IBM

IBM WebSphere Licensing And Costs

IBM

IBM WebSphere Licensing And Costs

IBM WebSphere licensing works through various models, each tailored to different user and deployment needs:

  • Authorized User Model: For designated individual users, allowing access on multiple machines.
  • Concurrent User Model: Based on the number of users accessing the software simultaneously.
  • Floating Licenses: Shared among a group, limiting concurrent use to the number of licenses purchased.
  • Resource Value Unit (RVU): Based on the software’s usage of specific resources.
  • Processor Value Unit (PVU): Depends on the server’s processor type and the number of cores.

Introduction to IBM WebSphere Licensing

Different Versions and Editions of WebSphere Application Server

IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) is available in various versions and editions to cater to different business needs, ranging from small to large enterprises.

Each edition offers distinct features and capabilities, allowing organizations to choose the best fit their requirements.

Versions

WebSphere Application Server V7

  • Release Year: 2009
  • Key Features: Java EE 6 support, improved performance, enhanced security features, and better administration tools.
  • Use Case: Suitable for businesses looking to adopt modern Java EE standards with enhanced security and management capabilities.

WebSphere Application Server V8

  • Release Year: 2011
  • Key Features: Full Java EE 6 certification, improved scalability, better integration with IBM’s middleware products, and enhanced developer productivity tools.
  • Use Case: Ideal for organizations needing robust Java EE 6 support and integration with other IBM solutions.

WebSphere Application Server V8.5

  • Release Year: 2012
  • Key Features: The Liberty profile was introduced for lightweight, flexible runtime, improved performance, and enhanced developer experience.
  • Use Case: Perfect for businesses requiring a lightweight, modular server for development and testing and those needing full Java EE capabilities for production environments.

WebSphere Application Server V9

  • Release Year: 2016
  • Key Features: Support for Java EE 7, enhanced cloud capabilities, integration with container technologies like Docker and Kubernetes, and improved security.
  • Use Case: Best for organizations looking to modernize their applications with cloud-native technologies and container support.

Editions

WebSphere Application Server Base

  • Overview: The standard edition provides core application server capabilities.
  • Key Features: It supports Java EE 6/7 and has robust performance, security features, and basic administration tools.
  • Use Case: Suitable for small to medium-sized businesses needing a reliable, full-featured application server.

WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment (ND)

  • Overview: A more advanced edition designed for large-scale, distributed environments.
  • Key Features: Clustering, load balancing, failover support, advanced security, and centralized management.
  • Use Case: Ideal for large enterprises requiring high availability, scalability, and comprehensive management tools.

WebSphere Application Server Liberty

  • Overview: A lightweight, modular runtime environment for developers and production.
  • Key Features: Fast startup times, dynamic updates, flexible deployment options, and support for modern development practices like microservices and continuous delivery.
  • Use Case: Perfect for development, testing, and production environments that require agility and quick iteration.

WebSphere Application Server Express

  • Overview: A cost-effective edition for small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Key Features: Simplified installation and administration, basic Java EE support, and lower licensing costs.
  • Use Case: Best for small businesses looking for an affordable entry point into enterprise application development.

WebSphere Application Server for z/OS

  • Overview: An edition optimized for IBM’s mainframe operating system, z/OS.
  • Key Features: Integration with z/OS security, scalability, and reliability features, as well as support for large-scale transaction processing.
  • Use Case: Ideal for enterprises running mission-critical applications on IBM mainframes, needing high reliability and performance.

WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition

  • Overview: Designed for virtualized environments.
  • Key Features: Pre-configured virtual images for quick deployment on hypervisors like VMware, Hyper-V, and IBM PowerVM.
  • Use Case: Suitable for businesses leveraging virtualization technologies to optimize resource usage and streamline deployment.

Detailed Breakdown of WebSphere Editions and Their Costs

Detailed Breakdown of WebSphere Editions and Their Costs

WebSphere Application Server Base

Features

  • Core Application Server Capabilities: Supports Java EE 6 and Java EE 7, providing robust and scalable application server functionalities.
  • Integrated Security: Features robust security mechanisms, including SSL/TLS encryption, authentication, and authorization.
  • Performance Optimization: Includes performance tuning and optimization features to efficiently handle high traffic and large workloads.
  • Administrative Tools: Offers basic administration tools for managing and monitoring applications, deployments, and server instances.

Typical Pricing

  • Licensing Model: Subscription-based or perpetual licensing.
  • Cost: Subscription licensing typically ranges from $2,000 to $4,000 per core annually. Perpetual licensing may involve a higher upfront cost but lower ongoing expenses.

WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment (ND)

Features

  • Clustering and Load Balancing: Provides advanced clustering and load balancing capabilities for high availability and scalability.
  • Failover Support: Ensures continuous availability with built-in failover mechanisms.
  • Centralized Management: Includes centralized administration and management tools for large-scale deployments.
  • Enhanced Security: Offers advanced security features, including federated security and single sign-on (SSO).

