Consumption Tab

FlexNet Manager Suite 2022 R2 (On-Premises)
The Consumption tab has three functions.
  1. Who's consuming: The tab shows how and where the entitlements on this license are being consumed, as at the last compliance calculation (the date and time of that calculation are shown top right in the title bar for FlexNet Manager Suite) – that is, this page shows current consumption. If this license covers licensing for IBM Cloud Paks in containers on devices in Kubernetes clusters, the relevant license consumption (imported from the IBM License Service) is included in this listing.
    Remember: For some license types, you can make changes to data in other pages in the web interface that cause immediate updates to this consumption listing:
    • You may need to refresh this page to see those updates.
    • Your changes may temporarily cause the total consumption shown on this tab to be different from the result shown on the Compliance tab. The values are synchronized again in the next license reconciliation calculation (by default, overnight).
    Tip: When FlexNet Manager Suite is responsible for sub-capacity points calculations (see IBM High-Frequency Scanning), your license liability to IBM is not determined by the current consumption shown on this page, but by the sum of the highest/peak values (within the reporting period) for each of three mandatory IBM regions. To compare today's current figures from this page with the historical peak values, use the link provided to click through to the appropriate report:
    • For IBM PVU licenses, see the IBM PVU License Consumption report
    • For IBM VPC licenses for Cloud Paks, see the IBM Cloud Pak License Consumption report.
    Naturally, each report covers all relevant licenses, not just the single license whose properties you are now examining. If you would like a similar multi-license view of current consumption (as calculated during the most recent full inventory import), use the link provided to navigate to:
    • For IBM PVU licenses, the IBM PVU License Current Consumption report
    • For IBM VPC licenses for Cloud Paks, the IBM Cloud Pak License Current Consumption report.
    These reports also let you check that devices are assigned to the correct cluster and reassign if required, and decide whether it is possible to reduce peak values and save costs by reassigning devices to different clusters.
  2. Allocations: The tab allows you to allocate entitlements to individual computers or users (as appropriate for different license types) – see discussion below.
  3. Keys: The tab allows you to manage license keys for individual devices/users (depending on license type), provided that on the Identification tab, the license key Rule has been set to one of: (Other rule values move license key management to separate tabs.)

Because ways of measuring entitlements and consumption vary across license types, the appearance of this tab varies by license type. Not all of the controls/columns listed in the table of contents (left) are available for every license type.

Tip: If there is a lot of data to display on this tab, it may take a short while to load. While the data is loading, a progress graphic displays. During the load time, you can continue to access data on other tabs of this property sheet. Switching tabs will not delay the loading time.


Because this list can display virtual machines nested under their host server, it is a tree rather than a simple list. Trees do not allow sorting or grouping. However, if you search or filter the data, the tree is converted into a simple list, and you can sort the results of your search.

Devices with zero consumption

For IBM PVU or IBM VPC licenses, when FlexNet Manager Suite is responsible for sub-capacity points calculations (see IBM High-Frequency Scanning), the list of devices may include some with a Status value of Archived and showing zero for their current consumption. These are inventory devices originally reported in FlexNet inventory that are now in transition towards deletion, but are currently held as Archived because they have historical impact on the calculation of peak consumption of PVU points or VPC cores within the data retention period (see System Settings: Licensing Tab). When they no longer affect retrospective calculations, they are automatically deleted to complete the process.

Duplicated (or disappearing) user

Users whose status is Inactive or Retired may appear in multiple rows of the consumption listing for certain user-based licenses.

Here's why. For user-based licenses (such as User, Named User, IBM Authorized User, IBM User Value Unit and others), an active user appears on a single line, with a comma-separated list of related inventory devices where needed. However, if you make a user Inactive or Retired (visible here in an optional User status column), the user is treated in compliance calculations as unknown. When its associated user is unknown, each device attached to certain user-based licenses must consume a single entitlement, as required in an audit – not currently knowing the name of the user does not remove the need to license each installation; and without a valid user, devices cannot be grouped together to reduce consumption.

