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IBM Virtualisation: Sub-capacity vs. Full-capacity, know your potential savings!

Because of technical developments in the infrastructure, your organisation has changed over the last years and you adapted many of these necessary changes. Concepts such as scalability, security, optimal flexibility, accountability and availability are not strange to you. In particular, virtualisation has seen a strong development in recent years and it might also have been implemented in your company. The majority of your servers probably runs in a virtualised environment.

On request of the business, this implementation is conducted by your technical people and meant to quickly serve your changing service needs of the various business units and to ensure efficient utilisation of your resources for maximum flexibility. These environments are using the latest technical possibilities and functionality and operate to everyone's satisfaction.

But what does this really mean for your IBM software license costs and have you ever thought about the potential savings or the consequences?
IBM software like for instance WebSphere will default be charged based on Full-Capacity, which means you have to be licensed for the full PVU value of the total server capacity on which WebSphere is running. Even when this product is running currently only on a part of the server.
PVU value refers to the Processor Value Unit, the measurement unit to which IBM capacity of the various servers scales.
When a specific IBM software product, for example WebSphere, runs only on a portion of the server it is characterised by IBM as Sub-capacity. This (Sub-capacity pricing) concept was announced by IBM already several years ago. The most important point about this concept is the price difference between Sub-capacity and Full-capacity, which may be significant for your environment.

In the example case studies below, you can see that the financial differences can be substantial. Remarkable is the fact that the huge differences will not only occur for the bigger companies, but can also show huge software price differences in a medium sized environment.


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      How can you benefit from the attractive pricing of IBM Sub-capacity?

      IBM requires, as a Passport Advantage condition, that you must have implemented the correct virtualisation environment combined with the appropriate hardware and software products.
      Because in a virtualised environment the characteristics of a partition are dynamic and can be changed in flight, IBM asks its customers (before starting to virtualise) to implement a tool (ILMT) that is constantly active and takes every 30 minutes a measurement of what the exact PVU usage is of the server for the concerning IBM software product.

      The real consumption of the machine (in PVU’s) for the specific software product will be measured  based on the “high water mark” and reported.
      These reports must be saved every quarter and handed over on request of IBM. These reports must be archived for at least 2 years.

      Additional, Flexera FlexNet Manager Suite 2015 R1 or later, used to determine a license position on IBM software, is currently accepted by IBM for Sub-capacity reporting as an alternative to IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT), Tivoli Asset Discovery for Distributed (TAD4D) or IBM BigFix Inventory. 
      This acceptance is conditional on FlexNet Manager Suite being installed, configured and maintained correctly, and conditioned on FlexNet Manager Suite maintaining functional equivalence to ILMT.
      Enterprises wishing to take advantage of this acceptance must purchase and use both FlexNet Manager Platform 2015 or later and FlexNet Manager for IBM.

      When your organisation has questions about the implementation of Flexera FlexNet Manager, installation or migration of ILMT (7.x to 9.x, technical and functional) or the IBM Sub-capacity terms, please contact Softline Solutions.

      Jan van Kempen | Tags: Software Asset Management, Flexera Flexnet Manager, IBM, License Management