Safeguarding Your IBM Investments: The Vital Role of IBM ILMT in Virtualized Environments

Safeguarding Your IBM Investments: The Vital Role of IBM ILMT in Virtualized Environments
Safeguarding Your IBM Investments: The Vital Role of IBM ILMT in Virtualized Environments
Written by Heather L. Cole, November 16th, 2023

In the fast-paced landscape of modern businesses, many organizations have embraced virtualization to optimize their server infrastructure and reduce costs. However, with this advancement comes the responsibility of managing software licenses effectively. For those leveraging IBM's Processor Value Unit (PVU) pricing model, the IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT) becomes an indispensable asset.

Understanding the Imperative of ILMT:

IBM ILMT is a critical component for clients utilizing PVU pricing, especially in virtualized environments—something that has become the norm for most companies. The tool ensures compliance by monitoring and reporting on software usage, a key factor in determining the appropriate licensing fees.

Quarterly Check-ins:

One of the often-overlooked aspects of ILMT is the need for quarterly check-ins. It's not enough to simply have ILMT installed; companies must actively run the reports every quarter. This routine check ensures accurate monitoring of server usage and helps in creating a comprehensive audit trail.

Don’t Fail an IBM Audit. 

Automate or Manual: The Choice is Yours:

To streamline the process, companies can either automate their ILMT or assign team members to run the reports manually. Automation not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of oversight. Regardless of the method chosen, the key is consistency.

The Pitfalls of Neglect:

Recently, a client's oversight underscored the consequences of neglecting ILMT procedures. During an environment upgrade, they inadvertently erased the old server without transferring the ILMT reports. This seemingly small error could lead to catastrophic results during an IBM audit.

Two Years of Records: A Non-Negotiable Requirement

IBM mandates that organizations maintain two years' worth of ILMT reports—eight quarters. This extended period ensures a comprehensive historical record and protects against unexpected audits. Failing to meet this requirement can result in severe financial repercussions.

The High Stakes of Audit Failures:

The gravity of failing an IBM audit due to incomplete ILMT records cannot be overstated. Even if the ILMT is installed, if it doesn't record usage every quarter for two years, the consequences are dire. Organizations risk being charged for the full server capacity, not just the allocated resources for their specific environment.

Strategic Storage: Beyond the Server

To mitigate risks, companies should designate responsible team members for ILMT, decide where reports will be stored, and implement strategic storage practices. Storing reports solely on the server is insufficient. Having a backup offsite is crucial for safeguarding against unexpected data loss.

Conclusion:

In the dynamic realm of IT, overlooking the significance of IBM ILMT can lead to severe financial repercussions and jeopardize an organization's compliance standing. Regular, quarterly ILMT reports, meticulous storage practices, and a comprehensive, two-year audit trail are non-negotiable aspects of responsible software license management. In a landscape where technology evolves rapidly, maintaining diligence with tools like ILMT is paramount for securing your IBM investments and ensuring long-term operational efficiency. 

Need Help:

Lodestar Solutions provides ILMT implementation and upgrade service.  If you would like assistance, please contact us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Don’t Fail an IBM Audit Because ILMT Quarterly Upgrades are Now Required.

Don't Fail an IBM Audit, IBM quarterly upgrades now required
Don't Fail an IBM Audit, IBM quarterly upgrades now required
Written by Mike Bernaiche, April 5th, 2023

Attention IBM Cognos and IBM Planning Analytics clients!  You may have missed the recent announcement from IBM that could have serious implications for your sub-capacity licensing if you have PVU (Processor Value Unit Licensing). (IBM Announcement)  Manual updates of the software catalogue in ILMT are no longer supported, and this change could lead to significant consequences for those who fail to comply.  Don’t fail an IBM audit because your ILMT catalog is out of date.  ILMT Quarterly Upgrades are Now Required if you have PVU licensing.

IBM - ILMT Background

For those unfamiliar with the IBM Planning Analytics and Cognos sub-capacity licensing, it allows you to license only some of the processors in a server for a particular product when you have PVU licensing. However, to ensure compliance, there are certain rules that must be followed, including running a monitoring tool called ILMT and keeping the software catalogue up to date.  Previously, most organizations upgraded their version of ILMT every 12-18 months and manually updated their software catalogue and PVU tables every three months to stay license compliant.

