IBM System z Software Pricing

Sub-Capacity Corner

Sub-Capacity Corner

The Sub-Capacity Corner is the place to learn more about the licensing and pricing rules concerning System z Sub-Capacity charges. In addition to an explanation of the contractual terms and conditions there are also different procedures to follow for certain circumstances (such as machine upgrades) and some information about the technology which forms the basis for the Sub-Capacity licensing rules.

Basic Sub-Capacity Rules and Billing Dates

Initial Sub-Capacity Billing Effective Date (April 30, 2002)

MSU changes submitted on Sub-Capacity Reports for programs with recurring charges will be billed effective the first day of the month following the month in which the Sub-Capacity Report was received. Recurring charges are Monthly License Charges (MLC) and IPLA software maintenance which is also referred to as Subscription and Support (S&S). This means that when you initially decide to implement sub-capacity for an Operating System Family on a machine you will not see the changes reflected in your billing until the first day of the month following the submission of the report. For example, if you collect data for the January reporting period (from January 2nd through February 1st) and submit the report at the beginning of February (between February 2nd and 9th) the billing changes will become effective March 1st. For January and February the billing will be at full capacity. Billing is not done in arrears. Although March's billing is determined by data collected in January, the bill is for the license to use the software during the month of March. (Note: This is different for US Federal customers, see the US Federal Government section on this page.)

MSU changes submitted on Sub-Capacity Reports for programs with IPLA One Time Charges (OTC) will be billed effective with the processing of the report by IBM.

Sub-Capacity Pricing and Priced Features (03 October 2000)

Priced features of a base program will be charged at the same MSU value as the base program, on a machine-by-machine basis. The Sub-Capacity Reporting Tool will only report on the MSUs of the base program. Determination of the presence of a priced feature is solely on IBM's listing of priced features which are installed in machine's inventory, according to our inventory systems. For example, DB2 MSUs on machine1 are 100 and on machine2 are 200. Our inventory system reflects QMF on machine1, therefore QMF will be charged only on machine1 at the 100 MSU level. Changes to installed inventory should be communicated to IBM in writing and will become effective on the 1st day of the month following IBM's receipt of the notification.

Sub-Capacity Billing for New Middleware Licenses (10 July 2006)

When a brand new Middleware product license not eligible for Single Version Charging is added to a Sub-Capacity machine (whether a standalone machine or an aggregated machine), Sub-Capacity measurements for the new product are not initially available. Therefore, the new product MSUs on that machine are set at the same level as the Operating System MSUs (including the zNALC or z/OS.e MSUs if applicable) for the first billing month.

If the new Middleware product is eligible for Single Version Charging please read the appropriate sections below for additional information.

Sub-Capacity Billing for New Operating System Version Licenses (23 July 2013)

When a new version of an Operating System is added to a machine already receiving Sub-Capacity for that Operating System Family (whether a standalone machine or an aggregated machine), the new version MSUs on that machine are set at the same level as the previous version MSUs for the first billing month, regardless of SVC status.

If the new Operating System version is eligible for Single Version Charging please read the appropriate sections below for additional information.

Middleware Not Appearing on Sub-Capacity Report (10 July 2006)

Once a Sub-Capacity eligible MLC middleware product is past the initial month billing period, it is IBM's policy to charge for that Sub-Capacity eligible MLC product based upon the MSUs reported for that product on the customer's Sub-Capacity Reports. Therefore, if a product does not appear in certain months, the customer should not be charged for that product. However, there is a 3 MSU minimum for each Sub-Capacity eligible product per environment. In a standalone machine environment, the customer must pay a minimum of 3 MSUs per Sub-Capacity eligible MLC product per month. In an aggregated environment, the customer must meet the 3 MSU minimum per Sub-Capacity eligible product across the aggregation (e.g., 1 MSU on box1, 1 MSU on box2 and 1 MSU on box3).

Note: It is a requirement of the sub-capacity process that customers accurately update the appropriate NO89 DD product statements in the SCRT JCL to indicate in which LPARs those products executed at any time during that reporting period.

Product Discontinuance Rule (25 March 2003)

The product discontinuance rule is invoked when the customer notifies IBM in writing that they wish to discontinue a licensed product. The product discontinuance rule indicates that the product will be discontinued effective the first day of the month following the month in which the discontinuance communication was received by IBM. At the time the product is discontinued, all billing should cease permanently.

Due to the nature of the lag between data collection, Sub-Capacity reporting, and billing effective date, there may be one reporting period when the product is reported but not billed following the discontinuation. For example, if a product is discontinued in January, the product may still appear in the January Sub-Capacity Report but not in the February Sub-Capacity Report. Even though it appears in the January Sub-Capacity Report (which is effective March 1st) the product would not be billed in March. If the product continues to appear in Sub-Capacity Reports for data collected after the month of discontinuance, IBM will consider this a violation of our terms and conditions.

US Federal Government customer Sub-Capacity Billing Effective Dates (April 30, 2002)

MSU changes submitted on Sub-Capacity Reports for programs with recurring charges will be billed in arrears effective the first day of the month in which the Sub-Capacity Report was received. Recurring charges are Monthly License Charges (MLC) and IPLA software maintenance which is also referred to as Subscription and Support (S&S). This means that when you initially decide to implement sub-capacity on a machine you will not see the changes reflected in your billing until the first day of the month following the submission of the report.

US Federal Government accounts follow the following process:


Customer Actions (example) IBM Actions IBM Invoices US Federal Customer in Arrears (example)
Customer submits Sub-Capacity Report to IBM by September 9th for data collection period of August 2nd to September 1st. IBM receives and processes monthly Sub-Capacity Report. Customer receives system generated invoice dated October 1st. Invoice reflects period dates of September 1st to September 30th. The invoice is based on prices in effect / billing effective date as of September.

MSU changes submitted on Sub-Capacity Reports for programs with IPLA One Time Charges (OTC) will be billed effective with the processing of the report by IBM.

Getting Help

For help with the Sub-Capacity Reporting Tool (SCRT) or questions related to Sub-Capacity pricing, please see the System z Software Pricing Help page.






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