ILMT Software Inventory

ILMT

Maintaining Your Software Environment

Maintaining Your ILMT Software Inventory

  • 25 March 2021
  • Randy Bal
  • 4.59 minutes to read

The IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT) is almost unavoidable for any IBM customer. In a previous article I addressed the benefits and drawbacks of ILMT.

The main benefit of having ILMT is that you can lower license and support costs by taking advantage of sub-capacity licensing – basically licensing and paying only for what you’re using, not the full capacity of the processor. However just having ILMT installed is not enough: IBM requires you to maintain your ILMT environment and to provide (quarterly) audit reports on request and keep them for two years.

This article provides you with details of what you should pay attention to if you want to have a complete and accurate ILMT environment and report which will be accepted as “sub-capacity eligible” in case of an IBM audit.

Completeness

In order to have a complete ILMT sub-capacity report, you must have up to date information of every IBM software deployment in your infrastructure. If all your deployments are correctly registered in ILMT then, during the course of an audit, your report is validated by comparing it with another data source (e.g. a CMDB). In addition, the ILMT report must include regular scans of the virtual infrastructure. To conclude, it must be based on the most current version of ILMT. Only after all of the above parameters are being met, your ILMT report is considered complete. It might be obvious, but any incomplete information - for example missing a software deployment - could lead to incorrect license reporting which could lead to financial risks.

Accuracy

In order to have your ILMT license utilization reports accurate, you are required to use eligible virtualization, operating systems and processor types. In addition, each discovered software component must be assigned to a software program license or alternatively excluded or suppressed to match your license entitlements. ILMT automatically assigns (bundles) newly discovered software components to a product. However, this automated bundling process does NOT replace the manual work that needs to be done. This automated bundle process is there to help you to narrow down the possible options based on the detected infrastructure, part numbers and other relations discovered, but it still requires you to confirm or exclude the discovered software components.

Take for example the component IBM DB2:

DB2 could be a standalone product or could be part of Spectrum Protect. Each bundle-option has a different effect on your license report. When DB2 is treated as a separate product, it requires a DB2 license. When DB2 is bundled to Spectrum Protect having a Terabyte metric, it will have no effect on your license usage.

So, the bundling process should be treated carefully. When a component is incorrectly bundled, it might not be eligible for sub-capacity licensing.

Maintain and Keep Track of the Changes

There is simply just no easy way around it. Maintaining ILMT requires effort. The place to start is the overview page of ILMT. This page provides an overview of the health of your software inventory. Via the interface, ILMT provides reports to zoom in each subject: license metrics, software inventory and infrastructure components. For the avoidance of any doubt: there is no report available which presents your compliance position.

This becomes a bigger concern in a cloud environment where software is added and removed on a regular basis. Since ILMT reports the peak usage (high-water mark), it becomes relevant how and when devices are added or removed. As an example: if you remove 2 and deploy 3 devices within a couple of days, without performing an action in ILMT, your peak license usage will increase to 5 devices. This is because an inactive device in ILMT, which is not properly cleaned-up, will still consume a license.

To ease your ILMT management, ILMT provides controls to set notifications and provide automations. For example: you can set mail-notifications when a license threshold is exceeded, and you can automatically remove a device which has been inactive for a specific number of days. But although these automated features exist, you are required to include ILMT management in your change and incident process.

Your Audit Report

When you have fulfilled all the requirements and you have verified the license usage against your current license entitlement, a complete and accurate utilization report can be created. By simply pushing the ‘audit report’ button, the report will be created. Since IBM requires you to create an audit report at least once per quarter and to retain such a report for a period of not less than 2 years, storing it on a safe or different location is a good practice.

ILMT Health Check and ILMT Managed Services

A complete and accurate management of the ILMT environment is required in almost any end user organization making use of IBM software. During our 20+ years of experience, we noticed that many organizations lack the appropriate knowledge, experience and/or resources to manage their ILMT environment correctly in house. And that’s understandable, but it often leads to situations where end users need to license the full-capacity of a server after an audit or verification by IBM or one of its third-party audit firms.

In order to help our customers to get a better overview of their IBM software and ILMT environment, we designed the ILMT Health Check service.

During this health check we will verify the:

  • State of the deployment: Review of your hardware and software scans
  • Completeness: Review of the completeness of BigFix, ILMT and your Software Inventory
  • Accuracy: Review of your ILMT setup and suggestions to improve the Software Inventory accuracy
  • License Utilization: Recommendations to improve and track license utilization

We also designed a managed service to maintain your ILMT environment on an ongoing basis. The delivery of this managed service means that we will take the responsibility on your behalf to install, configure, manage and maintain your ILMT environment in a complete and accurate manner so that you can enjoy the actual cost avoidance and cost saving benefits of being eligible for sub-capacity licensing.

Get In Touch

Do you want to learn more about our ILMT Health Check or ILMT Managed Services? For more information, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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Author

Randy Bal, Solution Consultant IBM Software

Randy Bal

Solution Consultant for IBM Software

Specialist for IBM Software Licensing and IBM License Metric Tool

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