Sub-capacity licensing lets you license an eligible software product for less than the full capacity of your server or group of servers.

Sub-capacity Overview

Sub-capacity licensing lets you license an eligible software product for less than the full capacity of your server or group of servers. It provides the licensing granularity needed to leverage various multi-core chip and virtualization technologies.

The sub-capacity software licensing terms are documented in the International Passport Advantage and Passport Advantage Express Agreements (IPAA).

A summary of sub-capacity licensing requirements follows.

Sub-capacity Requirements

Customers who obtain eligible sub-capacity products for use in an eligible virtualization environment must obtain entitlements sufficient to cover all activated processor cores* made available to or managed by the Program, as defined according to the Virtualization Capacity License Counting Rules and

* An Activated processor core is a processor core that is available for use in a physical or virtual server, regardless of whether the capacity of the processor core can be or is limited through virtualization technologies, operating system commands, BIOS settings, or similar restrictions.

Eligible Sub-Capacity Products & Technologies

Products priced on a per-core metrics listed below are supported for sub-capacity pricing and shown in the left column. IBM License Metric Tool requirements for each metric are listed to the right.

Metric* ILMT Mandatory**
Processor Value Unit (PVU) Yes
Resource Value Unit:
Managed Activated Processor Core (RVU MAPC)
Yes
Virtual Processor Core (VPC) No: Manual reporting is allowed
Note - VPC will soon require ILMT

*For PVU, RVU and VPC metric definitions, please go to Commonly used license metrics.

** IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT) supports license tracking for the “Install” metric out-of-the-box as well as for various other metrics on a program-by-program basis.

For more information about IBM License Metric Tool Tool, go to

Note: ILMT has continuous delivery model and so end of support for each technology is announced for the whole ILMT program, not just for certain release. All ILMT customers should be using latest ILMT version.


For listings of current technologies eligible for sub-capacity licensing and supported by ILMT, consult

Ineligible Sub-Capacity Products

The Parts listed below are ineligible for sub-capacity licensing:

Part #s (Lic., Spt., Reinst.) PID# Description
D571FLL, E02DTLL, D571GLL 5724A39 WebSphere MQ for HP NonStop Server
D564PLL, E0287LL, D564QLL 5724A38 WebSphere MQ for HP OpenVMS

What happens when OS or virtualization technologies are no longer supported?

When an operating system (OS) or virtualization technology approaches "End of Support"/"End Of Life", IBM announces plans to remove it from the list of sub-capacity eligible technologies as well as from ILMT support.

Typically, this happens 180 days after the end of support announced by the technology vendor. All such plans and actual technology removals are announced in the Schedule of removing items from the list of subcapacity eligible technologies Tech Note.

Additionally, technologies being removed from ILMT support are announced with each ILMT release.

To continue using sub-capacity licensing, you must upgrade to a supported virtualization technology/operating system before the designated "End of Support" date.

Virtualization Capacity License Counting Rules

View Virtualization Capacity License Counting Rules and counting scenarios to help you determine the maximum number of virtual or physical cores available to the Eligible Product at any time.

PVU Calculator

Use the Processor Value Unit calculator to determine required number of PVUs based on your environment. Please fill-in the required fields for each server configuration and enter your processor core quantity(s) to calculate "Total value Units"