How to control costs for IBM I licenses by moving to the cloud

While IBM i has been around for a long time and has not changed much in a few decades, many key applications built on it are still being used today. Some even in critical business use, in healthcare, retail, flight reservation systems and banking.

It is also well known that the way IBM i software licensing is steeped in legacy, overly complicated, rigid, and very expensive. Many customers who are using IBM i on-premises must purchase these licenses based on the projected capacity, and often, they have to over-commit to allow their application to scale depending on seasonality or business requirements. This usually exposes the company to license costs that they must over budget for and force IBM i system administrators to bend over backwards to optimize IBM i license use to be as efficient as possible.
Therefore, cloud-based infrastructure is so attractive to many businesses. The promise of being able to pay for what you use, and scale resources dynamically on-demand.

IBM i offers flexible software licensing through IBM partners called Managed Service Providers. It might seem like a perfect solution, but the licensing programs are still mired in legacy and customers still cannot realize true on-demand licensing. This is due to the way IBM i software license requires license keys that are tied to hardware serial numbers. IBM is trying to solve that problem by introducing Virtual Serial Numbers but it is still not a cloud friendly mechanism.

By moving IBM i workloads to Skytap, we can provide a level of capability for customers to pay for what they use by the hour, pay for fractional cores, and truly scale their workload usage whenever the business calls for it.

Skytap offers the following by default:

• IBM i OS (operating systems) license
• IBM i Licensed Program Products (LPP)
• IBM i Cloud Storage Solutions for I

Customers can also license these optional packages:

• PowerHA Enterprise Edition
• Rational Developer Tools for i

Customers can license IBM i and PowerHA by the hour or by the month. Customers get a price break for going with the monthly option. This is useful for always-on workloads like Production or Disaster Recovery scenarios. PowerHA is also available by the hour or by the month. Rational Developer tools is only available per user per month.

Unit price on Skytap is based on Entitled Capacity, which is the desired amount of compute capacity that is required by the Logical Partition (LPAR).

For more details about what software packages are provided, checkout the list here:

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