IBM VPC (license type)

Note: This license type is available only when you have licensed the FlexNet Manager for Datacenters product.
The Virtual Processor Core (VPC) license is a specialization of the Core Points license type, where an IBM offering (which may be a single product or a bundle of products, and can include IBM Cloud Paks) is licensed by the number of "virtual cores" used to execute any of the primary products included.
Tip: If the IBM offering contains only one product, that is the "primary product" in this description; or if the offering contains a bundle of products, IBM may designate each of them as either primary or supplementary. In general, only primary products need be licensed, with supplementary products being "no cost extras" that are covered by the primary license. However, check the license terms for your particular case carefully.
"Virtual cores" here is an umbrella term, and can mean:
  • Cores assigned to a virtual machine where one or more of the primary licensed product(s) is/are executing (note that bundles, such as Cloud Paks, may have multiple primary products)
  • Virtual cores (or vCPUs) assigned to an instance, running in a recognized cloud service provider, where a licensed primary product is executing
  • The physical cores available on a physical machine that is not partitioned as a virtual host, where the primary product is running locally.
In other words, VPC licensing does not distinguish between physical and virtual cores, and simplifies the license calculations to just identifying the cores in use. License calculations are further simplified in that there is no points system or scaling for different computer models and capacities – here, a core is a core, and the license is measured in VPCs as the metric (or unit of measurement). Finally, if multiple VMs on a single host are all running the same licensed software, and the total of their assigned virtual cores exceeds the number of physical cores on the host, the VPC count is sensibly capped at the number of physical cores on the host – time-sharing of cores is not allowed to over-license the VMs on the server.
However, while there are no points tables to assign values to different kinds of processors, IBM still applies scaling, in either of the following ways:
  • For a VPC license for non-Cloud Pak products, scaling may be a ratio applied to the device where the product is running
  • For a VPC license for a Cloud Pak bundle (once the bundle consumption use right is set to Consume once for each product), each product may have an independent ratio of the number of cores running the installed product to the number of license entitlements consumed. For one product, this ratio may be 2:1, meaning that every two VPCs (cores, of one form or another) consume a single license entitlement – or expressed the other way round, each assigned core is worth half of a license entitlement. However, another product, even within the same Cloud Pak bundle, may have a ratio of 4:1. As ratios can vary widely across products, it is generally best practice to allow these to be set by the SKU library and Product Use Rights Library (PURL), and leave them unchanged.


Approved tools for calculation of license consumption

IBM requires an IBM-approved method for calculating VPC consumption, which means either of:
  • Using the consumption calculated by ILMT (or the TAD4D or SUA) tools supplied by IBM, with results supplied directly to IBM (since IT Asset Management does not import VPC licenses or consumption from ILMT); or
  • Using the FlexNet Inventory Agent to gather inventory from relevant computers with special increased frequency, and allowing IT Asset Management to calculate the VPC consumption from the inventory.

For VPC licenses, IT Asset Management supports only the second of these methods, as summarized below.

IT Asset Management as VPC 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, IBM VPC, or IBM Cloud Pak.
  • For information about configuring the increased frequency of inventory for machines consuming from IBM PVU and VPC 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 IT Asset Management Settings: Licensing Tab.
  • 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 running software consuming from VPC 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 VPC license for a given Cloud Pak, 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 VPC licenses is based on the peak consumption value within the reporting period, IT Asset Management maintains historical records of details affecting the VPC 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 rights, 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 previous four rights are taken into account). As well, in the product use rights are displayed the VPC ratios used in consumption calculations.
Group assignment

Group assignment is supported.


The sum of peak consumption values in each of three mandatory IBM regions, for the reporting period.


Computers within the scope of the license. For physical devices, if no core information is available, the number of processors is used for Calculated consumption; but the license is flagged as problematic when this happens, and the actual Consumed result is forced to zero.


Compliant when Peak consumed is less than or equal to Total entitlements for the reporting period.

Changing from

Scoping rules will be deleted. Allocations of licensable products to computers may be deleted.

Changing to

You may want to allocate the licensable products (such as parts of a Cloud Pak) to computers.

IT Asset Management (Cloud)