If you’re an IBM customer, you probably heard about IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT) - a tool that can make the software licensing more flexible by enabling you to take advantage of the opportunities offered by virtualization. Nevertheless, many IBM customers are struggling with the installation, set-up and tracking of ILMT, often resulting in compliance issues.
While Oracle is notorious for its aggressive approach to VMware virtualizations, IBM is generally more flexible. If you use ILMT, you can rest assured that you don’t have to pay for all the physical cores of your servers, as with Oracle, but only for the virtual CPUs being used (sub-capacity). To enable and simplify counting those virtual CPUs, IBM provides ILMT for free. Although using ILMT offers the possibility to only license the sub-capacity of a server, it also comes with obligations. For example, if you cannot provide the number of (virtual) CPUs in use, you can expect a huge back payment in case of an audit. Depending on the size of your organization, this may imply millions of euros that are obviously not budgeted for. IBM customers who want to benefit from virtualization should therefore not ignore ILMT. In this article you will find some practical tips to help you make good use of the tool
Good Internal Communication
Lack of communication is the cause of many problems within an organization, both inside and outside the IT department. In a well-organized IT department, there are specialists in the fields of application management, technical management and license management who are accountable for the (successful) use of the software programs. When it comes to ILMT, due to inadequate communication between these parties, organizations often find out too late that the tool has to be implemented. At this point, as far as compliance is concerned, you are already lagging behind.
Start Within 90 Days
After purchasing an IBM product, you are obliged to implement ILMT within 90 days. If you don’t do that (or find out too late), you are creating a compliance issue for yourself. The complete and accurate implementation of ILMT is your responsibility. IBM has an ILMT support team, but that comes into action only if a compliance issue has already been identified. IBM may be willing to help you set up ILMT, following a specific request.
Using Flexera as a SAM Tool
There is one exception regarding the mandatory installation of ILMT: organizations that use Flexera as a SAM tool don’t necessarily have to use ILMT, as IBM accepts the data that comes from Flexera. Nevertheless, taking action quickly is also required in this case: you have to ask permission from IBM within 90 days whether you can use Flexera instead of ILMT. Another important aspect to check is what are the exact conditions you have to meet with the Flexera implementation. Keep in mind that Flexera does not provide the ability to bundle components/products to IBM licenses automatically as ILMT does; in Flexera this has to be done manually.
Involve Licensing Experts
It is not only important to start immediately with ILMT, but also to start in the correct way. If you don’t do that, a compliance issue is still lurking. IBM has a price list of 12.000 pages, so specialized IBM license knowledge comes in handy. A licensing expert can also provide you with more insight into how IBM software is used in your organization and which costs can be optimized.
Keep Communicating With IBM
The advantage of virtualization is that you benefit from a flexible IT environment. That means that if you sometimes want to quickly add a CPU, you can just do it. And it’s actually automatically detected by ILMT if you have set up the system properly. However, you must also pass this information on to your sales contact person at IBM. In theory, you actually have to do this in advance, because otherwise you are creating a compliance issue. In practice this is not happening that fast, but the most important thing is that you keep communicating openly with IBM.
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