Reduce License Costs with IBM Supporting (Bundled) Products

IBM Supporting (Bundled) Products

  “Take advantage of Supporting Products to reduce IBM license costs”

When you buy an IBM product (also know as a Program) you are usually buying a collection of products.  The main product is referred to as the Principle Program.  The products that are included or “bundled” are referred to as Supporting Programs.  These supporting products are commonly included at no extra cost when you license the principle product.

“If deployed correctly supporting products can significantly reduce your license costs”

How do I know what products are bundled with my IBM Product?

To find out what products are bundled you need to get the Part Number and the Version of the product deployed.  The products bundled changes depending on the version.

Steps to finding IBM License Information on a product:

  1. Go the IBM License Information site here
  2. Select “Search for a specific LI”
  3. Enter in the Part Number or Description
  4. Pick the version that matches what you have deployed.
  5. In the dropdown Select Term pick “License Information Document”
  6. Press Submit
  7. Search for the phrase “Supporting Programs”

You will see a list of products and the version that are bundled with the principle product.  You will also see and conditions linked to the bundled products.

Do I have to deploy Supporting (Bundled) products on the same server?

The IPLA (see below) makes no reference to how the supporting programs are deployed.  So long as the supporting program is used exclusively to support the principle program you can deploy it anywhere.

You must be fully licensed for the principle program which means the supporting program must use the same or less licenses depending on the metric.  There are exceptions.

Are there Supporting Program Exceptions?

You always need to check the License Information Document for the version of the Primary Program you have deployed.   Never assume.

A version may be specified for the Supporting Program.  If no version is specified you can deploy any version.

The most common exception covers when you deploy on a different server to the principle program. An example of this would be IBM Business Automation Workflow Enterprise V19.0.0.3

Sometimes a ratio is specified. A maximum number of PVUs of the Supporting Program to Primary.  e.g. 1:1.  It should be assumed a ratio of 1:1 unless otherwise specified.  This is particularly important in a virtualised environment.

Only the specified edition of a Supporting Program may be used e.g. Standard Edition.

How do I save money on IBM licensing using bundled products?

By configuring ILMT to bundle the Supporting Program(s) with the Principle Program you are telling ILMT that no license is required. This can significantly reduce your license demand and save you buying more licenses that you need.  You can then cancel support , S&S, on the surplus.

When you first configuring ILMT it attempts to automatically link the bundled products to the principle program.  It often makes mistakes, especially if the supporting programs are on other servers.  ILMT also makes no allowance for any license restrictions highlighted in the License Information documents.

It always pays to manually check and where necessary manually assign the Supporting Programs to their respective Principle Programs.

I don’t have ILMT can I still take advantage of bundling?

Absolutely.  You don’t need ILMT to take advantage of Supporting Programs.  You’ll have to collect the deployment information manually in a spreadsheet instead of ILMT.  When you are assigning a license to each product check if it can be bundled manually and remove it from your count in the sheet.

What happens when I upgrade a product?

When you are upgrading an IBM product you are changing version deployed.  This means the Supporting Programs will also change.  The changes in supporting programs can be significant and lead to your organization facing significant extra license costs. Check before you upgrade so you can budget for any additional licenses.

Are IBM Supporting Programs worth the effort?

Researching which products are bundled with your license might sound like a lot of extra work but it’s worth it.  IBM products are expensive. It is common to reduce the licenses required by $200,000 or more.  This is especially true when products are deployed in a visualised environment.

To realise the savings from correctly counting Supporting Programs couldn’t be easier. Once you have done your research on which installs are Supporting Programs you simply flag them for exclusion in ILMT.

If you are using a spreadsheet to track your IBM licensing simply add a column “Supporting Program” and a reference to the Primary Program and the server it’s on.  Then reduce the number of cores to be counted.

What Next

  • Get a list of the products you have deployed from either ILMT or manually. Check if there are any products listed that are supporting programs and update to save some money
  • Does this still sound too hard ?  Then email us on and we’ll check it for you.