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By request of Rore - My experience with TSM on a Capacity License


Active Newcomer
"Question: are you currently licensed per TB?? not PVUs? Can you share the experience in a new post (licensing sub-forum)? "

I'll do my best to give my experience with TSM and licensing on a capacity basis.

Why we went Capacity: with close to 400 servers, all of them dual proc and multi core the cost go to PVU (and the crazy math involved) was not an attractive option. So we took our current backup solution, and our intended retention policies and shipped them to IBM to quote us out how much capacity we would need for the next 3 years. We were priced out at roughly 30tb of capacity....not nearly enough when you include full backups of exchange with our crazy retention policies!

So, now we are back peddling to come into scope with how IBM thought we would be doing our backups, and we're still going to be short on the exchange side, but we'll be closer tot he 30tb we purchased.

On the file server backup side, we are sending everything to a dedup pool, this is working great, we're captureing all of our data (with the occasninal 'failed 12' tossed in for fun) and keeping for the most part on disk (some spills over to a tape pool if it's been a busy day).

As far as TB vs PVU, i'd say if you have alot of servers and little data go TB, if you have a few servers and alot of data go PVU, if your someplace in grey area (alot of servers and data) price them both out, and if $$ is a major concern, go with somebody else, cause it isn't going to be cheap!

Rore, any specific questions you might have, feel free to ask, I'll do my best to answer in a timely manner.


ADSM.ORG Senior Member
Thanks for sharing. 30TB of primary pool capacity? lucky you! :(.
Glad to hear you got benefits from the per TB licensing mode.


ADSM.ORG Senior Member
I am wondering: is it possible to have a mix of both licensing modes?

The demarcation point would be per TSM server. Example: one TSM server and all its clients licensed by PVU. A second TSM server and all its clients licensed by TB.

Maybe an IBMer member forum can confirm?

Last edited:


ADSM.ORG Senior Member
From what I read on the per capacity licence. it's one way or the other.. You cannot have pVU and Capacity..


ADSM.ORG Senior Member
You have to love IBM for that

If I have worked with my geo lead and gotten approval to use the special bid to renew an existing PVU

customer on the capacity special bid , can their renewal bill be lower on the capacity model than on the

PVU model?

A. No. For customers in the situation where renewal on capacity would be lower that renewal on PVU we

would renew them at their PVU renewal cost and “over entitle” them to TB’s


ADSM.ORG Senior Member
yeah it's an old presentation.. thanks for the link.. I,ve been hoping since I read the PDF.. that a mixt of PVU and Capacity will be available , miracle can happen. But I doubt it.


ADSM.ORG Moderator
yeah it's an old presentation.. thanks for the link.. I,ve been hoping since I read the PDF.. that a mixt of PVU and Capacity will be available , miracle can happen. But I doubt it.
Yes - it one or the other - no in between. IBM has just presented us this option.


We are in the process of shifting to the capacity based licensing. We have approx 1800 servers and we have 600TB of primary occupancy. We ran their script on all of our TSM servers and sent the results to IBM. Looking at the next three years, the quoted capacity cost was much lower than our expected PVU cost. It is also MUCH easier to calculate what the cost will be.

We have yet to roll out dedup but we are using client side compression and seeing a 40% reduction in primary OCC from that so that provides significant savings as well. It's also nice to have the most popular TDPs included in the price!


We're still on TSM 5.5 (soon to migrate to 6.3) and have approximately 1PB of managed data, of which around 600TB is primary data. We also don't use the TSM dedupe feature to reduce the cost of per TB licensing, but do use a TS7650 Protectier which from a TSM perspective will not show the real space saved. Anyway, with around 2200 node registrations, TDP's, STA's, multiple CPU types, VMWARE etc. across many physical machines, calculating PVU's relatively accurately is about a 3 day task involving a few administrative teams.

It's always seemed ridiculous (if not rude) that IBM have not been charging for how much data you backup to TSM, but rather how quickly you're willing to do it .... ie. adding more cores in a server, upgrading a server to more advanced processors will increase your cost to backup the same amount of data on that machine. Thus a move to the unified recovery costing model seems a no brainer. Also, we must remember that quite a few additional products (such as TSM for VE, all of the main TDP's and TSM Fastback etc.) can now be installed and calculated under the same per TB model.

But there is that break-point / balance between PVU's and TB's that needs to be worked out. (Anyone got a simple guide?). And not to mention different customers have different levels of buying power (such as ourselves) and may already have heavily discounts PVU rates due to the amount of our overall Tivoli product commitments. So running the latest IBM script and handing it to your rep is basically the only thing that can be done. One thing though, our IBM rep said that they will do a "one time conversion" from PVU to per TB, but then we can't go back to PVU. Hmmm, go figure.

Well, I'll let you know once I've done the analysis how we go.

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The Spectrum Protect TLA (Three-Letter Acronym): ISP or something else?

  • Every product needs a TLA, Let's call it ISP (IBM Spectrum Protect).

    Votes: 18 18.4%
  • Keep using TSM for Spectrum Protect.

    Votes: 60 61.2%
  • Let's be formal and just say Spectrum Protect

    Votes: 12 12.2%
  • Other (please comement)

    Votes: 8 8.2%

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