August 29, 2023 By Steve Sibley 3 min read

One of the hallmarks of the IBM i business has been how we continue to deliver new innovations and evolve the platform to provide clients greater return on investment and acceleration in adopting new capabilities. From enabling a fully virtualized platform supporting UNIX, Linux and IBM i on a single system to provide economic efficiencies, to evolving the application environment with PASE and increasing support of open source languages (providing support for IBM i in the IBM Cloud), to more recent innovations like Db2 Mirror and the Merlin application development environment, we intend to continue to provide you with the most integrated, advanced and easy-to-use platform in the industry.

Businesses today require more flexibility in how they acquire computing capacity. With that in mind, IBM is announcing a shift in our licensing model for IBM i to a simplified subscription-based model. Starting March 26, 2024, IBM i entitlements for P05 and P10 software licenses will only be available as subscription-term offerings moving forward.

Some of the advantages provided by subscription-term licensing are listed below.


IBM i subscription-term licenses will give clients maximal flexibility on where and how to deploy their licenses. Clients can move IBM i subscription-term licenses around within their enterprise with no transfer fees, making hardware upgrades more affordable than traditional licenses and giving users the ability to rapidly respond to new business demands without having to worry about additional costs.

IBM i subscription-term licenses can be deployed traditionally via server serial number or with a virtual serial number, giving users additional flexibility by allowing them to assign a license to a partition rather than to an entire Power server. Clients can sign up for IBM i subscription terms in one-to-five-year terms based on their business needs. Once they have a subscription-term license, they can choose to renew their subscription terms automatically or acquire new subscription terms with just a few clicks.      


Subscription-term licensing will give clients an easier way to keep their technology current and reduce potential vulnerabilities. New subscription terms are always on the latest release of the operating system, and clients are automatically upgraded with every new subscription term they acquire. Licensed Program Product (LPP) subscriptions are always available at the latest version. This gives clients peace of mind knowing their operating system and solutions are always up to date.


With increasing IT complexities in challenging environments, subscription terms will help IBM i clients keep things as simple as possible. Expired software license keys and panicked calls to sellers and Business Partners may become a thing of the past when auto-renewal is turned on. Clients will no longer worry about planning for two separate expenses (software licenses and SWMA), as both are bundled into one subscription term price.

New functions will be provided to monitor the status of subscription-term keys on a single dashboard in IBM Navigator for i. New facilities for renewing current subscription terms or signing up for new ones can be done with just a few clicks in a self-service experience.  

Cost optimization

IT budgets are under constant pressure, but subscription-term licenses can help IBM i clients alleviate some of that pain. Subscription-term licenses provide a lower up-front cost compared to traditional non-expiring (perpetual) licensing, and payments do not change year to year during the duration of the subscription term, making annual IT budget planning easier and more predictable.

For clients looking to move their IT expenditures from CapEx to OpEx, subscription-term licensing could make this possible depending on the accounting practices of their company. With IBM i subscription-term licenses, transfers can be executed within the enterprise with no fee. Simply by signing up for a new subscription term, clients on older or unsupported releases can get current technology and support without paying a SWMA reinstatement fee.

Learn more

These are just some of the benefits IBM i clients will realize as they transition to IBM i subscription-term licensing. Business Partners and ISVs alike will also see some of the same benefits as they start to transform their businesses. This step along the path to IBM i Business Transformation is enormous as IBM transforms the IBM i portfolio to set clients up for future success with hybrid cloud.

Learn more about the IBM i platform and subscription-term licenses

More from Cloud

IBM Cloud Virtual Servers and Intel launch new custom cloud sandbox

4 min read - A new sandbox that use IBM Cloud Virtual Servers for VPC invites customers into a nonproduction environment to test the performance of 2nd Gen and 4th Gen Intel® Xeon® processors across various applications. Addressing performance concerns in a test environment Performance testing is crucial to understanding the efficiency of complex applications inside your cloud hosting environment. Yes, even in managed enterprise environments like IBM Cloud®. Although we can deliver the latest hardware and software across global data centers designed for…

10 industries that use distributed computing

6 min read - Distributed computing is a process that uses numerous computing resources in different operating locations to mimic the processes of a single computer. Distributed computing assembles different computers, servers and computer networks to accomplish computing tasks of widely varying sizes and purposes. Distributed computing even works in the cloud. And while it’s true that distributed cloud computing and cloud computing are essentially the same in theory, in practice, they differ in their global reach, with distributed cloud computing able to extend…

How a US bank modernized its mainframe applications with IBM Consulting and Microsoft Azure

9 min read - As organizations strive to stay ahead of the curve in today's fast-paced digital landscape, mainframe application modernization has emerged as a critical component of any digital transformation strategy. In this blog, we'll discuss the example of a US bank which embarked on a journey to modernize its mainframe applications. This strategic project has helped it to transform into a more modern, flexible and agile business. In looking at the ways in which it approached the problem, you’ll gain insights into…

IBM Newsletters

Get our newsletters and topic updates that deliver the latest thought leadership and insights on emerging trends.
Subscribe now More newsletters