IBM References:

Manual Upload to ILMT of Catalog Required

However, with the release of ILMT update 9.2.20.0, the ability to manually upload the software catalogue to the License Metric Tool was removed.  Not sure this is an upgrade, more of a downgrade maybe.  Now, you are required to do a full upgrade to the latest release of the IBM Licensing Metric Tool every quarter to ensure your software catalogue is correct.

Full ILMT Upgrade Every Quarter

The implications for clients are significant.  To remain compliant, you will need to do a full upgrade of ILMT every quarter, which is significantly more complex than the previous task of manually updating the software catalogue.  Additional tasks will include opening a change request for a production system, database backup, system administrator to carry out the upgrade, and testing to ensure the upgrade was successful.  Moreover, additional skills and time will be required, especially if you are upgrading from older versions of ILMT that require incremental upgrades to get to the latest version.

Updating the IBM Licensing Metric Tool every quarter will ensure your ILMT accurately reports license consumption, but it will be more work for the ILMT administrator and SAM team.  The first time you upgrade will require a project to do the upgrade and develop a set of standardized written procedures for completing the quarterly upgrade and training resources to be ready to do the upgrade every three months.

ILMT Upgrade Support

At Lodestar Solutions, we understand that these changes can be overwhelming and time-consuming.  As a Gold IBM Partner, we have your back and can help you navigate these changes with ease.  Don't let compliance issues cause you to fail an IBM audit or pay hefty fines.  Contact us today to discuss how we can help with your ILMT upgrade.  Email us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com.

ILMT Upgrade Failure Can Have a Major Impact

Recently we had a client contact us that has always had their internal tech teams handle their upgrades.  They had received the IBM love letter announcing they were being audited.  The auditors told them they had failed the IBM audit.  Apparently with their last upgrade they connected the ILMT to their Cognos and Planning Analytics deployments that had PVU licensing, however they had not updated the catalog.  Therefore, the ILMT was not really running.  They thought they were following the rules, but they discovered they failed the IBM audit just because the catalog was not updated, resulting in a compliance cost of $400,000.  Don't let this happen to you.

Luckily the client called Lodestar Solutions, and we were able to help them negotiate with IBM, so they were able to pay the $400,000 but instead of buying software they really didn’t need, they were able to purchase the Analytics Content Hub which was software they already wanted.  Without Lodestar’s engagement they would not have known it was possible to negotiate a settlement that turned the lemons into lemonade.   

Lodestar Solutions Can Help

In conclusion, manual updates of the software catalogue in ILMT are no longer supported, and compliance with IBM sub-capacity licensing requirements will now require more effort and attention. Upgrading your ILMT every quarter will ensure you remain compliant, and at Lodestar Solutions, we are here to help.  Contact us today to discuss your options and avoid compliance issues that could result in significant costs down the road.  Services@lodestarsolutions.com.

ILMT Tool Questions and Answers

2/4/2019 - Written by Heather L. Cole, President of Lodestar Solutions
ILMT Tool

Why have I never heard about the IBM ILMT Tool for Cognos BI or TM1?

You have been working with Cognos for years.  Recently a Lodestar Solutions team member reached out to you and said, “I am concerned that you may have an IBM compliance issue and would fail an audit.”  You then learn that maybe you should have had the IBM Licensing Monitoring Tool (ILMT) installed. But you are wondering, “Why have I never heard about the IBM ILMT Tool for Cognos BI or TM1?”

You are not alone! Many clients call me saying they found my blogs on licensing and are confused. Today I’ll address why you have never heard about the IBM ILMT Tool for Cognos BI or Cognos Planning Analytics, TM1 and what steps you should take before you get audited. 

Am I really at risk?  I am not using more PVU’s than I have licensing for, what will IBM do if I am audited and don’t have the ILMT installed? 

They could determine that you are non-complaint and fail the audit even if you aren’t using more PVU’s then you have, because the sub-capacity agreement states if you don’t install it, IBM can assume you are using the full capacity of the servers. You could be forced to pay for PVU’s to cover the entire server.  For example, you have 8 cores on your virtualized server and allocate 4 cores to Planning Analytics (TM1).  The server is rated 70 PVU’s per core.  Even though you have only allocated 4 cores * 70 PVUs per cores so 280 PVUs to TM1. IBM could charge you for another 280 cores if you don’t have the ILMT tool installed, because the server could max out to 8 cores.   Even if you only allocated 4 cores, you could fail the audit just for not having the ILMT tool installed. 

Who needs to install the ILMT for Cognos Analytics (BI) and/or Cognos Planning Analytics?  

