Will choosing Cloud hurt my licensing position with IBM?

Thinking about moving to the cloud and curious about its effect on your software license position with IBM? No need to worry, IBM will work with you.  The Cloud has a lot of flavors that might seem confusing, but if you understand what you are responsible for and how it’s deployed, you will not end up in a difficult situation with IBM down the road.

Some things to consider:

Make sure your cloud host will allow you to run ILMT. This is often an issue since you choose what to run in your virtual environment, but it may be overlooked as a requirement during set-up or your hosting company may have a concern.

Once you’re past the ILMT hurdle, your cloud provider should have some SLAs in place with you regarding up-time and other expectations that their performance should meet or exceed.

To meet those service levels, they may be moving your virtualized environment that could influence your software licensing.

You might save initially if your old on-site hardware required 120 PVUs per core, and you copied the partitions onto your host’s hardware that may be 70 PVUs per core – you’re now ahead with licensing and moving to the Cloud seems like a wise move.  But later, let’s say those lower end processors aren’t keeping up with your production and your host increases your virtual server from 2 virtual CPUs to 4, then 6 during peak periods like quarter close.  Your host meets his SLA obligation to you, but you are responsible for licensing those 6 virtual cores with 420 PVUs (6 cores times 70 PVUs).

And if ILMT is not running, you would be responsible for full capacity of the server. If it’s 40 cores for each physical server in the VM farm, that’s 2800 PVUs for every virtual server you have. And that’s each one because the possibility exists that at any time each of your virtual servers could be on a separate physical server if the VM farm is big enough.