IBM’s Sub-capacity Licensing Updates - What You Need to Know - enChoice Blog

IBM’s Sub-capacity Licensing Updates - What You Need to Know

IBM’s Sub-capacity Licensing Updates

What You Need to Know


IBM’s Sub-capacity Licensing Updates


IBM’s changes to sub-capacity licensing is an important update that I didn’t see when it was announced in May of 2022. Since I couldn’t find any notifications about this, I thought it would be good to write something up for it, in case you missed it too.

IBM updated their sub-capacity licensing agreementv for IBM FileNet, Business Automation Workflow (BAW), and Cloud Pak for Business Automation (CP4BA).

The update states:
“Effective May 10, 2022, IBM requires all Virtual Processor Core (VPC) software licenses that use subcapacity licensing to deploy License Metric Tool or any other tool approved by IBM. Manual capacity counting is no longer permitted.”


What does this mean for you?

If you are using the sub-capacity of a host server, such as a virtual machine, this new requirement means that you must monitor that usage with an IBM approved monitoring tool – or you would have to license the full capacity of the host server.

IBM has approved the following three monitoring tools:

  • IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT) Lite: A free monitoring tool provided by IBM. For product information, visit ILMT on the IBM Site.
  • BigFix Inventory: BigFix Inventory is a monitoring tool provided by HCL. For product information, visit BigFix Inventory on the HCL Site.
  • Flexera One: Flexera and IBM have partnered to provide a paid SaaS monitoring option. For product information, visit Flexera One on the IBM Site.

Here is an example of what may happen if you are not using a monitoring tool:

Let’s assume you are using a physical server with 40-cores for your production environment. You create two virtual machines. One for the Content Engine, and one for the Content Navigator. Each server is assigned 4 cores. If you are monitoring the sub-capacity with one of the IBM approved monitoring tools, your total license capacity would be 8 cores. If not, your total license capacity should be for the 40 cores of the host machine. If there is an audit, you may be found out of compliance, and the difference in licensing 8 cores versus 40 cores could be around three million dollars.


What should you do to comply with the updated licensing requirements?

  • Download, install, and configure one of the approved tools. ILMT Lite is free and one that we use.
  • Create a snapshot/report every quarter and store them for two years. This is needed in the event of an audit.
  • If you plan to use the ILMT, it will be necessary to update that server once every quarter.


Need help understanding or complying with this new licensing update?

If you would like assistance with understanding the requirements or performing the initial installation, configuration, and reporting of the ILMT server, please reach out to me.

We have services that can manage your monitoring needs as well as perform the quarterly updates and reporting to keep you in compliance and have you proactively prepared for an audit.


References and Helpful Links



If you have questions or would like to chat further about your IBM FileNet, Business Automation Workflow (BAW), or Cloud Pak for Business Automation (CP4BA) system(s), please feel free to reach out to me using the form below.

Ask Us A Question


About the Author

Robert Short - Vice President, Cloud Services Robert Short
Vice President, Cloud Services at enChoice

Robert Short began working with FileNet software in 1997 as a Technical Consultant, installing, upgrading, and supporting FileNet Content Services, Image Services, P8 Content Platform Engine, and Case Manager. Robert served as an Implementation Project Manager for FileNet, creating standard implementation processes for the installation and upgrade of IBM ECM products. Robert is VP of Cloud Services at enChoice and has built a team to deliver Digital Transformation Services to our customers, both on-prem and in the public cloud, utilizing Amazon Web Services, Armor, Azure, IBM Cloud, and Rackspace.



About enChoice

Founded in 1993, enChoice®, Inc. is an award-winning Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Digital Transformation solutions company, with nearly 30 years of experience helping customers improve business processes and protect critical information with software and solutions that accelerate their path to digital efficiency.

Visit and discover why over 1,000 leading companies, including many in the state government sector, have chosen enChoice as their trusted experts in enterprise content management and digital transformation.