Compliance Tab

IT Asset Management (Cloud)

Compliance is a measure of whether or not your use of the software is aligned with the terms of your software license, and in particular whether the total consumption is less than or equal to the licensed entitlements. This tab summarizes your position in up to three sections (depending on license type):

  1. The Consumption details section consists of these three cards:
  2. The Entitlements and consumption section, where your purchased license entitlements are compared with the total Consumed entitlements. The entitlement and consumption details are represented through a simple arithmetic view. If you have extra entitlements available for use, the Available Entitlements result displays in a green bar; but if consumption exceeds available entitlements, the shortfall displays in a red bar.
    Note: This section does not appear for the Site (license type) and Enterprise (license type) licenses, and has a special format for IBM PVU and IBM VPC licenses (discussed below).
  3. The Entitlement limits section displays the entitlements limits rule that controls how the license is flagged if consumption exceeds purchased entitlements. A value of Unlimited or Subject to true-up means this license cannot be displayed as At risk. In addition, for a value of Subject to true-up, at the end of the true-up period, you must make purchases to retrospectively cover any over-consumption. Most licenses display As purchased, where a license is At risk if consumption exceeds purchased entitlements.

    This is an active control, rather than just a status report. For more details, see Entitlement Limits.
Consumption figures displayed here are based on the most recent compliance calculation on the latest imported inventory. By default, the overnight license reconciliation job imports the latest inventory and performs compliance calculations. The time and date of the compliance calculation is shown in the Last updated card, and at top right in the title bar for IT Asset Management. Unless otherwise marked, this time is adjusted to your local time zone. (Before the first compliance calculation on a new implementation, the card shows Consumption has not yet been calculated.)
Tip: Changes that you make in the web interface of IT Asset Management after the nightly reconciliation do not update the consumption figures shown on this Compliance tab. Therefore, if you have made edits, it is possible (and normal) for the total consumption figure here to be different than the total shown on the Consumption tab, which in some cases can reflect more recent changes. Values on the two tabs are synchronized after the next nightly reconciliation. Until then, reviewing the figures on the two tabs may help to show that your recent edits are having the intended effect.

Why is license compliance unknown?

Any license that is missing information required for compliance calculations is shown on this tab as having a Compliance status of Unknown (and in card view on license summary page as an Incomplete license). The most important reason for this is incomplete software inventory. For example, Microsoft Server Core and Microsoft Server Processor licenses require the number of threads, and cores or processors respectively, from hardware inventory. Some inventory tools do not include these details, for example, Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (previously Microsoft SCCM) prior to the 2012 release did not provide information on cores; and threads may be missing from various sources. Because license compliance cannot be accurately calculated without this information, it is given a status of Unknown (unless the license is already at risk). For more reasons on why license compliance is unknown, see Compliance Status.

The missing counts for core, processor, socket and thread can all potentially cause different license types to show Unknown as the Compliance status. To identify the issues, a useful starting point is to check the Consumption tab for alerts showing problems with individual computers that are blocking consumption calculations.

