Monthly Archives: October 2011

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DB2 Licence Audit – When the big blue comes a knocking

So we all know that we each year we pay out a not small amount of money for ongoing licencing and maintenance costs, and you may or may not know that every (apparently) three to five years IBM come round and want to check that what you pay for is what you use. In this article I want to cover what I / we have experienced so far an I will hope to do a future post on the outcomes.

The main IBM contact at our business was contacted by Deloitte and was told that we were going to be audited, this was not a particularly good time for us as we were moving our data centre and moving to the cloud, so genuinely we asked them if it would be OK to postpone for a couple of weeks, and comfortingly it was. The first meeting they had with us was to introduce the process and the people that would be involved. The process is that Deloitte will come in and gather the facts of your DB2 estate, but equally will want to make sure you have fully up to date on all other IBM and “IBM Company” products e.g. Lotus notes etc. They will send you a copy of the factual report for “agreement on the factual accuracy” before they “step out” of the process, hand the report to IBM and you either get a pat on the head for being a good little customer, or you pay up at the going rate for what you are over using with no special bid process.

For me this was a particullarly interesting process in that the person that used to deal with the actual licencing had left the company and it had not really been picked up by anyone, so once the audit was looming it fell to me to look into and it sort out. We licence with the CPU option so I can only comment on that but the pre-audit preparation that I carried out:

1. Work out how many PVU’s a single core of your processor in your server(s) is using the Processor Value Unit Calculator provided by IBM.

2. Go to passport advantage and login and download (print ?) your latest licence documents which will have the amount of PVU’s that you have been paying for, and for what products these are on, either actual (DB2 ESE) or features (DB2 Storage Optimisation) .

3. Work out how many cores DB2 is using, either physical or virtual. So if one core is 50 PVU’s and you have two quad core processors in your server then it would be 50 * 4 * 2 = 400 PVU’s for that server to licence a product that cant be “core limited” (if there are any). The thing to note here is that if you are running a Virtual Machines (VM’s) then if you over allocate processors (e.g. not a 1 to 1 relationship) in the VM to the physical system then you need extra PVU’s for that. If you have an 8 core physical machine, but you allocate 3 VM’s with 3 cores each (3 * 3 = 9) then you will need 50 * 9 = 450 PVU’s. This “sub capacity licencing” apparently should be covered by the reports from the Tivoli Licence Compliance Manager which we had not installed anywhere. I was never asked to but I found some exceptions that I think is the reason I was never told too by the previous incumbent of licencing that can be found here

4. Compare what you think you are using to what your licencing documents say, see if there is a mismatch in the number of PVU’s. Make sure you account for the right product on the right servers by running db2licm -l. Make sure that you have enough for the product and any features, if your server is 400 PVU’s  and ran DB2 ESE with Storage Optimisation, you will need 400 PVU’s  of DB2 ESE and 400 PVU’s of Storage Optimisation. If you are in the red then probably time to contact your vendor and get PVU’s  bought (will come to why later) and if break even or are in the black for some reason then probably no need to worry. Make sure you also work out the PVU’s used and licensed for all the features that you have (e.g. Storage Optimisation) also as they will check that too.

5. Apply your licence keys to all your instances for the product and features and make sure that when you run the db2licm -l or db2licm -g <Output file name> that everything comes back as in compliance. Otherwise get on the Passport advantage site again and download and apply those keys.

6. Find out from all parties in your business that may have an instance or two of DB2, or a legacy system that might run DB2 (basically any DB2 that you do not manage) if they know anything about it and if it is free (express-c) or licensed and who looks after that aspect. If the answers are don’t know probably best you take more work on your broad shoulders and say you will take a look at it and carry out the above steps for those systems because as they will choose this server to report on as part of the subset any unlicensed product (as sods law goes).

So the first thing to note here is that Deloitte are a middle man they just “gather facts”, and these are the facts on the day that they (or you) come round to check the system, so if you are in the red like in point four above it might be possible to get PVU’s bought before they come round. This if you do it before you may be able to get them at less than list price, if it is after the audit (as a consequence of) then it will be at the IBM list price! The other point to note is that they will want you to do most of the checking yourself, so not only are they getting paid by IBM to do the audit, they expect you to collect their evidence for them. The spreadsheet they sent us was for the wrong licencing format (user as opposed to CPU) and so we got them to come in and “do what they needed to do”, but as it turns out we still had to most of it as they were not allowed and provide them with the evidence, for them to collect or put into a spreadsheet!

Evidence they wanted off me as the DBA was the output from db2licm -g and information on the number of cores DB2 was running on. From our system admins they wanted scripts running on a subset of our whole server estate and screen shots of various things.

The stage we are at currently is that we are waiting for the report on factual accuracy, so that we can sign it off before IBM see it to give us either a pat on the head or a caning by the big blue headmaster.