Typical Pricing

  • Licensing Model: Subscription-based or perpetual licensing.
  • Cost: Subscription licensing typically ranges from $10,000 to $15,000 per core annually. Perpetual licensing can be significantly higher, with additional costs for support and maintenance.

WebSphere Application Server Liberty

Features

  • Lightweight and Modular: Designed as a lightweight, modular runtime environment optimized for cloud and microservices deployments.
  • Fast Startup Times: Offers fast startup times and dynamic updates, enhancing developer productivity.
  • Flexible Deployment: Supports deployment in various environments, including on-premises, cloud, and containers.
  • Modern Development Practices: Supports modern development practices like continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) and DevOps.

Typical Pricing

  • Licensing Model: Subscription-based or perpetual licensing.
  • Cost: Subscription licensing typically ranges from $500 to $1,000 per core annually. However, costs can vary depending on the specific deployment and features required.

WebSphere Application Server Express

Features

  • Cost-Effective: Designed as a cost-effective solution for small to medium-sized businesses.
  • Simplified Installation and Administration: Offers simplified installation processes and user-friendly administrative tools.
  • Basic Java EE Support: Supports essential Java EE functionalities and is suitable for less complex applications.
  • Lower Licensing Costs: Provides lower licensing costs compared to other WebSphere editions.

Typical Pricing

  • Licensing Model: Subscription-based or perpetual licensing.
  • Cost: Subscription licensing typically costs $1,000 to $2,500 per core annually. Perpetual licensing offers a lower upfront cost with annual maintenance fees.

WebSphere Application Server for z/OS

Features

  • Mainframe Optimization: Optimized for IBM’s z/OS mainframe operating system, providing high reliability and performance.
  • Integration with z/OS: Integrates seamlessly with z/OS security, scalability, and reliability features.
  • High-Volume Transaction Processing: Supports large-scale, high-volume transaction processing environments.
  • Enterprise-Level Security: Features robust security mechanisms tailored for mainframe environments.

Typical Pricing

  • Licensing Model: Subscription-based or perpetual licensing.
  • Cost: Typically ranges from $20,000 to $30,000 per core annually for subscription licensing. Pricing can vary significantly based on the specific mainframe configuration and usage.

WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition

Features

  • Virtualization Support: Designed for virtualized environments, providing pre-configured virtual images.
  • Quick Deployment: Enables quick and efficient deployment on hypervisors such as VMware, Hyper-V, and IBM PowerVM.
  • Resource Optimization: Optimizes resource usage in virtualized environments, enhancing performance and scalability.
  • Comprehensive Management: Includes comprehensive management tools for monitoring and managing virtual instances.

Typical Pricing

  • Licensing Model: Subscription-based or perpetual licensing.
  • Cost: Typically ranges from $5,000 to $7,500 per core annually for subscription licensing. Costs may vary based on the number of virtual instances and specific hypervisors.

IBM License Models Available for WebSphere

IBM License Models Available for WebSphere

As an IBM licensing expert, I know that understanding the different licensing models available for WebSphere Application Server is crucial to providing accurate and efficient guidance.

IBM offers flexible licensing options to meet various business needs and deployment environments.

The primary licensing models for WebSphere include:

1. Subscription-Based Licensing

Overview
Subscription-based licensing involves paying a recurring fee to use the software, typically annually. This model provides access to the latest updates, patches, and support services.

Benefits

  • Access to the latest software versions and updates.
  • Lower initial cost compared to perpetual licenses.
  • Flexible terms and the ability to scale licenses up or down based on needs.

2. Perpetual Licensing

Overview
Perpetual licensing allows customers to purchase a license upfront, providing indefinite usage rights to a specific software version. This model usually requires a separate support and maintenance agreement for ongoing updates and assistance.

Benefits

  • The one-time upfront cost for indefinite use of the software.
  • Lower long-term cost if updates and support are managed internally.
  • No recurring subscription fees.

3. Processor Value Unit (PVU) Licensing

Overview
PVU licensing is based on the processing power of the servers on which the software is installed. The number of PVUs required depends on the type of processor and the number of cores.

Benefits

  • Scales with the hardware capacity, providing a flexible and fair pricing model.
  • Suitable for larger, enterprise-scale deployments with variable processing needs.

4. Virtual Processor Core (VPC) Licensing

Overview
VPC licensing is tailored for virtualized environments. It charges based on the number of virtual processor cores allocated to the software.

Benefits

  • Optimized for cloud and virtual environments.
  • Allows for efficient cost management in virtualized infrastructures.

5. User-Based Licensing

Overview
User-based licensing charges are based on the number of users accessing the software. This model is suitable for environments where the number of users is a more significant cost factor than processing power.

Benefits

  • Cost-effective for organizations with many users and relatively low processing requirements.
  • Simplifies licensing management by focusing on user counts.

