IBM ILMT Checklist for Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytic Customers

IBM ILMT Checklist for Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytic Customers
IBM ILMT Checklist for Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytic Customers
Written by Heather L. Cole, December 8th, 2023

December is a great time to review, reflect, and plan for the next year.  So, Lodestar Solutions thought it would be a great time to provide a short and easy checklist for our Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics customers to ensure they are not at risk of failing an IBM Audit.  So, we created this simple IBM ILMT Checklist for Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytic Customers.

PVU and ILMT Basics

For those new to administering Cognos or Planning Analytics licensing let’s start with the basics. If you know the basics, just skip down to the ILMT checklist…

What is a Processor Value Unit?

A PVU (Processor Value Unit) is a unit of measure used by IBM to determine the usage on the server. Technically, a PVU license is assigned to the Analytic Server, meaning there is a cost per core processor. Simple enough right? Not so fast. The value assigned to each core depends on the hardware. Not all core processors are treated alike. It’s kind of like being taxed a little higher for a luxury automobile, the better the performance the higher the tax. A server’s Processor Value Unit count is defined by the brand, model, and number of physical processors running in the server and the number of core chips per processor. To calculate the number of Processor Value Units, it also is necessary to refer to IBM’s PVU-per-core ratings for current processor technologies, which are updated on IBM’s website here.

What is the ILMT?

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 install 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.

For more information see our blog, ILMT Tool Questions and Answers

And check out IBM’s page on the ILMT.  See, we aren’t making this up.  

Who Needs the ILMT?

If you have Cognos Analytics PVU licensing, we are pretty certain you need it installed.  If you have IBM Planning Analytics licensing that includes PVUs, you must have it installed. Note there are licensing options that don’t require the ILMT but if you look at your proof of entitlements from IBM just look for PVU licensing, it should be in the name.  Need help, contact us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Here's our IBM ILMT Checklist

1.   Processes Value Unit Licensing (PVU) with IBM: 

  • Confirm whether your organization has adopted Processes Value Unit Licensing (PVU) with IBM by checking your Proof of Entitlements from IBM.
  • Ensure that all relevant departments and personnel are aware of and compliant with PVU licensing.

2.   Non-Production Environment for Testing and Upgrades:  

  • Verify the existence of a designated Non-Production Environment for testing and upgrades.
  • If you are using a non-production environment you should ensure you have the proper licensing for Non-Production too.  This requirement depends on the unique software you use and who uses it, so check with Lodestar to confirm if this is required. (See our blog for more information.) To ask specific questions, email us at  services@lodestarsolutions.com.

3.   Run the ILMT Report Quarterly: 

  • Confirm that the ILMT report is run regularly at a minimum every quarter.
  • Schedule and assign responsibility for running the report to ensure consistent monitoring.

4.   Check ILMT Report Results Against the Licensing You Own: 

  • Review ILMT report results to verify compliance with processor value unit licensing owned.
  • Take corrective actions if the report indicates potential over-usage to avoid licensing issues.
    - You can reduce the core processors allocated.
    - Purchase additional PVUs of licensing. Email us at Sales@lodestarsolutions.com to receive a quote.

5.   Archive 2 Years of Reports on a Different Server: 

  • Establish a process for archiving ILMT reports, ensuring that at least two years' worth of reports are stored.
  • Store archived reports on a separate server or secure location for easy access during audits or historical reference and to ensure when you upgrade you don’t blow away the reports with the old environment.

In Summary

The main reason we see clients fail audits is they either don’t have the ILMT installed and properly running with their PVU licensing, or they don’t have 2 years of reports.

Remember to adapt this ILMT Checklist to the specific needs and nuances of your organization's IT environment. Regular reviews and updates to the checklist may be necessary to accommodate changes in technology, licensing agreements, or organizational processes. We hope you leverage our IBM ILMT Checklist for Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytic Customers.

Need help, have questions? Lodestar Solutions has your back!  Contact us if you need:

  • To review your IBM Licensing
  • To install the ILMT Software
  • To automate the running of the ILMT and more…

Just email us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com. We are here to help.

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.

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