IBM Eliminates Sub-Capacity Licensing for Windows 2008 Servers

Microsoft recently ended support for all servers running Windows 2008, Windows 2008 R2, and Windows 7 operating systems.  After support ended, IBM announced that after Q3 2020, it would no longer support its IBM License Metric Tool (“ILMT”) on any computer running those operating systems.  IBM also announced that computers running those operating systems would no longer be included on the “list of technologies eligible for subcapacity [sic] licensing.”  (See schedule here.)

This makes sense because in order to qualify for sub-capacity licensing, servers must have ILMT installed and configured, and if IBM is no longer supporting ILMT on those machines, IBM customers would likely have difficulty qualifying for sub-capacity licensing.  IBM also announced that it would discontinue support ILMT for IBM i 6.1 after Q2 2020.

Many IBM customers rely on sub-capacity licensing to reduce the number of processor licenses required for physical machines that host virtualized systems.  With sub-capacity licensing, instead of purchasing licenses for the physical processors on the host, customers can instead purchase licenses for the virtualized processors on which IBM products are installed and running.  To qualify for sub-capacity licensing, IBM requires customers to install and configure ILMT on those physical hosts, and it also requires customers to generate and retain reports on a periodic basis.  Customers who fail to install ILMT or generate the required reports are not eligible to use sub-capacity licensing for their virtualized environments.

Prior to the deadline, IBM customers should identify any systems in their environments running on i 6.1, Windows 2008, Windows 2008 R2, or Windows 7 to determine whether it is possible to upgrade the operating systems to a supported version.  If it is not possible to upgrade, customers have two options:

1) license the full capacity of the physical host; or

2) contact IBM to see if it will grant a limited extension.

Any customer that continues to use sub-capacity to license products on unsupported operating systems will be subject to compliance penalties in the event of an audit or license review.

For more information about IBM audits, IBM licensing, or ILMT, please contact the experienced attorneys at Scott & Scott, LLP.