As IT industry keeps shifting to agile deployment patterns, boosted by RedHat OpenShift container orchestration and micro services based architecture, the software licensing models and tools are also evolving quickly to accommodate proper license consumption reporting for Clients self awareness and audit readiness, in this new distributed, hybrid and highly dynamic environment.
In this blog I want to provide an overview and latest info on the Container counting model for IBM Cloudpaks and Certified Containers and about the License Service, in support of IBM Cloudpaks platform software license consumption reporting.
For a start, a reference to the IBM Container Licensing for VPC (Virtual Processor Core), with published definition at IBM PassportAdvantage site. At the high level, it uses aggregate vCPU capacity made available to IBM software on as a way to track number of licenses deployed.
For customers, to comply with the rules, IBM Cloudpaks embed License Service to track the number of licenses in use – without the need for the end user to remember about deploying tracking tool. License Service shall be always deployed by Cloudpaks and uses little resources overhead. Example Cloudpak which integrates with License Service is Cloudpak for Integration.
- Collects and measures the license usage of Virtual Processor Core (VPC) metric at the cluster level.
- Collects and measures the license usage of IBM Cloud Pak solutions and their bundled products that are enabled for reporting and licensed with the Managed Virtual Server (MVS) license metric.
- Collects and measures the license usage of Virtual Processor Core (VPC) and Processor Value Unit (PVU) metrics at the cluster level of IBM stand-alone containerized software that is deployed on a cluster and is enabled for reporting.
- License Service refreshes the data every 5 minutes. However, this might be subject to change in the future. With this frequency, you can capture changes in a dynamic cloud environment.
- Provides the API that you can use to retrieve data that outlines the highest license usage on the cluster
- Provides the API that you can use to retrieve an audit snapshot that lists the highest license usage values for the requested period for products that are deployed on a cluster.
License Service is a headless component, running as cloud native container, collecting the relevant data and exposing documented API (https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/en/SSGT7J_20.4/license-service/1.x.x/APIs.html) to get the details about the amount of licenses deployed. It also provides a way to generate the required audit evidence, in the form of the digitally signed archive. License Service is an automatic solution. You do not need to complete any manual actions to prepare for audit. However, you must generate an audit snapshot at least once a quarter for the last 90 days, and to store it for 2 years in a location from which it could be retrieved and delivered to auditors.
There are several best practices to keep in mind:
- It is recommended to generate an audit snapshot report monthly as a precaution.
- Before decommissioning a cluster, record the license usage of the products that are deployed on this cluster by generating an audit snapshot until the day of decommissioning.
- Plan your storage to contain regular audit snapshots. The size of an audit snapshot .zip package might vary and depends on the number of products and the range of the reporting period. On average, the size of the package for a small environment is around 10 KB, and for medium and large environments - around 100 KB.
For more information, see the following resources:
In the follow-up blogs series, more updates will be provided with some more user-facing enhancements, so stay tuned for updates!