All clients that have Processor Value Unit (PVU) licensing.  This includes most Enterprise Planning Analytic/TM1 users and larger Cognos BI clients that have virtualized their environment must install the ILMT tool with a few exceptions.  

Not sure what a PVU is?  

Check out our previous blog, How to Calculate Your IBM PVU Rating

What is the ILMT Tool?  

IBM® License Metric Tool (ILMT) helps IBM Passport Advantage® (PA) customers determine their full and sub-capacity processor value units (PVU) licensing requirements. It helps calculate the number of PVUs available to installed Passport Advantage PVU-based software, including supported virtualized servers. Passport Advantage and Passport Advantage Express customers can order this tool at no charge by selecting the IBM License Metric Tool, part number D561HLL. 

How did I miss the ILMT tool? 

The ILMT is NOT provided as part of the standard download with the software, as a client you must order this separately at no cost. Clients are only informed of the ILMT tool requirements if they read the fine print of the sub capacity agreement or someone explains how important it is.  If you are an older TM1 or Cognos BI client, this was amended to your agreement in July 2011. 

Let’s be real, most IT professionals responsible for installing and maintaining the software do NOT read the fine print of IBM contracts, their lawyers do.  Lawyers would have no clue that the IT person does not know about the ILMT tools because logic would say it should be part of the install package. 

For your reading pleasure here’s the link to the Sub Capacity Licensing Agreement.

You might want to check out IBM’s FAQ on Subcapacity agreement for more information. 

This is such a big deal, IBM has a forum for the ILMT. Click here to check it out!

How Do I Order the ILMT Tool From IBM?

What are the exceptions?  Do I really need to install this? 

There are some exceptions such as if a client is less than 1000 employees and contractors, they are not required to install it.  But do you really know how many contractors you have?  And how do you count a contractor?  Is it all the contractor’s employees? (IBM we would love to hear from you on this).  

For more details on exceptions see our previous blog.

What does it take to install the ILMT Tool? 

It’s not as easy as it should be in my opinion. The ILMT tool costs about 30K to have a partner like Lodestar Solutions install it. I am not sure what IBM charges, but speculate it’s higher.  It’s important to know, the ILMT tool requires a separate server too.

Why didn’t an IBM Sales Rep or Partner tell me about this?  

If you have been reading my blogs, you will see I have been trying to get the word out! But candidly, IBM Sales Reps and Partners do not tell clients about the ILMT tool or associated costs in the sales process, as most have no clue what it is or why it’s important. You need to be an educated consumer! 

My Soap Box 

Here’s where I know I am going to get in trouble!  But, sometimes you must break the rules to make things better, to instigate change! 

In my opinion, IBM is setting their IBM Cognos Planning Analytics and Cognos Analytics clients that are on PVU licensing up for failure!  The current process is broken.  As an attorney, I feel IBM fails to adequately disclose or make it easy for clients to adhere to the terms of a somewhat confusing contract. IBM you are better than this!  IBM auditors can penalize clients that are not intentionally stealing licensing, but those that simply failed to install the ILMT monitoring tool.  

One client that did not install the ILMT, and was not using too many PVUS was told by the auditors, that IBM was going to charge them over $78,000 to quote “settle” the audit but they would allow the client to apply the payment to purchasing other IBM products not related to the audit. However, they were not allowed to purchase the additional licenses from a partner. They were forced to buy direct from IBM. This confuses me. If a client, “failed” the audit shouldn’t they be required to purchase the licenses they were out of compliance on?  But since in this situation they were only out of compliance with the ILMT which is free and not any other licenses, IBM said they could buy other software. Luckily for the client they were growing their BI footprint and could buy BI licenses. Not so lucky for the partner they were working with in the process because IBM would not allow them to buy from the partner helping them succeed at business intelligence.

Next Steps: 

Contact us at Services@Lodestarsolutions.com and we can walk you through your specific situation.  We will also provide you with our document on how to calculate your PVUs.  We are here to help and show you a better way! 

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

6/21/2017

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 https://lodestarsolutions.com/ibm-ilmt-do-i-need-to-install-for-cognos-bi-tm1-or-express-environment/

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 https://lodestarsolutions.com/ibm-ilmt-do-i-need-to-install-for-cognos-bi-tm1-or-express-environment/. 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 sales@lodestarsolutions.com

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 renewals@lodestarsolutions.com

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 9.2.0.2 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 Services@lodestarsolutions.com.

X