Examples of How to Calculate WebSphere Licensing Costs

To illustrate how these licensing models work, let’s consider some hypothetical examples.

Example 1: Subscription-Based Licensing

Scenario
A medium-sized business needs ten licenses for WebSphere Application Server Base, with an annual subscription.

Calculation

  • Cost per license: $3,000 per core annually
  • Number of licenses: 10
  • Total annual cost: 10 licenses * $3,000 = $30,000 per year

Example 2: Perpetual Licensing

Scenario
A large enterprise requires 20 licenses for WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment (ND), with perpetual licensing.

Calculation

  • Cost per license: $12,000 per core (one-time cost)
  • Number of licenses: 20
  • Total perpetual cost: 20 licenses * $12,000 = $240,000
  • Annual support/maintenance (20% of the perpetual cost): $240,000 * 0.20 = $48,000 per year

Example 3: Processor Value Unit (PVU) Licensing

Scenario
The WebSphere Application Server is used in a data center with four servers and two processors (eight cores per processor).

Calculation

  • PVU rating per core: 100 PVUs (example value)
  • Total PVUs required: 4 servers * 2 processors * 8 cores * 100 PVUs = 6,400 PVUs
  • Cost per PVU: $50 per PVU annually
  • Total annual cost: 6,400 PVUs * $50 = $320,000 per year

Example 4: Virtual Processor Core (VPC) Licensing

Scenario
A company deploys a WebSphere Application Server in a virtual environment, and 30 virtual cores are allocated.

Calculation

  • Cost per VPC: $500 per core annually
  • Number of virtual cores: 30
  • Total annual cost: 30 VPCs * $500 = $15,000 per year

Example 5: User-Based Licensing

Scenario
An organization needs a WebSphere Application Server for 500 users.

Calculation

  • Cost per user: $100 per user annually
  • Number of users: 500
  • Total annual cost: 500 users * $100 = $50,000 per year

FAQ: IBM WebSphere Licensing and Costs

What is IBM WebSphere?
IBM WebSphere is a suite of enterprise software products designed to build, deploy, and manage dynamic websites and applications.

What are the main licensing models for IBM WebSphere?
The main licensing models are subscription-based, perpetual, Processor Value Unit (PVU), Virtual Processor Core (VPC), and user-based licensing.

How does subscription-based licensing work?
Subscription-based licensing involves paying an annual fee for the software and providing access to the latest updates and support services.

What is perpetual licensing?
Perpetual licensing involves a one-time purchase for indefinite usage rights to a specific software version, often requiring separate maintenance fees.

What is Processor Value Unit (PVU) licensing?
PVU licensing is based on the processing power of the servers where the software is installed, with the number of PVUs required depending on the processor type and cores.

What is Virtual Processor Core (VPC) licensing?
VPC licensing is designed for virtualized environments. It charges based on the number of virtual processor cores allocated to the software.

What is user-based licensing?
User-based licensing charges are based on the number of users accessing the software, which is ideal for environments where user count is a significant factor.

How are costs calculated for PVU licensing?
PVU licensing costs are calculated based on the total PVUs required for the deployment and the cost per PVU, which varies by processor type and core count.

How are costs calculated for VPC licensing?
Costs for VPC licensing are calculated based on the number of virtual cores allocated and the cost per VPC.

Are there different editions of WebSphere Application Server?
There are several editions, including WebSphere Application Server Base, Network Deployment (ND), Liberty, Express, z/OS, and Hypervisor Edition.

What are the key features of WebSphere Application Server Base?
Core application server capabilities, integrated security, performance optimization, and basic administrative tools.

What are the key features of WebSphere Application Server ND?
Clustering, load balancing, failover support, centralized management, and advanced security features.

What are the key features of WebSphere Application Server Liberty?
Lightweight and modular design, fast startup times, flexible deployment, and support for modern development practices.

How does WebSphere Application Server Express differ from other editions?
It is designed as a cost-effective solution for small to medium-sized businesses, with simplified installation and administration.

Is support and maintenance included in all licensing models?
Support and maintenance are typically included in subscription-based licensing and available as an additional cost for perpetual licenses.

What factors affect the total cost of ownership for WebSphere?
Factors include the licensing model, deployment size, feature set, support and maintenance costs, and any required additional modules or add-ons.

Can WebSphere integrate with other IBM products?
Yes, WebSphere is designed to integrate seamlessly with other IBM products, enhancing its capabilities and providing a unified solution.

Are there any cost-saving strategies for WebSphere licensing?
Leveraging open-source components, negotiating enterprise agreements, optimizing resource usage, and selecting the appropriate licensing model can help save costs.

What should organizations consider when choosing a WebSphere licensing model?
Considerations include budget, deployment size, feature requirements, scalability needs, and integration with existing systems.

Contact our IBM Licensing Consulting Team

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Author

  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, improving organizational efficiency.

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