IBM Software PVU’s Made Easy
Simplifying PVU’s from IBM Software. What they are, how to find out the PVU count for your server and how to calculate the cost of your software, including the impact of hyperthreading and virtual machines.
PVU’s, or Processor Value Units, from IBM, are seen by most to be a complicated way to buy software. IBM say:
A Processor Value Unit (PVU) is a unit of measure used to differentiate licensing of software on distributed processor technologies (defined by Processor Vendor, Brand, Type and Model Number). IBM continues to define a processor, for purposes of PVU-based licensing, to be each processor core on a chip (socket). Each software Program has a unique price per PVU.
In other words, the more power in your server, the higher the PVU count will be. As IBM then charge a defined amount per PVU, you can then calculate what the total cost of your IBM software will be. This is for most IBM software brands, including Cognos, TM1, SPSS, Rational, Websphere and Lotus.
Also note that this means that the impact of hyper threading is ignored. Therefore if you have a quad core server with hyperthreading enabled, then this will be assessed as a quad core machine.
Further note, that you must also be running IBM’s Licence Metric Tool to record how many cores are assigned to each VM in to avoid large fines from IBM for over use.
You can go to the IBM website here to see a table for PVU’s for different processors and on this page as well is a link to a tool where you can calculate PVU’s for a server. Note that IBM updates the PVU values regularly so please check back as often as required.
As an example, let’s say you look up the specs on a server and find that it is a 4 core server at 70 PVU per core. You then learn that the price per PVU is $345. This would mean that the server would cost you 4 x 70 x $345, or $96,600.
It is really important to understand the licensing implications of running virtual servers and the requirements on you as part of your IBM Passport Advantage licence agreement. Please see this post for a detailed explanation of this that could literally save you millions!
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