Handling Socket Count

FlexNet Manager Suite 2021 R1 (On-Premises)

Where socket counts are used

During license consumption calculations for relevant license types, FlexNet Manager Suite may make use of the Sockets value (in the Hardware tab of the inventory device properties) in three distinct phases:
  1. Linking: This is the selection of the license from which this inventory device may consume. This socket-based selection process applies only to Oracle Processor and Oracle Named User Plus licenses, and only when the Metric setting on the Identification tab of the license properties is set to Number of Sockets. In all other cases, the number of sockets is not used for linking inventory devices to licenses.
  2. Points: This is choosing the applicable points rule from the points rule set attached to the license. (All other factors identifying the points rule, such as the Processor type, must also match the inventory device.) The socket count may come into play for choosing the points rule in either of these ways, depending on license type:
    • The Sockets value for the inventory device must fall between Min. sockets and Max. sockets (inclusive) specified for the points rule. Example: IBM PVU license.
    • On the Hardware tab of the inventory device properties, the number of Cores divided by the number of Sockets gives a count of cores per socket. This number must be between Min. cores per socket and Max. cores per socket specified for the points rule. Example: Oracle Processor license.
    Once the points rule is chosen, the basic consumption for the individual device is calculated, also as part of this phase.
  3. Optimization: This final phase of the calculations covers clustering, summing, and capping of consumption counts.

So the socket count may be important for licensing in several ways. Yet few inventory tools have any means of collecting this low-level hardware information.

Socket count when you can't count sockets

When your inventory tools cannot collect this count automatically, you can manually enter the value as an override in the Hardware tab of the inventory device properties. This override is permanent (not overwritten by future inventory collections), and provides the value used in the three ways described above.

For devices where the socket count is neither available in inventory nor set manually, FlexNet Manager Suite provides some fall-back values to use in license consumption calculations. Unfortunately, for technical reasons the fall-back values are worked out slightly differently in each phase. In the following table, the value used is the first one found in each list.
Tip: In this table, the "number" values are the ones visible in the inventory device properties when the calculations begin. These values may have been collected in inventory, or may have been entered manually as overrides.
Phase (described above) Prioritized values


  1. Number of sockets (for a VM, the socket count for the host is used if available)
  2. Number of processors (for a VM, the processor count assigned to the VM if known)
  3. For a VM only, the number of processors on the host
  4. The value 1.


  1. Number of sockets (for a VM, the socket count for the host is used if available)
  2. Number of processors from the inventory for this device
  3. Unset (in which case, the socket count cannot be used to choose a points rule, and a rule is chosen where the socket count is zero/unspecified).


  1. Number of sockets for this device
  2. Number of processors for this device
  3. The value 1.

Can socket count be ignored?

In principle, no. Here's why.

When FlexNet Manager Suite is choosing a points rule from a license to use in consumption calculations for a particular inventory device, every value specified in the points rule is included in the assessment, and the device must match every specified parameter, such as:
  • Processor type
  • Computer model no.
  • Min/Max cores
  • Min/Max processors
  • Min/Max sockets
  • Min/Max cores per socket (in the inventory device properties, the number of Cores divided by the number of Sockets gives a count of cores per socket)
  • Resource (for IBM RVU licenses, where the value you enter is matched against resource ranges to select a points rule)
  • Min/Max users
  • Min/Max clock speed (MHz)
  • Earliest/Latest purchase date.

Of course, not all parameters apply to every rule set; and for individual rules, individual values may be easily matched (for example, a Computer model no. shown as * matches any computer model number). Therefore, if a rules displays Min.sockets = 0, and Max. sockets = Any number, then effectively the socket count is ignored for that rule, and an unset value for socket count does not matter for that rule. However, further down the same rule set may be another rule with Min.sockets = 3, and Max. sockets = 4, and a device with an unset socket count cannot consume using that points rule, even if every other parameter matches (and even though, perhaps, this is the theoretically correct rule for that device). In the absence of the socket count in this case, the system must fall through to another points rule, which may result in incorrect consumption calculations because the socket count is missing for this device.

Thus far, the discussion applies equally to IBM PVU and Oracle license types: all of these may need the socket count to select the correct points rule. However, socket count has even more impact for Oracle Processor and Oracle Named User Plus licenses when the Metric setting is Number of Sockets. In this case, the consumption for this device is the product of the socket count x the points in the selected rule. So even after selecting a points rule that nominates (say) 50 points, the product of 50 points x the unset socket count is effectively zero, which is a completely wrong consumption result, all because the socket count value is unset.
Tip: Looking back at the table of prioritized values above, it's clear that this worst-case zero result can only occur when both the socket count and the processor count are missing from the inventory device record. When either one is present, the calculated consumption is non-zero, and is either completely accurate (when the real socket count is used) or a very usable approximation for most servers (when the processor count is used as a proxy for the socket count).

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2021 R1