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!

Do I Need the ILMT Tool for My Cognos and How Do I Install the ILMT Tool?


I have received a number of calls from Lodestar Solutions blog readers asking “How do I install the ILMT Tool?” And “Do I need the ILMT Tool for my Cognos environment?”

The answer is it depends. (You love that answer, don’t you?)

ILMT Tool for My Cognos
What is the ILMT Tool?

ILMT is typically required if you have virtualized your environment and have IBM Cognos BI PVU licensing or Cognos Performance Management (TM1). The IBM License Metric Tool [ILMT] helps you maintain an inventory of the PVU based software deployed for your Full Capacity or Virtualization (Sub-) Capacity environment and it measures the PVU licenses required by software. It is intended to help you manage your IBM software licensing requirements and help you be ready if you get audited. Customers are responsible for supplying hardware and installation services required for installing the tool. It is not part of the software download and not typically installed by IBM partners implementing BI or TM1. It’s up to you to know if you need it and get it installed.

Do I Need the ILMT Tool for my Cognos Analytics/ Cognos BI environment?

If you own Cognos Analytics (C11), Cognos BI and your licenses in PVU based, not authorized use, and you have virtualized your server the answer is probably YES! The main exception is if you have under 1000 employees and subcontracts. For more “out” clauses see my blog

Do I Need the ILMT Tool for my Cognos Planning Analytics/Cognos TM1 I environment?

If you own Cognos Planning analytics, Cognos Tm1 you are required to have a server license that is PVU along with the Authorized User license. Therefore, if you virtualize your environment and do not use the entire capacity of the box, you need the ILMT Tool. The main exception is if you have under 1000 employees and subcontracts. For more “out” clauses see my blog Another exception could be if you purchased the Planning Analytics (TM1) license called the IBM Performance Management Advanced License and bought unlimited PVUs. For more information on this contact us at

How do I tell if I have ILMT Installed?

The fastest way to tell is to look at your entitlements or annual support bill. If you have Planning Analytic Server for TM1 or BI PVU licenses, you should see the ILMT tool as a line item on your entitlements or bill. It’s free. If you don’t see it, you probably never downloaded it so, probably not installed. If you see it on the bill the next step is to ask around where it’s installed. Some people downloaded it and never installed it.

Support Renewal Time - Check for ILMT

If you have an IBM support renewal coming up, it is a great time to check the requirements of having the IBM License Monitoring Tool (ILMT) installed to pass an IBM audit. As a Business Analytics Coach at Lodestar Solutions, I find clients often don’t know they are required to have the ILMT installed. Questions on your support bill? Email us at

How do I install the ILMT Tool?

Well this is where I confess I have never done it myself but I hear it is a bigger undertaking than you would expect.

Here’s a link to IBM’s instructions.

Step-by-step installation of ILMT on Windows 2008 R2 Server

But wait, IBM has a YouTube channel to show you how in to install the ILMT Tool.

Installing ILMT 9.2 on Windows - Part 1/5 - Installing MS SQL Server YouTube Video

You will notice a lot of videos on this topic. But even with all this support, many people find this challenging.

Consultants Can Install ILMT!

Have no fear, if you know you need to install the ILMT and don’t have time, resources, or just don’t want to do it, we can help! Lodestar Solutions provides ILMT installation consulting. For more information email, us at