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Software Licensing Dangers in a Virtualised World

IBM currently uses over 10 metrics to license its Tivoli software. This alone might make keeping track of your licenses difficult enough but with the advent of Virtualisation this can make your licensing a full time job.

If you take the following simple example you can see the issue. In this case a customer has a single ESX server with 8 Physical cores. They have created 3 virtual hosts and assigned 9 Virtual Cores to the 3 systems.

Using IBM’s full capacity licensing (which aligns to the capacity of the Physical machine(s) on which the software is installed) the full capacity of the server is used for every product that the software is installed upon.

Cores to License

VM Host 1

VM Host 2

VM Host 3

Virtualisation Capacity

Full Capacity

MQ Software

4

2

3

9

8

Tivoli Software

4

2

6

8

WebSphere

4

3

7

8

Therefore you can see that even though the Tivoli product is only installed on 6 VMware cores it will be charged on all 8 available.

It becomes even more obvious when you look at the following example. In this we only have installed IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager (ITCAM) on 1 host on each of our 3 ESX servers.

But if you look at the table you can see that even though it has been installed on only 14 Virtual Cores the actual Full Capacity Licensing will be charged on the whole 40 cores. This makes a huge difference to the cost you are charged.

Cores to License

VMware ESX Server 1

VMware ESX Server 2

VMware ESX Server 3

Virtualisation Capacity

Full Capacity

ITCAM

2

4

8

14

40

There are 2 solutions to this.

1/ Sub-Capacity or Virtualisation Licensing

The Licensee can deploy either Full Capacity licensing or Virtualisation Capacity (Sub-Capacity) licensing according to the Passport Advantage Licensing Terms. As already described if you are using Full Capacity licensing you must obtain entitlements sufficient to cover all activated processor cores in the physical hardware environment. If using Virtualisation Capacity licensing, you only need to obtain entitlements sufficient to cover all activated processor cores made available to the installed software.

To use Virtualisation Capacity (Sub-Capacity) customers must:

*   Tivoli Asset Discovery for Distributed V7.2 (TADd) may be used in lieu of IBM License Metric Tool V7.2

* Certain ILMT / TADd use exceptions may apply

2/ Orb Data License Service

Orb Data offers an annual licensing service to complete an internal audit of the deployed Tivoli products prior to any IBM initiated audit. The aim of this will be the following:

This pre-audit service has several advantages:

  1. We provide a clear picture as to what has been deployed in your environment
  2. We help you to understand the cores that are associated with the Tivoli deployed products
  3. Deployed and unused applications can be removed
  4. Virtual hosts can be reassigned to smaller capacity servers
  5. Virtual hosts containing a single product can be grouped on a single physical server
  6. And ultimately the results from an external audit will not come as a surprise

To do this we will use the License Metric Tool (ILMT) agents, to provide the capability to generate reports to assist with software asset management and help us assess the customer’s software compliance with licensing requirements. We will import the discovered information onto our own server to provide accurate and detailed reports on the processors/cores you own.

And also the Tivoli products you have deployed

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