Understanding the Transition

FlexNet Manager Suite 2022 R1 (On-Premises)

The golden rule for managing a switch from ILMT as the reporting tool for IBM sub-capacity licensing over to FlexNet Manager Suite as the replacement reporting tool is this: there can only be one source of truth at any given moment. Peak license consumption can be calculated by exactly one tool.

Having a single source of truth must be the case, because the calculation of peak consumption must account for all devices within a single calculation. You may not get the same result from two sub-capacity calculations for a few machines here and a few others there, simply summed (for example, how would you track VM reassignments that transitioned across tool boundaries?); and far more damage may come from overlapping calculations, where one or more servers are included in two different sets of peak calculations, double counted. So the principle is: a single source of truth.

However, this is not the same as saying that both tools cannot be present within the same 'sphere of influence' within your enterprise. Your operations may be divided across several 'spheres of influence'. Each of these may be:
  • A separately managed region
  • A distinct subsidiary in your company structure
  • The time period before transition day, and the future after transition day — at first you have only ILMT providing the peak consumption calculations, and after "throwing the switch" you have only FlexNet Manager Suite providing the calculations.
Regardless of how you may divide up your enterprise, you may have both tools present within any individual sphere of influence. Having both tools present at once is possible because of this feature of FlexNet Manager Suite: where it has access to the PVU data imported from ILMT and its own calculations from FlexNet inventory, by default it gives preference to the ILMT imported results. Therefore, both tools may be present, but there is still a single source of truth: the ILMT calculations. (And keep in mind that, for IBM VPC licenses, there are no imports of consumption results calculated by ILMT.)
This allows for a change-over process that, at the high level, looks like this:
  1. Initially only ILMT is in use. Of course, it must cover all inventory devices where sub-capacity calculations apply. ILMT sub-capacity peak consumption reports are supplied to IBM at each reporting interval (typically, each quarter). If you also have products that must be licensed at full device capacity, you can record these separately (in theory, even on a spreadsheet if you wanted to). So each quarterly report consists of sub-capacity peak value plus any separate full capacity value.
  2. FlexNet Manager Suite is now introduced. At first, for IBM PVU points it simply connects to the ILMT database, and imports inventory data, product consumption (which FlexNet Manager Suite converts into license records), and peak consumption results. ILMT remains the source of truth, even though seen through the lens of FlexNet Manager Suite. Meanwhile, for your IBM VPC licenses, you continue to use consumption results from ILMT.
  3. Now you deploy the FlexNet inventory agent to those same target devices where sub-capacity calculations apply. As usual, the installed FlexNet inventory agents gather their inventory daily, uploading it to the central application server. However, although FlexNet Manager Suite now starts internally calculating results from its own inventory, these are restricted:
    • For IBM PVU licenses, FlexNet Manager Suite does not publish these results because, by default, it honors the results calculated by IMLT and publishes those in the web interface. (In fact, once both the ILMT agent and the FlexNet inventory agent are uploading data, and the daily import from ILMT is operational, FlexNet Manager Suite provides a report where you can compare, for every device, both full- and sub-capacity calculation results from each of the two tools.) ILMT is still the source of truth.
      Tip: If it should happen, during this stage, that there is a device reported only in FlexNet inventory (and not reported by ILMT), this device is excluded from sub-capacity calculations (for which ILMT alone is currently responsible), and its consumption must be calculated at full capacity.
    • For IBM VPC licenses, since there is no import of license consumption results from ILMT, FlexNet Manager Suite calculates license consumption. Since FlexNet Manager Suite at this point is not in high-frequency mode, these are full capacity calculations (by default), and those full capacity results are displayed in the web interface. This means that, at this stage, you should continue to use ILMT for your management of VPC consumption and for reporting to IBM, since ILMT provides you with the sub-capacity results that represent your license liability to IBM. ILMT is still the source of truth.
      Tip: Unlike the PVU case, for VPC there cannot be a built-in report comparing results from ILMT with those from FlexNet Manager Suite, since no results are imported from ILMT.
  4. When the agent coverage across target devices is the same for both ILMT and FlexNet Manager Suite, you metaphorically "flick the switch". This includes changing the installed FlexNet inventory agents into high-frequency mode, so that they can track hardware changes every 30 minutes as IBM requires; and also changing the default so that results no longer come from ILMT imports, but from calculations by FlexNet Manager Suite. From now on, the results calculated from FlexNet inventory are the source of truth. Because FlexNet Manager Suite has been saving historical data for sub-capacity calculations, it is able to prepare reports based on FlexNet inventory for whichever is the longer of:
    • The time since you had FlexNet inventory available (having the FlexNet inventory agent installed on devices running software under a sub-capacity PVU or VPC license)
    • The current reporting period.
  5. In one final piece of fine tuning, when setting the reporting period in FlexNet Manager Suite, you can also separately set Ignore any value prior to — the date when you want your reports to IBM to be entirely based on FlexNet inventory. You might set this for a few days after turning on high-frequency mode, allowing time to check that everything is working perfectly, all devices are covered and so on. On that date, you archive your final report out of ILMT (even when this is for a part of a reporting period), and from then on reports come from your new source of truth, FlexNet Manager Suite.
Here is the same process summarized into tabular form:
Project phase ILMT is source of truth FNMS is source of truth

1. ILMT only

Covers all subcap devices; provides reports.


2. Integrated presentation

ILMT consumption data for IBM PVU licenses is imported into FlexNet Manager Suite. ILMT provides reports. (For IBM VPC licenses, FlexNet Manager Suite displays full capacity consumption results.)


3. Rollout

FlexNet inventory agent is locally installed on the same complete set of sub-cap devices. ILMT provides reports. (For IBM VPC licenses, FlexNet Manager Suite displays full capacity consumption results.)


4. Switch


Turn on high-frequency mode, which inverts the default so that you now prefer sub-capacity results from FlexNet inventory. FlexNet Manager Suite provides reports, starting from the effective date of your choice.

We've already noted above that your operations may be bounded within certain 'spheres of influence'. If this applies to you so that you have several such spheres to deal with, you can undertake phases 1-3 of the above transition process in one sphere, and then move on to another sphere, and continue until all required areas have the FlexNet inventory agent fully deployed. Then you can move your entire FlexNet Manager Suite implementation into phase 4 in one step (there is a single setting that controls high-frequency mode for an entire implementation at once, and a single schedule for IBM sub-capacity calculations worldwide).

This chapter does not cover your implementation of ILMT. Indeed, it is possible that you may never implement ILMT, if FlexNet Manager Suite is your first inventory and license management tool. In what is perhaps the more common case, it is assumed that you have already implemented stage 1, using ILMT as a free-standing system. You may then start with Using ILMT (and Importing Results) (and its subtopics) for details about stage 2, the integrated presentation of ILMT results for PVU consumption within FlexNet Manager Suite.

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2022 R1