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How to Read an IBR in 5 Minutes or Less

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on August 22, 2013

Surprise! You’ve just authorized an Installed-Base Report (IBR) and the VMware technical expert says you’re behind on VMware licensing renewals, and you’re unsure how to read the massive excel spreadsheet in your inbox. In this post, we quickly explain how to navigate an IBR to get the most important information you need.

UPDATE: Due to a large response from clients for help with VMware licensing, we now offer a free VMware Licensing TechCheck! Dedicated VMware experts will run this TechCheck to validate if your production environment is fully supported, identify gaps and VMware entitlements, as well as streamline your renewal cycle. IBR-Signature

We’ve already covered how to discover gaps in your licenses. If you want additional assistance, the Softchoice team is hosting a series of expert-led webinars to discuss the upcoming VMworld 2013 announcements.

In this post, I will cover how to dissect the VMware licensing report once it arrives in your inbox. Below is a sample report and as you can see, it’s not exactly straightforward:

Install Base Report sample

The 4 most important columns in your IBR report

B – Your EA number: This is you Entitlement Account number. You use it to access your licenses through MY VMware. If no EA is provided during the ordering process, a new EA number may be created in error. If you have multiple EAs, you can avoid order delays and account issues by consolidating themdown to one EA number for your company.

R –  The contract end date: Arguably the most important column, this tells you the end dates of all your licensing contracts. Filter this column by date newest-to-oldest to determine if any contract numbers are expired.

X – Super User information: This is the contact of the person who receives email information about renewal reminders and important updates. If the super user is not assigned, has left the company, or was assigned in error i.e. your account manager should not be listed as your super user. This must be updated to an active user or common email alias.

K L – Bundle ID and Product SKU: The bundle ID is a number that tells you which products you get in a licensing bundle (like vSphere). It’s important to know exactly what you have today so you are clear on any product upgrades you qualify for when big announcements are made at VMworld 2013.

Example:
After recieving permission to pull an IBR, we discovered that a customer had received three separate VMware EA numbers and one EA number from another vendor.  This often happens when an EA number is not provided when ordering new VMware licenses. Managing multiple EA numbers makes it difficult to catch upcoming renewal dates before they expire, so Softchoice’s VMware experts worked on behalf of the customer to consolidate four EA numbers into a single EA.

What you can do right now
Plan for licensing renewals with a free IBR report. Softchoice VMware experts will help you with issues like expired contract dates, consolidating EA numbers, upgrading, and discuss licensing planning. You need to know when your due dates are so you can budget for renewal costs and ensure you have access to latest upgrades and updates. You can only access upgrades with non-expired contracts.

VMworld 2013 coverage
Some big announcements are on deck for VMworld 2013. If figuring out exactly how these changes apply to your specific licensing environment feels like a complex task. Register for our webinar where  our VMware experts will discuss the announcements including any new product editions, licensing changes and upgrade paths announced during the conference.

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