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What is IBM’s IASP offering?

Licensing audits are time-consuming, expensive, and can disrupt everyday business processes. IBM created their IASP offering to enhance SAM processes while helping customers reduce audit and compliance risks.

IBM’s Authorized SAM Provider (IASP) offering is meant to enhance and strengthen their customer relationships. With this as an alternative to the traditional audit of software license consumption, it’s also meant to help customers by teaching them how to proactively manage their environment.

While this is a by-invitation-only program, customers can request to be included. IBM may also take recommendations from IASP vendors to include customers who might benefit.

What it means

The goal of IBM’s IASP program is focused on creating better SAM practices, processes, and compliance. With proactive IBM management, organizations can more effectively facilitate transitioning to hybrid cloud environments.

IBM can invite qualified customers to work with specified partners, which IBM describes as “an alternative to an IBM audit” to aid in continuous monitoring of IBM usage.

The IASP benefits range from reducing business disruption or surprises, and ensuring installations are optimized and compliant with sub-capacity licensing. By helping reduce or eliminate associated audit fees or penalties, customers receive contracted pricing for compliance issues and would be allowed to perform certain optimizations prior to submitting reports to IBM and more.

An alternative solution for managing IBM sub-capacity licensing

Sub-capacity licensing can save money but adds layers of complexity to IBM license management. Most IBM-based Processor Value Unit (PVU) and Virtual Processor Core (VPC) software products are eligible for sub-capacity licensing. A VPC is a unit of measurement used to determine the licensing cost for certain IBM products. It’s based on the number of virtual cores per unit (vCPUs) available to each product.

While there are exceptions (see here), PVU licensing is based on the processor technology and VPC licensing is based on the VPC-to- license ratio and is defined in the PVU table located on IBM’s website. Flexera’s ITAM solution provides sub-capacity reporting for VPU and VPC, including IBM Cloud Paks bundled and non-bundled products licensed using the VPC metric. What are IBM Cloud Paks?

IBM introduced IBM Cloud Paks, which are enterprise-grade container software designed to offer faster and more reliable ways to build, move and manage on the cloud, and to help open a faster, more secure way to move workloads to the cloud. IBM Cloud Pak are usually licensed using the VPC to-license ratio metric for each product. For example, with 1 VPC of this IBM Cloud Pak offering, you can use 1 VPC of API lifecycle management, which can be deployed in traditional infrastructure, public cloud, and containers.

How can Flexera help?

Since 2015 Flexera has been an approved IBM sub-capacity tool and an alternative to ILMT/BigFix. Our FlexNet Manager Suite (FNMS) is the only accepted tool available as an approved IBM replacement outside of their IASP program. Flexera’s FNMS tool provides out-of-the-box IBM sub-capacity reporting for each of the IBM-defined regions (Americas, Europe/Africa, and the Asia Pacific).

Flexera’s FNMS tool will track hardware computing resources and software changes with the ability to retain historical data for retroactive changes at any time and adjust the sub-capacity licenses based on any adjustments.

Due to the frequent data collection and retention requirements for sub-capacity reporting, IBM licensing is quite complex. With the recent introduction of IBM Cloud Paks, each charged product part contributes to the IBM Cloud Pak peak consumption individually based on its VPC -to- license ratio.

Flexera FNMS 2020 R2 and later releases can provide support for IBM Cloud Paks, sub-capacity reporting, and transparency to provide visibility into each product contribution.

Licensing compliance isn’t easy, but Flexera can help track your hardware and software to keep you compliant while optimizing your software spend. As an accepted third-party tool, we can provide the needed sub-capacity reporting trusted by IBM.

To learn more about using FlexNet Manager for IBM sub-capacity reporting, please contact Flexera.