IBM System z Software Pricing

Monthly License Charge (MLC) Metrics

Advanced Workload License Charges (AWLC)

Advanced Workload License Charges (AWLC) is a monthly license pricing metric designed to support today's on demand business requirements. AWLC may be applied to IBM zEnterprise EC12 (zEC12) and IBM zEnterprise 196 (z196) servers running z/OS or z/TPF in z/Architecture (64-bit) mode when stand-alone, or when in a z/OS actively coupled Parallel Sysplex, or when in a z/TPF Loosely Coupled Complex. IBM zEnterprise BC12 (zBC12) and zEnterprise 114 (z114) servers may have AWLC when in a z/OS actively coupled Parallel Sysplex or z/TPF Loosely Coupled Complex consisting entirely of zEnterprise servers.

AWLC enables customers to:

Once a customer chooses to adopt AWLC, then neither PSLC nor Usage License Charges (ULC) will apply. There are two types of charges involved: AWLC, which vary based upon server size and/or utilization, and Flat Workload License Charges (FWLC), a flat charge per server. AWLC apply to products such as z/OS, DB2, IMS, CICS, WebSphere MQ, and Lotus Domino. FWLC apply to legacy products such as less current compilers and older MVS/VM/VSE utilities. Once AWLC is adopted, applicable AWLC and FWLC charges are applied.

Advanced Workload License Charges Structure
(cumulative monthly pricing)

Base WLC 3 MSUs
Level 0 4 - 45 MSUs
Level 1 46 - 175 MSUs
Level 2 176 - 315 MSUs
Level 3 316 - 575 MSUs
Level 4 576 - 875 MSUs
Level 5 876 - 1315 MSUs
Level 6 1316 - 1975 MSUs
Level 7 1976+ MSUs

Customers may choose to implement AWLC in one of two ways:

Mechanics of Sub-Capacity AWLC

The graph below shows a zEnterprise server rated at 110 MSUs with Sub-Capacity AWLC. The machine is configured with two LPARs, LPAR A and LPAR B. The customer sees a highest observed rolling 4-hour average for LPAR A at 73 MSUs. Accordingly, software running only in LPAR A would be charged at 73 MSUs. Likewise, LPAR B has a highest observed rolling 4-hour average of 52 MSUs. Accordingly, software running only in LPAR B would be charged at 52 MSUs. They do not have set a defined capacity or any LPAR cap for either LPAR A or LPAR B.

new wlc

new wlc

Software running in both LPARs, such as z/OS, would require the customer to examine the rolling 4-hour average utilization of the combined LPAR A & LPAR B, also shown on the graph. The combined LPAR utilization has a highest observed rolling 4-hour average of 98 MSUs and software running in both LPARs would be charged at 98 MSUs.

AWLC Technology Transition Offerings

Three AWLC Technology Transition Offerings are available for eligible Operating Systems Families (consisting of an operating system and its associated middleware programs) when running in a qualifying System z hardware environment. Eligibility is determined separately for each Operating System Family environment (whether stand-alone, aggregated z/OS actively coupled Parallel Sysplex, or aggregated z/TPF Loosely Coupled Complex).

The number of MSUs used to determine either the MSUs of a stand-alone server or the total MSUs of a Parallel Sysplex are based on the announced IBM full capacity ratings that can be found on the Mainframe Exhibits section of the System z Software Contracts website.

All MSUs used in determining any Technology Transition Offering reduction exclude capacity related to specialty engines, unassigned capacity, and temporary capacity such as, but not limited to, "Capacity Back Up", "Capacity for Planned Events", and "On/Off CoD".

When determining the percentages used in the Transition Charges for Sysplexes offerings, standard arithmetic rounding rules to the nearest whole percent are applied. See examples below.

Technology Update Pricing for AWLC

When stand-alone zEC12 servers are priced with AWLC, or when all the servers in an aggregated Sysplex or Complex are zEC12 or zBC12 servers priced with AWLC, these servers receive a reduction to AWLC pricing which is called Technology Update Pricing for AWLC.

Schedule of AWLC reductions for Technology Update Pricing for AWLC:

Number of zEC12 Full Capacity MSUs for a stand-alone server, or the sum of Full Capacity MSUs in an actively coupled Parallel Sysplex or Loosely Coupled Complex made up entirely of zEC12 or zBC12 servers Reduction in Monthly AWLC  
4 -   45 MSUs 2.0%
46 -  315 MSUs 4.0%
316 - 1315 MSUs 4.5%
1316 - 2676 MSUs 5.0%
2677 - 5476 MSUs 6.0%
5477 - more MSUs 7.0%

Example 1: A customer has two stand-alone zEC12 machines (not in an actively coupled Parallel Sysplex). Machine #1 is a zEC12 model 406 server with 160 MSUs, so it receives a 4.0% reduction in AWLC billing. Machine #2 is a zEC12 model 712 server with 1709 MSUs, so it receives a 5.0% reduction in AWLC billing.

Example 2: A customer has three zEC12 machines in an actively coupled Parallel Sysplex. Machine #1 is a zEC12 model 715 server with 2043 MSUs, machine #2 is a System zEC12 model 713 server with 1822 MSUs, and machine #3 is a zEC12 model 703 with 511 MSUs, for a total of 4376 MSUs. The Parallel Sysplex will receive a 6.0% reduction in aggregated AWLC billing.

