Cognos Analytics PVU Q&A

Cognos Analytics PVU Q&A
Cognos Analytics PVU Q&A
July 16th, 2020

Both Cognos Analytics PVU and Planning Analytics PVU (Processor Value Units) can be confusing and make you nervous about being in compliance with your IBM licensing,  We receive many questions all the time about what counts against PVU’s, what doesn’t, and how do I figure out what the value of my cores are? Today, I am going to answer some of the most recently asked questions and highlight a few additional items to help you through this process.

Cognos Analytics PVU Questions and Answers

Q - Gateway Only Installations: If only the gateway components of Cognos BI are installed on a computer, then PVU licenses are not required for this server.

A - Correct.  The gateway components do not require PVU restrictions.

Q - IBM Cognos Transformer Installations: Computers running only IBM Cognos transformer to model or build PowerCubes do not require PVU licenses.

A - Correct.  Transformer and Powerplay do not require PVU licenses.  However, there is a separate license for this that you will need per user.

Q - IBM Cognos Mobile Installations: Computers running only the Cognos Mobile Server software do not require PVU licenses.

A – PVU is required and/or a named user as this is part of the application tier.

Q - Content Manager Installations: If Content Manager is the only Cognos component installed on a given server, then it does not need to be counted toward the BI server PVUs.

A – Correct.  Only the application server is based on PVU.

Q - Client Only Installations: Computers running only desktop client software such as Framework Manager, Map Manager, and Virtual View Manager do not require PVU licenses.

A – Correct.  No PVU is needed.  However, Framework Manager does require each user to have a license or Cognos Explorer PVU’s for those large deployments that require many FM modelers.  Lodestar can perform an analysis to see if this model makes sense.

Q – Do computers running only software provided as a “supporting program” of Cognos Analytics require PVU? For example, if the provided DB2 software is installed on a computer for use as a Cognos Content Store, then no license is required for this database server.

A – Correct – No PVU as IBM will provide a free DB2 express version.

Planning Analytics PVU Questions and Answers

Q – What should a normal PA environment look like?

A – In most cases, you should have a web tier and an application tier. The web tier is used for Planning Analytics Workspace (PAW), TM1 Web, etc.

Q – Does the web tier count towards PVU?

A – No, the web tier does not count against PVU’s.

Q – Do I need to have PAW to have Planning Analytics Excel (PAX)? 

A – Yes, to use PAX you will need PAW.  However, unless you are licensed for PAW you will not be able to use PAW, only PAX. 

Q – I do not own PAW today.  How do I buy licenses?

A – There are a few ways to do this.  The best way is to contact Lodestar Solutions at to schedule a licenses review and discuss your options.  You can buy the PAW add on. You will need to buy this for all of your users. Or we can discuss putting you in a different license model like Planning Analytics Express which would give all your users PAW and remove the PVU restrictions. Also note, there is a 50 PA user limit and 1600 PVU limit with Planning Analytics Express.

IMPORTANT! When you have PVU licensing for IBM products, you will need to have the ILMT installed to monitor your environment.  This is VERY important.  You can find more info on the ILMT in the below helpful links sections.

Helpful License Links

Reach Out

At Lodestar Solutions we are here to help and cut through all the red tape to get you the best deal possible on licenses, your renewal and services.  Send us an email at to take advantage of a free session to understand your environment, your licensing and needs.  We have saved many clients thousands of dollars and more importantly put them in the right license mix to future proof their analytics environments.  Cognos Analytics PVU and Planning Analytics PVU can be frustrating and confusing. Let us help!