The issues with ILMT

16 May 2016 | Datacentre, SAM/SLO

The IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT) is designed to help IBM Passport Advantage 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.

According to IBM it will help:

  • Achieve and maintain compliance with Passport Advantage license terms – generates reports to help determine if you have the appropriate number of PVU license entitlements (full and sub-capacity) for each Passport Advantage PVU-based product installed in your environment.
  • Comply with Passport Advantage sub-capacity offerings license terms – These terms require that you create, verify, adjust, sign and save IBM License Metric Tool reports. With sub-capacity licensing, you are only charged for the logical or virtual server capacity in use by Passport Advantage PVU-based software.
  • Support distributed server virtualization – This tool helps provide PVU-based software inventory reports to help manage diversified workload consolidations onto virtualized servers.
  • Lower liability risks – reduces the risk of not meeting your Passport Advantage PVU-based contractual licensing conditions, along with avoiding the expense of unplanned license compliance payments.
  • Track IBM PVU-based software inventory – helps maintain that continuously updated inventory of Passport Advantage PVU-based software assets are installed on the network.


This sounds an ideal tool (in theory) for helping with SAM in an IBM environment, but in practice, it doesn’t work out this way.

Eric Chiu, independent IBM licensing specialist, commented. “Everybody complains about ILMT, it breaks all the time, it’s hard to configure and IBM partners will try to charge you a fortune to help you roll it out.

“Additionally, it does not perform ‘automatic bundling’ for most of the signatures identified. This means an expert has to conduct interviews with product owners and investigate acquired licence entitlement to determine the actual product then apply bundling accordingly. Taking the initial ‘guess’ by ILMT and not confirming it, and eventually causing ILMT to misreport is not an inaccuracy that will be accepted by IBM.

“In IBM’s eyes’, ILMT does not make mistakes. If it is not reporting accurately, it is your (the customer’s) fault in not configuring the tool properly. It is harsh but true in most cases where ILMT breaks (e.g. people forgot to sync the new password for VM Connector).

“What you should do, if you have a genuine technical fault with ILMT, is raise a ticket (PMR) with IBM, then you would have a chance of defending your position during an audit.”

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