So, when you change a user who has been consuming from this license to Inactive or Retired, one of three things happens in affected user-based licenses:
  • If, for some unusual reason, you had allocated a license entitlement to a user who is not linked to any inventory device (in which case, there is no matching inventory record), the user disappears when you refresh this consumption listing; and if you had set allocations to always trigger consumption, the consumption count on this tab goes down by one to match. (The Compliance tab is only updated after the next reconciliation.)
  • If the user is linked to exactly one inventory device, it may appear as if nothing happened. However, the fact is that, where previously it was the active user who consumed a license entitlement, now it's the related device with the 'unknown' user that is consuming the same one entitlement.
  • If the retired user was linked to two inventory devices (such as a desktop and a laptop), both of which have the licensed software installed, then each device now has an 'unknown' user but remains linked to this license. Each inventory device with an unknown user appears on its own row in the consumption listing, with the default consumption of 1. For two devices, then, the overall consumption is now 2 (and more if there are more devices linked to the same user and license) – that is, in this corner-case scenario, switching a user to Retired actually increases the consumption on the license. However, because that 'unknown' user has a name and is now retired or inactive, the user's name appears on the row for each linked inventory device, which may be misinterpreted as a duplicated user name. This name of the formerly-active user helps you identify the action needed for each device (typically, assigning to a new user).
Of course, the opposite processes apply when you switch a user (who is already linked to an affected license) from Inactive or Retired to a new status of Active; and remember that you need to wait for the next license compliance calculation to update the consumption figures following such a status change.

For affected license types, see User Status.

Why to allocate (and why not)

Allocation makes a fixed relationship between a computer (or user) and the license.
Tip: Allocations are not available (and the Allocate button is disabled) for IBM Cloud Pak licenses (typically IBM VPC, or less often IBM PVU, licenses), or when in the listing, you select a Kubernetes cluster.
How an allocation affects consumption depends on inventory results and other settings:
  • If inventory shows that this computer (or user) should consume from this license, the allocation gives them the highest priority on the license.

    Suppose your license has 10 entitlements; and there are 12 installations in inventory, of which 5 also have allocations. Those five will not be shown as over-consuming (at any compliance calculation using those numbers), because the allocation gives them top priority. Two of your other installations will be shown as over-utilized (too many installations for your entitlements); and as circumstances change, the particular installations shown as over-utilized may change with each compliance calculation; but on these numbers, the five allocations will never be shown as over-utilized.

  • If you allocate to a computer (or user) that does not show up in inventory for this license, by default the allocation has no immediate effect on consumption. However, there are two ways you can override that default behavior:
    • On this Consumption tab, you can select the row for the device/user in question (or use the search facility to add more related ones), click the Allocate drop-down, and select Permanent. Permanent allocations always consume from the license, regardless of inventory results (and the Consumed count is updated after the next license reconciliation). This control applies at the level of the individual user or inventory device — you can set different allocation types on different rows.
    • On the Use rights & rules tab (License consumption rules section), if Allocations consume license entitlements is set, each allocation is always counted as consumption, at top priority, regardless of any inventory results. This is an override that affects every allocation on the Consumption tab identically, regardless of the displayed consumption type. Only rows showing Unallocated are exempt from the effects of this license-wide setting.
    Tip: You can also edit allocations from the "other side" of the relationship between the license and the device/user. Either on the inventory device properties, or on the user properties (as appropriate for this license), select the Licenses tab. In that listing, the Allocation type column gives the same control over allocation type, including setting a Permanent allocation.
In addition, allocating a computer (or user) to this license prevents them from consuming any alternative license that may cover the same product.
  • If you assign an installation-based license key to an individual computer (or user), this also sets an allocation so that the relationship between them and this license is maintained.
  • Similarly, if you create an exemption for an inventory device, this functions as an allocation to maintain the relationship (preventing the device from consuming from another license for the same application).
Tip: For licenses that support virtualization, making an allocation to the VM host automatically flows down to the virtual machines installed on that host. As described above, this gives any appropriate inventory from both the host and any of its child VMs top priority in consuming from the license with allocation, and prevents them from consuming from any other relevant license. If, in addition, the Allocations consume license entitlements check box is set, then the VM host server counts for consumption regardless of inventory for the host; but the behavior for child VMs is unchanged (they consume at top priority when inventory shows consumption is appropriate). In this context, "licenses that support virtualization" include:
  • Oracle Processor and Oracle Named User Plus licenses
  • IBM PVU and IBM VPC licenses
  • Any other license for which Rights on virtual machines and hosts is set to something other than No special virtualization rights (navigate to the license properties, Use rights & rules tab, and click on the Rights on virtual machines and hosts header to expand this section of the accordion).
Important: When FlexNet Manager Suite is responsible for sub-capacity points calculations (see IBM High-Frequency Scanning), the effects of allocations and exemptions are retroactive throughout the entire data retention period (see System Settings: Licensing Tab), and on into the future. That is, for either IBM PVU points or IBM VPC core counts, changes to allocations or exemptions are assumed to be corrections that apply throughout the available reporting period(s).
To summarize the above discussion, you might have one of five reasons to make an allocation:
  1. To give a certain device (or person) top priority use of this license
  2. To prevent that device (or person) consuming from an alternative license that could otherwise cover the installation
  3. To force counting for a device (or person) that cannot show up in inventory
  4. To correct historical data for IBM PVU points calculation
  5. To assign a license key (entering the license key value automatically makes the allocation). For details, see either of:
    Note: Counting is automatic for licenses driven by installation (typical device or user licenses). Where possible (that is, where the imported inventory has sufficient detail), FlexNet Manager Suite also calculates the appropriate number of points when a points-based license is allocated to a device. When inventory details are inadequate (for example, hardware cores are not reported), you can manually set the number of points for each allocation. For details, see Overridden Consumption.