AWLC Transition Charges for Sysplexes (TC2)

When two or more machines exist in an aggregated Sysplex or Complex and at least one is a zEC12 or zBC12 server and at least one is a z196 or z114 server, they will receive a reduction to AWLC pricing across the aggregated Sysplex or Complex. This reduction provides a portion of the price performance benefit related to Technology Update Pricing for AWLC based upon the proportion of zEC12 or zBC12 server capacity in the Sysplex or Complex.

Schedule of AWLC reductions for Transition Charges for Sysplexes (TC2):

Percentage of zEC12 or zBC12 Full Capacity MSUs in an Actively Coupled Parallel Sysplex or Loosely Coupled Complex Reduction in Monthly AWLC  
> 0 - 20% 0.5%
21 - 40% 1.5%
41 - 60% 3.0%
61 - 80% 4.0%
81 - < 100% 4.5%

AWLC Transition Charges for Sysplexes (TC1)

When two or more machines exist in an aggregated Sysplex or Complex but not all of the servers are zEnterprise (zEC12, zBC12, z196 or z114) servers, all machines will remain on Workload License Charge (WLC) pricing, but will receive a reduction to VWLC pricing across the aggregated Sysplex or Complex. This reduction provides a portion of the price performance benefit related to AWLC pricing based upon the proportion of zEnterprise server capacity in the Sysplex or Complex.

Schedule of VWLC reductions for Transition Charges for Sysplexes (TC1):

Percentage of zEnterprise system server Full Capacity MSUs in an Actively Coupled Parallel Sysplex or Loosely Coupled Complex Reduction in Monthly VWLC
> 0 - 20% 0.5%
21 - 40% 1.5%
41 - 60% 3.0%
61 - 80% 4.0%
 81 - < 100% 4.5%

Examples of Rounding for Transition Charges for Sysplexes

Example 1: A customer has two machines in an actively coupled Parallel Sysplex. Machine #1 is a zEC12 model 716 server with 2149 MSUs, and Machine #2 is a z196 model 710 server with 1191 MSUs for a total of 3340 MSUs. Divide 2149 by 3340, the result is 0.64341, which is rounded down to 64%. The Parallel Sysplex will receive AWLC pricing and receive a 4.0% reduction in AWLC billing under the AWLC Transition Charges for Sysplexes (TC2) program.

Example 2: A customer has two machines in an actively coupled Parallel Sysplex. Machine #1 is a z196 model 715 server with 1648 MSUs and machine #2 is a System z10 EC model 713 server with 1076 MSUs for a total of 2724 MSUs. Divide 1648 by 2724, the result is 0.604992, which is rounded down to 60%. The Parallel Sysplex will remain on VWLC pricing and receive a 3.0% reduction in VWLC billing under the AWLC Transition Charges for Sysplexes (TC1) program.

Example 3: A customer has three machines in an actively coupled Parallel Sysplex. Machine #1 is a z196 model 610 server with 777 MSUs, machine #2 is a System z10 EC model 739 server with 2585 MSUs, and machine #3 is a System z9 EC model 608 server with 428 MSUs, for a total of 3790 MSUs. Divide 777 by 3790, the result is 0.205013, which rounds up to 21%. The Parallel Sysplex will remain on VWLC pricing and receive a 1.5% reduction in VWLC billing under the AWLC Transition Charges for Sysplexes (TC1) program.

AWLC News

On 23 July 2013 IBM announced a new Technology Transition Offering (TTO) called Technology Update Pricing for Advanced Entry Workload License Charges (AEWLC), as well as revisions to the Technology Update Pricing for Advanced Workload License Charges (AWLC) offering and revisions to the two Transition Charges for Sysplexes offerings, all in support of the announcement of the IBM zEnterprise BC12 (zBC12) server. Technology Update Pricing for AEWLC provides additional price performance on zBC12 servers compared to AEWLC on the z114 server. The other Technology Transition Offerings now include the zBC12 server. More information on AEWLC is available on the web.

On 3 October 2012 IBM announced additional information clarifying that the three Technology Transition Offerings, including Technology Update Pricing for Advanced Workload License Charges (AWLC) and the two revised Transition Charges for Sysplexes programs, also apply to z/TPF systems.

On 28 August 2012 IBM announced three Technology Transition Offerings, consisting of Technology Update Pricing for Advanced Workload License Charges (AWLC) and two revised Transition Charges for Sysplexes programs, in support of the announcement of the IBM zEnterprise EC12 (zEC12) server. Technology Update Pricing for AWLC provides additional price performance on zEC12 servers compared to AWLC on older generations of servers. The enhancements to Transition Charges for Sysplexes provide additional price performance to a parallel sysplex which includes a zEC12 server but which is not yet made up entirely of zEC12 servers.

On 18 January 2011 IBM announced Integrated Workload Pricing (IWP). IWP enhances the sub-capacity utilization reporting capabilities of zEnterprise 196 systems running z/OS, which can improve the price/performance for eligible Monthly License Charge IWP Adjusted Programs running within the same LPAR as select IWP Defining Programs. Lists of both types of IWP Programs are on the web.

On 22 July 2010 IBM announced a new pricing metric called ‘System z Advanced Workload License Charges (AWLC)’ for z/OS and z/TPF in support of the announcement of the IBM zEnterprise 196 (z196) server. AWLC is a Sub-Capacity eligible pricing metric which provides additional price performance on a z196 server compared to Workload License Charges (WLC) on older generations of servers.

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