IBM PVU (license type)

Note: This license type is available only when you have licensed the FlexNet Manager for Datacenters product.
A specialization of the Core Points license type that allows operators to select from pre-defined, IBM-specific core points rules.

Sub-capacity or full capacity licensing

For approved products, IBM PVU licenses support sub-capacity licensing in virtual computing environments, meaning that a virtual machine may have its points consumed calculation based only on those server cores that have been assigned to it, rather than on all the cores available in its host. If more than one VM on the same host runs the same software, the sub-capacity consumption for each VM is calculated, and the sum of all those results is used to license the server (subject to capping, or an upper limit, imposed by the physical capacity of the host, so that the license cannot charge for more capacity than the host is capable of supplying).

The alternative is called full capacity licensing, where each virtual host is licensed by its total number of cores, and the license covers all instances of the same software running on any virtual machines on that host.

Some products are ineligible for sub-capacity licensing. These ineligible products by default are correctly linked to full capacity licenses when you use the Product Use Rights Library enabled by the FlexNet Manager for Datacenters license. For details of products that are eligible for sub-capacity licensing, see IBM's Passport Advantage Sub-capacity Licensing Eligible Product Statement. More information is available through the Passport Advantage Virtualization (Sub-capacity) Licensing website.

Each IBM PVU license can be separately configured for either full capacity or sub-capacity PVU points calculations. At finer granularity, individual inventory devices linked to a sub-capacity IBM PVU license may each be eligible or ineligible for sub-capacity calculations. There is also a higher-level consideration, about what software is trusted to do these calculations.

IBM requires an IBM-approved method for calculating sub-capacity consumption, which means either of:
  • Using the consumption calculated by ILMT (or the TAD4D or SUA) tools supplied by IBM; or
  • Using the FlexNet inventory agent to gather inventory from relevant computers with special increased frequency, and allowing FlexNet Manager Suite to calculate the sub-capacity consumption from the inventory. This requires a written license variation supplied by IBM, available through a well-established process.

FlexNet Manager Suite supports either of these methods, as summarized below.

Importing results from ILMT — license management

This is the default case, since it requires no license variation. Here, ILMT calculates both the consumption results and the license position. FlexNet Manager Suite automatically imports that license position and creates matching IBM PVU licenses records that display the results from ILMT. There are special rules that then apply for license deletion:
  • A license automatically created in FlexNet Manager Suite to match the position imported from ILMT may be deleted in the web interface for FlexNet Manager Suite. Once deleted there, it is not recreated on subsequent imports from ILMT (if it was deleted in error, it can be manually created again within FlexNet Manager Suite). As you expect, deleting the license record in FlexNet Manager Suite has no effect on the data in ILMT (data transfers are one way, from ILMT, and there is no return data path).
  • If you delete a previously-imported license only in ILMT, the matching record is not deleted in FlexNet Manager Suite, because you may be using that license record for other purposes such as group assignments, individual allocations, or consumption on devices not visible in ILMT inventory.
The summary is that when ILMT is the "source of truth", the unusual decision to delete an IBM PVU license means that you must separately consider whether to delete it manually in either or both of ILMT and FlexNet Manager Suite.

FlexNet Manager Suite as sub-capacity calculator

To use this option, there are both business processes to complete, and technical configuration required.
  • For the IBM requirements, see Sub-Capacity Licensing Using IBM PVU or IBM VPC.
  • For information about configuring the increased frequency of inventory for machines consuming from IBM PVU licenses, see IBM High-Frequency Scanning.
  • To configure the rollover of IBM reporting periods, and how long data should be retained for retroactive calculations, see System Settings: Licensing Tab.
  • For configuring individual IBM PVU licenses for rights on virtual hosts and virtual machines, see Rights on Virtual Machines and Hosts. (This is where each license is set for either full capacity or sub-capacity calculations.)
  • IBM requires separate reporting for each of its three mandatory regions that cover the planet:
    • Region 1: North America and South America
    • Region 2: Europe and Africa
    • Region 3: Asia and Australia.
    To achieve this, devices consuming from PVU licenses must be 'owned' by a location (a type of enterprise group), selected on the Ownership tab of inventory device properties; and in turn, the location must be mapped to one of the IBM regions (see Locations).
Best practice is to have one IBM PVU license for a given product (or one multi-product license for each bundle), as this allows correct calculations for consumption in all the regions, together with summing for the overall license liability. If you have strong reasons to maintain separate licenses (such as a history of mergers and acquisitions that necessitates separate reporting to IBM), additionally use other forms of enterprise groups (such as corporate units) to track the separate licenses, using the Restrictions tab on each of these licenses to limit consumption to devices in the correct parts of your enterprise. Each license can then provide correction regional reporting for its associated corporate units.
Important: Because the liability for IBM PVU licenses is based on the peak consumption value within the reporting period, FlexNet Manager Suite maintains historical records of details affecting the PVU calculations. This means that you can apply corrections (such as supplying a missing core count, or applying an exemption to a server) that take effect retroactively throughout the reporting period. The peak consumption values are reassessed after each full inventory import and compliance calculation (by default, carried out nightly), and each recalculation uses the data currently available.

Product use rights Multiple use, downgrade rights, upgrade rights, licensing on VM hosts, and license mobility including cloud computing. The last-named field is available for record keeping purposes, but does not affect any calculations (whereas the first four rights are taken into account).
Group assignment

Group assignment is supported.


The sum of peak consumption values in each of three mandatory IBM regions, for the reporting period. Each peak value may include both sub-capacity results from eligible devices, and full capacity results for ineligible devices.

Computers within the scope of the license where the properties of the computer (processor type, computer model, and number of cores and sockets) match one of the license points rules. Notice that the property used for calculation of consumed points is the first available of the following:
  1. Only for devices recognized as being in the cloud (those which have a CloudServiceProviderID, visible in the General tab of the device properties in the Hosted in field), the number of vCPUs (threads, saved as NumberOfLogicalProcessors and visible in the Hardware tab of the device properties in the Cores field) available for the virtual machine.
  2. The number of cores assigned to the virtual machine, or the number of cores available in a stand-alone server. If no core count is available for a given device, three things occur:
    • The license is flagged as problematic
    • The auditable Consumed value (shown against this device in the Consumed column on the Consumption tab of the license properties) is forced to zero, because IBM requires that this value is derived from either the vCPU count (for eligible cloud providers) or cores (in all other cases)
    • To give some indication of likely points consumption when the missing data becomes available, remaining calculations fall through to the third option.
  3. The number of processors is used in calculations, with the result shown in the Calculated consumption column on the Consumption tab of the license properties.

Compliant when Peak consumed is less than or equal to Total entitlements for the reporting period. For details about relationships between consumption fields, see Relationships Between Consumption Fields.

Changing from

Points rules will be deleted. Scoping rules will be deleted. Allocations to computers may be deleted.

Changing to

You will need to apply (or define) one or more points rules. You may want to allocate the license to computers.

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2021 R1