And there is one big reason not to make allocations: you'll forget that you did. When the business circumstances change (the person is reassigned, the machine no longer has that software installed), you need to manually undo the allocation that you manually made. Which is why, if you are investigating license consumption, it's always handy to check the Allocated column in the list below.

For the two different ways to make an allocation on this tab (based on whether or not the consumption was discovered through inventory), see Making License Allocations.

How license properties impact consumption

Many license properties impact how many entitlements of a license are consumed. The following table describes some example use cases and the corresponding consumption:

Allocations consume entitlements Allocation type Applications(s) linked to license Installation found? Overridden consumption Exemption reason Consumption


Any Any Not applicable Not applicable Yes 0


Permanent Any Not applicable Yes No Overridden consumption
Any Permanent No Not applicable Yes No Overridden consumption


Permanent Yes Any No No Calculated consumption


Permanent No Not applicable No No 1
Selected Any No Not applicable No No 1
Selected Allocated Yes No Yes No Overridden consumption
Selected Allocated Yes No No No Calculated consumption
Unselected Allocated Yes No Not applicable No 0
Any Allocated Yes Yes No No Calculated consumption
Any Allocated Yes Yes Yes No Overridden consumption
Unselected Awaiting inventory Yes No Not applicable No 0
Selected Awaiting inventory Yes No Yes No Overridden consumption
Selected Awaiting inventory Yes No No No Calculated consumption
Any Awaiting inventory Yes Yes No No Calculated consumption
Any Awaiting inventory Yes Yes Yes No Overridden consumption

Investigating the consumption results

You may want to investigate why certain devices/users (depending on license type) are consuming from this particular license. One option is to Ctrl+Shift+click Show assessment details, which opens the Application Licenses Assessed page in a new browser tab. From this starting point, the new page shows:
  • This starting license
  • The application(s) linked to this license
  • Any other licenses that are linked to the same applications, that could potentially authorize installation or use of the application(s)
  • The inventory devices that are consuming from this license.
In the case where there are multiple licenses available, you may see multiple rows for an inventory device – one for each of the licenses assessed for consumption by that device. Some of those alternative licenses may have an Assessment result of Rejected, along with the appropriate Assessment reason; and this may give some insight into why the device finished up consuming from this starting license.
Tip: To keep data quantities manageable, the page (when opened from the properties of this license) includes only those devices that are consuming from this license (as at the most recent license reconciliation). If, instead, you wanted to investigate why a device was not consuming from this license, start with the properties of that inventory device, and click through from there for a more useful listing.

Links to license consumption report

Based on the type of the selected license, a link to a license consumption report displays below the title of this page. You can click the available link to view the suggested report. For example, for Device licenses, a link to the Device License Details report displays; for User licenses, a link to the User License Details report displays; for IBM PVU licenses, links to the IBM PVU License Consumption report and IBM PVU License Current Consumption report display.

For IBM VPC licenses, depending on what bundle consumption rule has been chosen in the Use rights & rules page, will determine what VPC report links are displayed. If Consume for each product on a device is selected, links to the IBM Cloud Pak License Consumption report and IBM Cloud Pak License Current Consumption report display. If Consume once for each device is selected, links to the IBM VPC License Consumption report and IBM VPC License Current Consumption report display.

Oracle Standard Users

FlexNet Manager Suite automatically exempts the standard Oracle named users from consuming licenses on Oracle instances. The Appendix: Oracle Standard Users Exempted From Consuming Licenses in the Oracle Discovery and Inventory chapter of FlexNet Manager Suite System Reference lists these standard users.

Consumption of processor-based licenses

The license consumption calculation for some processor-based licenses like Oracle Processor, IBM VPC or IBM PVU depends on the hardware-specific details like Threads (max) or Threads per core (that is, a device that is missing these important values cannot consume from such a license, and is excluded from the license consumption calculations). When using data imported from any third-party systems, ensure that the hardware-specific details are present.

More details

Information about this tab is listed in the table of contents (on the left):

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2022 R2