IBM License Metric Tool: To Flex(Net) Or Not to Flex(Net)?by ps

Since Flexera announced that its SAM-Tool is accepted by IBM as an alternative to ILMT (IBM License Metric Tool) in regard to SubCap-Licensing, there has been a lot of excitement around the Software Asset Management community. The news sounded tempting, especially to those who, on a daily basis, have to undertake the Sisyphean labor of managing ILMT’s software inventories and sign audit reports respectively report PVU-consumption. What agited the masses was and still is the question: Can Flexera’s SAM-Tool be used instead of IBM ILMT and will IBM actually legally accept it?

The answer is quite straight-forward: FlexNet-user should not simply install the FlexNet Manager Platform, run with it and assume that IBM will accept it. Instead they should read the IBM Terms on the Flexera’s website (1) first and then ponder carefully if it is worth to go in for a change and replace ILMT’s discovery and inventory capabilities by Flexera’s.

It is important to say, that at the bottom-line IBM sub-capacity reporting requires FlexNet Manager for IBM and FlexNet Manager Platform. These two products must be installed together and at version 2015 R2 or later and it is the FlexNet-User who is fully responsible

…that FlexNet Manager for IBM is functionally equivalent to the most current version of ILMT and provide equivalent reporting (including without limitation a minimum scan frequency of 30 minutes), and

…that FlexNet Manager for IBM is properly installed, configured and maintained at all times

…for working with Flexera to ensure that such conditions are met

…procuring additional Flexera Software products, if required, to meet these conditions.

Even if you can guarantee to fulfill all the above stated obligations, IBM still reserves the right to verify your FlexNet Manager for IBM installation using the assistance of a third party.

IBM’s authorization is furthermore limited to FlexNet Manager for IBM performing discovery and reporting of processor usage either natively or integrated with IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT), Tivoli Asset Discovery for Distributed (TADd) or IBM BigFix Inventory. The authorization does not apply to Flexera acting as an aggregator/dashboard and reporting processor usage discovered by other third party tools.

As the terms have to be accepeted by IBM, FlexNet user have to undergo a formal approval process:

(1) They have to register with IBM and formally submit a request via a Flexera representative.

(2) IBM will review the request and will provide related position.

(3) If IBM agrees, according to the Terms, FlexNet-user are also required to sign a Passport Advantage amendment with IBM with the related Terms.

As stated in a post in the developerworks forum July 21st, 2016 (2), IBM does not certify neither validate Flexera solution and accordingly to the Terms it is only customer responsibility to ensure functional equivalence with ILMT latest releases and updates and it is at full user risk to do so.

So running the FlexNet Manager Platform and FlexNet Manager for IBM for subcap-licensing comes definitely with a price tag. The number on it depending on the ability of the tool-set to be functional respectively technical equivalent to its IBM counterpart(s) not only on dispatch but on a day-to-day basis without much input from the customer side. Contractually spreading risk and responsibilities between customer and tool-vendor to fulfill IBM’s terms can in consequence prevent from unexpected surprises. Consequence: The initial euphoria has now been followed by a sense of sobriety.

(1), 2016-09-07

(2), 2016-09-07

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