A recent article in The Register, highlights changes that IBM made to its Passport Advantage program toward the end of 2014. The article points out that now it is even more important for IBM customers to maintain good records of their IBM software installations and stay in compliance with their license agreements. The Passport Advantage wording now states:
“If client’s records are inadequate to determine IBM Subscription and Support or Selected Support charges, IBM’s charges for any excess usage will include two years of associated maintenance and IBM Subscription and Support or Selected Support.”
This means that if you are audited by IBM, are found to be out of compliance (“excess usage”), and you cannot produce accurate records for your IBM software use, you could be liable for a full two-years’ maintenance back payment, in addition to the license true-up costs to get back into compliance.
Keeping track of IBM licensing can be challenging. For example, their Processor Value Unit (PVU) license model provides for both full capacity and sub-capacity (virtual environment) licensing. While sub-capacity licensing can save you money on your IBM software, since you don’t have to license all of the processor-cores in the server, it also adds more complexity to the IBM license management problem.