risk Assessment – We will conduct a risk assessment, and share the results with chosen members of your organization. Then we can begin to discuss the best way to mitigate risk.
  • Maintaining Compliance – When end of support occurs for any product, it can have a domino effect on IBM software compliance. We will help you determine if a software upgrade is in order or if it’s better to pay for extended support. If a cloud transition is preferable, we have experts ready to help.
  • Estimate Expenses – If you can’t upgrade from Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2, and are not eligible for extended sub-capacity licensing through IBM, we can help. We’ll assess your deployment, identify license gaps, and estimate the full financial impact of full-capacity licenses far before the bill arrives.
  • Expert Advice – Just say the word and we will reach out to an IBM Advisory Service lead, who can help you find the best way to manage this shift. We will consider risks, financial impact, and custom-tailor a plan that will help your organization have a smooth transition.

We’re prepared to offer a wide range of advisory services for IBM customers whenever our services are required. However, we strongly encourage that you begin the planning process today, whether it’s with us, or within your organization. Your business will need to find the best way to upgrade, retire, replace, and/or migrate all systems running Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 in less than a year – which is no simple undertaking.

Final Thoughts

IBM ending support for ILMT and sub-capacity licensing will throw some organizations for a loop. This is especially true when you have only six months or less to plan and execute the right migration strategy. However, by enlisting the help of the right experts, your organization can create a high-value, future-proof strategy to server deployment.

Start Preparing for End of Support

Our IBM Advisory Services give organizations insight into cost optimization and compliance. We’re ready to work for you!

Learn more

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