What we offer for licensing

Get an overview of IBM Z software licensing, including MLC, zIPLA, sub-capacity, country multiplex and more. Explore these options for IBM software products that run on the mainframe below.

Learn about reporting and charging as well as options for migrating and transitioning.


MLC licensing

What is Monthly License Charge (MLC)?

MLC is a recurring charge that is applied monthly. This charge includes the right to use the product and provides access to IBM product support during the support period. An IBM pricing metric establishes both the prices and the applicable terms and conditions for IBM software products.

Select an MLC pricing metric, based on your goals and/or your environment. The selected metric will be used to price MLC products, such as z/OS, z/TPF, z/VSE, middleware, compilers and selected systems management tools and utilities.


zIPLA licensing

What are the benefits of zIPLA licensing?
International Program License Agreement (IPLA) programs have a one-time-charge (OTC) and an optional annual maintenance charge, called Subscription & Support.

This annual charge includes access to IBM technical support and enables you to obtain version upgrades at no charge for products that generally fall under the zIPLA such app development tools, CICS tools, data management tools, WebSphere for Z products, Linux on Z middleware and z/VM Version 4 and later.

Common pricing metrics
Value Unit (VU) pricing is the most common pricing metric for IPLA software on the mainframe.

Processor Value Unit pricing, under the Passport Advantage software licensing program, is a per-engine charge primarily used for Linux on Z middleware products.


Sub-capacity licensing

What is sub-capacity?

Sub-capacity is software charges for certain IBM products based on the utilization capacity of the logical partitions (LPARs) on which the product runs.

In addition to an explanation of the contractual terms and conditions there are also different procedures to follow for certain circumstances (such as machine upgrades) and some information about the technology which forms the basis for the sub-capacity licensing rules.

Steps for sub-capacity reporting

  1. Customer submits their report to IBM by the 9th of the month for the prior month's data collection period (e.g. Aug 2 to Sept 1).
  2. IBM receives and processes monthly sub-capacity report, updating billing based upon the reported utilization.
  3. Customer receives system generated invoice on the first of the following month based upon reported utilization from the submitted month.

Sysplex licensing

What is Sysplex licensing?

IBM allows monthly license charge software licenses to be aggregated across a qualified Parallel Sysplex when certain criteria are met. To qualify, machines must comply with the criteria in each of the following four categories: hardware, software, operation and verification. Machines that meet all of the criteria are known as “actively coupled.”

Please use the document below to access the details for each of these categories.

Programmer's guide

Create a Sysplex environment that delivers both the availability and systems management cost savings.

Sysplex calculator

This no-charge tool helps you assess if your Sysplex qualifies for aggregation. Analyze SMF data from two or more machines and produce a report describing to which Sysplex each machine belongs.

Verification package

Notify IBM when you build a new Parallel Sysplex which qualifies for aggregated pricing. IBM may require verification of these criteria by completing this package.

z/OS Parallel Sysplex configuration

Get assistance in making the hardware and software choices to meet your performance, capacity, and availability requirements.

Merging systems into a Sysplex

Considerations when merging systems into the more closely integrated environment of a Sysplex.

Why Parallel Sysplex?

Harness the power of many z/OS systems, yet make these systems behave like a single, logical computing facility.

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