How To Calculate IBM PVU Rating


As Business Analytics Coaches at Lodestar Solutions, we are often asked about Calculating IBM PVU. Questions like – “What is a PVU?” or “How do I calculate my IBM PVU to ensure we’re in compliance with our licensing?”  I will provide some insight to these questions along with some helpful links to get you started!

What is the whole “IBM PVU” thing?

A PVU is a unit of measure used to differentiate licensing of software on distributed processor technologies (defined by Processor Vendor, Brand, Type and Model Number). Simply put, it is a calculation of power and speed that is translated to a licensing model and thus licensing cost.   You can read more about IBM PVU by clicking this link.

Another good piece of information to have on hand is the guide to identifying your hardware.

On this page in the upper right corner you will see a PVU table by brand and type

Calculating IBM PVU

Now that I have provided some good info on what a IBM PVU is and some additional items… Let’s get to the good stuff. How do we calculate our IBM PVU?  Below is a link to a PVU calculator on IBM’s site that is very easy to use and calculates PVU instantly.

Once at the calculator you will need to know just a few things.

  • Processor architecture
  • Server Vendor and Brand
  • Processor Vender and Brand
  • Processor Type
  • Processor Model Number
  • # of cores being used by IBM Cognos

The calculator provides and stepped process that uses the answer before it to provide options to complete the next step. Once you have provided all of the information it will give you the PVU answer. (See example)

Calculating IBM PVU

Hopefully this short blog helps answer some questions and points you to the right places to Calculating IBM PVU rating. If you are still unclear or need some help please contact us at  We have a number of people who would love to walk you through the calculation and help you check to make sure you are in compliance with your entitlements.  Heck, we can even take a look at what you own and in many cases we can save you money on your license renewal!

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