Revised information: IBM Spectrum Control and IBM Virtual Storage Center storage capacity unit licensing updates

IBM United States Software Announcement 220-114
February 11, 2020

Table of contents
Effective dateEffective dateOrder nowOrder now
 Charge metric Charge metric


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As storage-class memory is being introduced to the world of storage systems, IBM is adjusting the cost of storage management by adding category for these super-fast solid-state drives (SSDs) within the Storage Capacity Unit (SCU) definitions.

The following list of changes have been made to the definition of SCUs:

  • A category has been defined for storage-class memory media, as well as for IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud
  • The factor for flash and SSDs has been adjusted
  • The factor for Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and Fibre Channel drives has been adjusted

The license metric SCU is used for the following offerings:

  • IBM Spectrum Control Standard Edition
  • IBM Spectrum Control Advanced Edition
  • IBM Virtual Storage Center

For complete information about IBM Spectrum Control products and IBM Virtual Storage Center, see Software Announcement 218-333, dated September 4, 2018.

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Effective date

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February 11, 2020

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Charge metric

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Licensed product

Program name PID number Charge metric
IBM Spectrum® Control Standard Edition (for PPA) 5725-F93 Storage Capacity Unit (SCU)
IBM Spectrum Control Standard Edition (for AAS) 5608-PC1 Storage Capacity Unit (SCU)
IBM Spectrum Control Advanced Edition (for PPA) 5725-Y23 Storage Capacity Unit (SCU)
IBM Spectrum Control Advanced Edition (for AAS) 5641-AEA Storage Capacity Unit (SCU)
IBM® Virtual Storage Center (for PPA) 5725-F92 Storage Capacity Unit (SCU)
IBM Virtual Storage Center (for AAS) 5608-AE1 Storage Capacity Unit (SCU)

Managed capacity

A managed TiB is the total capacity of the storage device after RAID has been applied and spare disks and capacity have been deducted. Therefore, it is the capacity that can be provisioned to servers to be used to store data. This means that any form or cache (DRAM or SSD/flash storage) does not need to be included, and that the capacity licensed is less than the raw capacity of a storage device.

For systems that use data reduction technologies such as compression and deduplication on the system level, the managed capacity is defined as the amount of usable space and not the effective capacity of data that can be stored.

The managed capacity is always the total usable capacity of a storage device, not the effective capacity. Partial licensing of a device is not allowed.

Licensing metric definitions


A terabyte (TiB) is 2 to the 40th power bytes.

Storage Capacity Units

A Storage Capacity Unit (SCU) measures managed capacity in a way that the price is differentiated by the technology used to store the data.

The managed capacity does not have to be licensed more than once when using a combination of solutions with IBM Spectrum Control managing all of them. For example, when a DS8000® storage system is virtualized by SVC and both the DS8000 storage system and the SVC are added to IBM Spectrum Control, each managed TiB is counted only once and the SCU category is determined by the physical storage media. In case only the SVC has been added to IBM Spectrum Control, the information about the MDisks Easy Tier® type and capacity is used to classify the SCU categories.

Sufficient entitlements must be obtained for the number of SCUs required to cover the total usable capacity managed by the program as defined below.

A unit is classified as one of the following four categories:

  • Category 1: Storage-class memory and IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud
  • Category 2: Flash and solid-state drives (SSDs)
  • Category 3: Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) drives, Fibre Channel drives, and systems using Category 4 drives with advanced architectures to deliver high-end storage performance
  • Category 4: Nearline SAS (NL-SAS) and Serial ATA (SATA) drives

Any storage capacity used that is not listed above is classified as Category 1.

Each SCU entitlement can be used to cover either:

  • 1 TiB of Category 1 storage
  • 1.18 TiB of Category 2 storage
  • 2 TiB of Category 3 storage
  • 4 TiB of Category 4 storage

Additional information

You can only mix the license of the IBM Spectrum Control type. For example, you can mix IBM Spectrum Control Standard Edition with IBM Spectrum Control Standard Select Edition.

You can also mix IBM Spectrum Control Advanced Edition with IBM Spectrum Control Advanced Select Edition, and also with any IBM Virtual Storage Center Edition because it already contains IBM Spectrum Control Advanced Edition.

IBM Spectrum Control Standard and IBM Spectrum Control Advanced license cannot be mixed, and they cannot be used on the same IBM Spectrum Control Server.

For more information about charge metrics for these licensed products, see the following License Information documents:

Program Number License Information document title License Information document number
IBM Spectrum Control Standard Edition L-KKEY-BJBPMN
IBM Spectrum Control Advanced Edition L-KKEY-BJBQKN
IBM Virtual Storage Center L-KKEY-BJBQQP

Note: The License Information documents in this announcement supersede the information previously announced in 218-333, dated September 4, 2018.

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Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act

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IBM Spectrum Control Standard Edition, IBM Spectrum Control Advanced Edition, and IBM Virtual Storage Center are capable, when used in accordance with associated IBM documentation, of satisfying the applicable standards, including the Worldwide Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, European Standard EN 301 349, and US Section 508, provided that any assistive technology used with the product properly interoperates with it. An Accessibility Conformance Statement can be requested on the Product accessibility information website.

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Passport Advantage®

For Passport Advantage information and charges, contact your IBM representative, authorized IBM Business Partner, or authorized IBM Business Partner for Software ValueNet, if applicable. For additional information about the Passport Advantage Agreement, go to the Passport Advantage and Passport Advantage Express® website.

IBM Global Financing

IBM Global Financing offers competitive financing to credit-qualified clients and IBM Business Partners to assist them in acquiring IT solutions. Our offerings include financing for IT acquisition, including hardware, software, and services, from both IBM and other manufacturers or vendors. Offerings (for all client segments: small, medium, and large enterprise), rates, terms, and availability can vary by country. Contact your local IBM Global Financing organization or go to the IBM Global Financing website for more information.

IBM Global Financing offerings are provided through IBM Credit LLC in the United States and other IBM subsidiaries and divisions worldwide to qualified commercial and government clients. Rates are based on a client's credit rating, financing terms, offering type, equipment type and options, and may vary by country. Other restrictions may apply. Rates and offerings are subject to change, extension or withdrawal without notice.

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Order now

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To order, contact the IBM Digital Sales Center, your local IBM representative, or your IBM Business Partner. To identify your local IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, call 800-IBM-4YOU (426-4968). For more information, contact the IBM Digital Sales Center.

Phone: 800-IBM-CALL (426-2255)

Fax: 800-2IBM-FAX (242-6329)

For IBM representative: askibm@ca.®

For IBM Business Partner: pwcs@us.

IBM Digital Sales Offices
1177 S Belt Line Rd
Coppell, TX 75019-4642, US

The IBM Digital Sales Center, our national direct marketing organization, can add your name to the mailing list for catalogs of IBM products.

Note: Shipments will begin after the planned availability date.

IBM Spectrum, IBM, DS8000, Easy Tier, Passport Advantage, Express and are registered trademarks of IBM Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.

Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

Terms of use

IBM products and services which are announced and available in your country can be ordered under the applicable standard agreements, terms, conditions, and prices in effect at the time. IBM reserves the right to modify or withdraw this announcement at any time without notice. This announcement is provided for your information only. Additional terms of use are located at

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