IBM's policy for Machine Code updates

Machine Code updates for Power Systems and System Storage 1 are available to IBM Customers 2 for use on machines that are outside of warranty, at a charge, either as part of an IBM hardware maintenance service agreement or under a Special Bid Agreement ("SBA") pursuant to a special bid procedure. 3

This policy is not in effect in all countries. For more information, see the Global Technical Support Services Machine Code – Per Call Policy Change, Announcement. 4

An SBA is only available to the Customer, but IBM will permit the Customer to authorize a third party to assist the Customer in receiving and installing Machine Code updates, subject to the terms and conditions of the SBA, including appropriate terms addressing the use and protection of IBM's intellectual property.

Certain Machine Code updates, may in IBM's unilateral discretion, also be made available free of charge for download via Fix Central for use on machines outside of warranty that are not covered by an IBM hardware maintenance service agreement or SBA. IBM does not represent that any particular categories of Machine Code updates will in all instances be available free of charge, and no reliance can be placed on any precisely defined category of updates being made available free of charge in all instances.

There is no requirement for an SBA to cover all machines in a Customer's inventory, but Machine Code updates licensed for one serial-numbered IBM machine may not be used to update a different serial-numbered IBM machine. The fact that one machine is entitled to a Machine Code update as a result of its coverage under warranty, an IBM hardware maintenance service agreement or an SBA does not provide, and IBM has not granted, any right or license to download, copy, reproduce or install the same or other IBM Machine Code updates on any other machine. Where a Machine Code update is authorized by IBM for a machine, it must be installed on the applicable machine within a reasonable period of time; it may not be installed on any other machine; and it may not otherwise be copied, reproduced or distributed.

In the EEA, Customers may contact their client account team to request an SBA or may submit a request for an SBA directly to IBM via the central task ID ( Necessary SBA Request Forms can be obtained from the Customer's local IBM client account team or, if the Customer has purchased Power Systems or System Storage machines from an IBM Business Partner, from the central task ID (

In the U.S., Customers should contact their IBM client account team or

Outside of the EEA and the U.S., Customers should contact their IBM client account team for information on how to request an SBA

The Customer's request for a special bid needs to include the type, model, serial number and location of the applicable machines. Based on this information, IBM will consult with the Customer and respond with a proposal, or if we need more information,5 further questions. In all cases, our goal is to fully understand the individual Customer's particular requirements and provide a proposal designed to address those requirements.

Please also note that where the Customer or third party is, is owned by, or is under common ownership with, a competing server and/or storage manufacturer that does not make equivalent Machine Code updates (for which such server manufacturer is the sole practical source of supply) expeditiously available to IBM or IBM customers on a stand-alone basis (i.e., not bundled with other products or offerings) and on commercially reasonable terms and conditions, IBM reserves the right to withhold or withdraw access to Machine Code updates.

At IBM’s discretion, Machine Code updates provided under an SBA may be delivered on physical media or via electronic means in accordance with the terms of the SBA.

IBM software maintenance does not provide any right to access Machine Code updates. Rather, it provides support for the respective operating system or other covered software programs only.6

Fix Central is IBM's premier value added web page for distribution of Machine Code updates and software patches and fixes. With some exceptions (e.g. where IBM, in its sole discretion, expressly authorizes all Customers to download certain Machine Code updates regardless of coverage under warranty, a hardware maintenance service agreement, or an SBA), Fix Central may only be used by Customers to obtain Machine Code updates for Power Systems and System Storage machines that are under IBM warranty or an IBM hardware maintenance service agreement.

Where a Customer is entitled to download and install a Machine Code update from Fix Central, IBM will generally allow a third party that has been duly authorized by the Customer to download and install the Machine Code update on the Customer's behalf. IBM reserves the right to withdraw this consent at any time, to require proof of authorization and to require execution of appropriate contract terms by any such third party and by the Customer, including terms addressing the use and protection of IBM's intellectual property.

While the above reflects IBM's current policies, IBM's policies are subject to change at any time.