Special results for IBM sub-capacity licenses

Two forms of IBM sub-capacity licensing are so closely related that they operate almost identically.
Tip: A "sub-capacity license" means one where, for virtual machines (which typically are not using the full capacity of their host server), the consumption calculation is based on the properties of the virtual machine rather than of the host.
The main difference between these related sub-capacity licenses is:
  • Processor value unit, or IBM PVU licenses, use points tables to assign values to different types of processor running the licensed software
  • Virtual processor core, or IBM VPC licenses, ignore the type of processor and instead simply count the cores assigned (or available) to the VM, instance, or stand-alone device where the licensed software is running. The VPC is the metric used to calculate license consumption, but its definition is flexible for different environments:
    • In conventional VMs, it counts the cores assigned to the VM where the software is running
    • In instances in eligible cloud service providers, it counts vCPUs (or threads) assigned to the instance
    • In stand-alone servers running the software, it is the count of processor cores (and this latter case, strictly speaking, is a full-capacity measurement, but may still be licensed on a VPC license type).
    Nor is consumption necessarily a direct count of the cores alone: while the type of processor is now ignored, IBM VPC licenses for IBM Cloud Paks (for which the Bundle consumption rules in the License consumption rules accordion section of the Use rights & rules tab are set to Consume for each product on a device), give each software product a distinct ratio of VPC count to license entitlements consumed – some products might consume an entire license entitlement for 1 VPC (a ratio of 1 : 1), while another product may allow 3 cores to run under a single license entitlement (3 : 1, or, putting that the other way around, each assigned VPC consumes one-third of a license entitlement).
For IBM sub-capacity licenses, you may use IT Asset Management in either of two ways:
  1. You may use IT Asset Management in "sub-capacity mode", making it the source of truth responsible for sub-capacity license calculations based on inventory gathered by FlexNet Inventory Agent. You choose this mode by setting the Enable frequent hardware scanning for IBM sub-capacity license calculations check box (Go to the Inventory Settings page and scroll down to the IBM reporting and archiving settings section). Use this setting only when you have secured a license variation from IBM that authorizes use of FlexNet Inventory Agent as an inventory source in place of IBM tools (for more details, see the Sub-Capacity Licensing with IBM PVU and IBM VPC section in the IT Asset Management System Reference, available at This mode covers sub-capacity consumption calculations for both IBM PVU and IBM VPC licenses. In this mode only, the Compliance tab for IBM sub-capacity licenses displays an additional Consumption by region section, described below.
  2. You use IT Asset Management in "full capacity mode", where it does not do any sub-capacity license calculations (this is the default mode of operation). In this full capacity mode, there are differences between the license types:
    • You should not (normally) use any VPC licenses, since these are strictly sub-capacity licenses and require high-frequency scanning, and the historical calculations of peak Consumption by region as described below. Furthermore, IT Asset Management does not import license consumption results from any other tool (as distinct from raw inventory imports, which are of course available from other connected tools). In this mode, then, IT Asset Management does not offer auditable results for sub-capacity VPC licenses. (Of course, if you have a need for a VPC license that calculates full capacity consumption, you can do that by setting that license to Always use full capacity license calculations in the Rights on virtual machines and hosts accordion on its Use rights & rules tab. This per-license setting is effective whichever sub/full mode of operation is current.)
    • For IBM PVU licenses, you may use a connection to ILMT to import the results of points consumption calculations done by the IBM tool. In this mode, IT Asset Management also creates license records to match the PVU licenses represented in ILMT. For each such license, when there are consumption points imported from ILMT, this Compliance tab shows the points consumed broken down into:
      • Peak from ILMT — the sum of region-based peak values for the reporting period, as calculated by ILMT.
      • Current from other sources — the latest results (as at the last reconciliation date, shown in the top right of the web interface) from all other sources reporting inventory related to this IBM PVU license. In general, these are expected to be full capacity points, since other sources are not usually approved by IBM for sub-capacity calculations; but if you have exceptional permissions, and in the Use rights & rules tab, under Rights on virtual machines and hosts, you have selected both Use sub-capacity license calculations where available and Allow sub-capacity licensing for sources other than ..., this figure may include sub-capacity calculations for virtual machines. (It is best practice to document any such exceptional permissions by attaching audit-ready evidence to the Documents tab of these license properties.)

Consumption by region

This section applies to both PVU and VPC licenses when (and only when) IT Asset Management is in sub-capacity mode.
Important: Consumption broken down by region is a requirement for both license types when used for sub-capacity licensing on virtual machines and the like. However, consumption by region does not apply for container consumption (that is, when either of these same license types is used for licensing IBM software, particularly IBM Cloud Paks, running in containers).
IBM divides the planet into three regions where sub-capacity license consumption must be calculated separately (in order to prevent follow-the-sun migration of licenses).
Tip: Assignment to a region is a two-part process:
  1. In preparation, some of your location enterprise groups must be assigned to the standard IBM-defined regions (navigate to Enterprise > Locations).
  2. For each inventory device hosting sub-capacity-licensed software, make sure to use the Ownership tab of the inventory device properties to assign the device to an appropriate location that maps into the correct region.
For a quick check of region assignments for a particular IBM sub-capacity license, switch to the Consumption tab of the license properties, and display the IBM region and Location columns to see where each consuming device sits. (You can also filter to find the unassigned devices, as they have a blank value for the region.)
For each region, IT Asset Management in sub-capacity mode displays two sets of values here in the Compliance tab of the license properties:
  • Peak consumption value for each region, along with the UTC date/time when the peak consumption occurred (peak values are the ones used by IBM to determine license consumption and liability)
  • Current consumption values, often less than the peak, which are information-only to show how license consumption is varying since the peak – obviously, in a steady-state environment where the peak value remains constant for a long time, the current consumption may be equal to the peak value.
To reduce clutter, you may separately close (or collapse) each of these sections within the Compliance tab.
To calculate the totals, each of these sections (peak and current) sums up consumption results of three different kinds:
  • (Peak and current) sub-capacity consumption calculated from Flexnet inventory: There are four rows in this class: the results for each of the three mandatory IBM regions, and a fourth row of consumption for inventory devices that have not yet been assigned to any region, but are reporting inventory from their locally-installed FlexNet Inventory Agent.

