IBM System z Software Pricing

Sub-Capacity Corner

Linux on System z Middleware Software Licensing Overview

Middleware programs running in the Linux operating system environment are licensed through Passport Advantage which has sub-capacity licensing rules which are different from the sub-capacity licensing rules of the traditional z/OS, z/TPF, and z/VSE System z operating system environments. The Passport Advantage website has extensive information about all aspects of Passport Advantage Virtualization Capacity (Sub-capacity) Licensing on all supported platforms.

This web page serves as an overview for System z customers who want to understand how to count the required number of engines for licensing Linux Middleware in a System z environment, including when Linux is running as a guest of z/VM.

Linux is able to run on two different kinds of System z server engines:

  1. Integrated Facility for Linux engines, often called IFLs
  2. General purpose processors, often called Central Processor engines or CPs

Since the most common System z environment is Linux on IFLs the following examples will show IFLs, but the licensing rules are exactly the same if Linux is running on CPs.

When a customer qualifies for sub-capacity licensing under Passport Advantage, the maximum license requirement rules for a software product are:

Example 1

Example 1 image, see text for description.

Example 1 image, see text for description.

Example 2

Example 2 image, see text for description.

Example 2 image, see text for description.

Example 3

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Example 3 image, see text for description.

Passport Advantage Part Numbers for Linux on z

Passport Advantage software is licensed and delivered using Part Numbers:

Most Passport Advantage Middleware programs which run in the Linux for System z environment are licensed with Processor Value Units (PVU). A PVU is a unit of measure used to differentiate licensing of software on different processor technologies (defined by Processor Vendor, Brand, Type and Model Number). Each software program has a unique price per PVU. See the Processor Value Unit [PVU] licensing for Distributed Software website for more information about PVUs, including a table defining the PVU requirements for the different processor types.

Many Passport Advantage Middleware programs have Part Numbers labeled with “Linux for System z”

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Operating Systems

IBM System z supports multiple operation systems:


IBM's technology, solutions and industry expertise can help you find the competitive edge with a sharper understanding of your customers. Our System z solutions combine the foundation of IBM hardware, software and middleware with flexible financing and packaging options to help your business meet and overcome the challenges of doing business in the on demand world. IBM can help you develop a customer-centric view—and assist you in delivering the right solution and the right products.