    Having a peak calculated for devices not yet correctly managed can indicate the scale of inaccuracy in the regional results, and you should assign these devices to regions as soon as possible. Once you do, at the next license compliance calculation, new peaks are calculated retroactively, as though the inventory devices had always been in their newly-assigned regions, for the whole reporting period. Best practice is to keep Devices not assigned to any region at zero, so that all sub-capacity calculations fall into one of IBM's three regions.

  • (Peak and current) container consumption: This measurement of license consumption is calculated by the IBM License Service monitoring use of IBM products, particularly IBM Cloud Paks, running in containers. Through the deployment of either the Flexera Kubernetes Inventory Agent or the Lightweight Kubernetes Inventory Agent, the consumption results are collected from the RESTful API of the IBM License Service, and included here so that you have a 'single pane of glass' to monitor your overall license consumption. Because IBM does not apply consumption by region to container license consumption, this category has just a single line in each group. (Also notice that this figure is exclusively as reported by IBM License Service, and does not include any other software that may be running, for example, in Docker containers where other forms of inventory gathering are in use.)
    Tip: Don't confuse container consumption with either sub-capacity consumption or full capacity consumption, since the IBM License Service may mix different calculation methods to arrive at the license consumption for containerized software.
  • Current full capacity consumption calculated from other data sources: As well as the sub-capacity results, the peak values used by IBM for licensing costs take into account any devices (within each region) that are calculated at full capacity (normally, because you are not using either FlexNet Inventory Agent or IBM tools as the inventory source for these devices). For full capacity calculations from other inventory sources, history is not tracked. This consumption is always the result of the most recent import and compliance calculation, so that no dates/times are required here. In the most unusual case that you have approval for inventory sources other than IBM tools or IT Asset Management to be used for sub-capacity (rather than full capacity) licensing, best practice is to attach documentary evidence of your agreement to the Documents tab of this license. You can then select the check box for Allow sub-capacity licensing for sources other than ... (located in the section Rights on virtual machines and hosts on the Use rights & rules tab of these license properties).

Below each group is the simple sum of these three kinds of consumption results.

Of special interest is the total Peak consumption since date, the simple sum of all the values displayed in the Consumption by region/Peak consumption section (historical peaks for sub-capacity, plus any license consumption for containerized software, and any current full consumption, summed across regions). Provided that your values for Devices not assigned to any region remain at zero, this is your consumption of either PVU points or VPC license entitlements (as appropriate for this license), and likely the figure for which IBM expects to charge your license fees (subject, of course, to any future increases in the contributing peak and full-consumption values).
Tip: Consumption calculations for each device attached to an IBM sub-capacity license start with the first available of the following properties:
  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 (or threads, saved in the compliance database as NumberOfLogicalProcessors and visible in the Hardware tab of the device properties in the Threads 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.
With this common starting point, calculations naturally vary by license type:
  • For IBM PVU licenses, the count is multiplied by the appropriate number of points per core for the particular processor, found in the PVU points table.
  • For VPC licenses, behavior depends on the setting of Bundle consumption rules (on the Use rights & rules tab, in the License consumption rules section, and exclusively for VPC licenses).
    • If this setting is Consume for each product on a device, each product uses its individual ratio of VPCs to license entitlements to work out its contribution to license consumption.
    • Alternatively, if the setting is Consume once for each device, another control lets you specify the ratio of cores on each device to consumed license entitlements. For example, every two cores available might consume one license entitlement (so that an eight-core device requires four license entitlements) – but in this case the device only consumes once from an applicable VPC license, no matter how many different products are installed on that device.

Individual controls

Information and editing details for the individual controls/fields are in the topic listed below (in alphabetical order).
Note: The controls on this tab vary by license type. For a particular license type, you may find some of the controls listed below are not available on the Compliance tab.

IT Asset Management (Cloud)