No need to watch the clock with new hourly container-based pricing for IBM MQ

IBM Clock 2

Your business is 24×7 now. No downtime. No waiting for additional machines to be brought online. Simply deploy more containers to handle more workload. On-premises or on cloud, either public, or private, or both.

After all workload varies through the day, across the week, throughout the month, and over the year. If that’s the case, then you are either already adjust or are planning to adjust the deployed resources to match the workload.

Deploying into containers makes this easier than ever. Co-ordinating these deployments into a managed environment using Kubernetes is the basis to private cloud infrastructures such as IBM Cloud Private or Red Hat OpenShift.

But building resources based on container deployments provides flexibility to make use of these assets either in these private clouds, or in public clouds, or anywhere really.


If that’s all understood, then let’s imagine a scenario of a workload that is only run at certain times. Perhaps it is payroll or ordering new supplies. But the applications, and their supporting infrastructure, such as the IBM MQ messaging layer only needs to run for a relatively well-defined period of time. And with the applications, as well as the MQ Queue Managers ready for container deployments, you can quickly and easily get everything up and running with the containers started with just the right number of cores to match the expected workload. But how will this be licensed? For transient workloads buying perpetual entitlement might not be the most cost-effective answer. Especially if the applications only run for a short time, or if there are brief spikes in the workload which require a large amount of resources but only for a short time.


The good news is that today IBM announced that for IBM MQ V9.1, as well as IBM WebSphere Application Server V8.5.5 and V9 a new licensing approach to reflect this type of deployment, making it easier for businesses to not only gain operational benefits from new container deployments but also cost benefits as well.


There are 2 main aspects of the announcement. One is that the licensing required for container deployments is based on the number of cores allocated to the container, rather than the size of the physical or virtual machine where the container is running, as reported by the deployed product to an instance of IBM Cloud Private which is monitoring and reporting on this. The second aspect is that this monitoring and reporting will be fine grained enough that the reports will include the number of cores used for the number of hours, and license entitlement will be available based on Core-Hours.


Let’s go back to the example. We are deploying a WebSphere Application Server (WAS) application into 8 cores of containers, and this will be supported by 4 cores on IBM MQ in containers. This needs to run on a Sunday, and runs for 20 hours solid, before finishing all tasks, cleaning up all data and shutting down the containers. If this runs 4 times per month, then for each month you would need license entitlement for 4x20x8 core hours of WAS, and 4x20x4 core hours of MQ. The new licensing allows customers to buy blocks of 1000 Core Hours of WAS or MQ. And the included free entitlement to an instance of IBM Cloud Private just for reporting on this usage will allow customers to track and report on their usage against their purchased entitlement.

But supposing at the end of the year things are busier and the workload needs to run for longer – maybe 60 hours per week instead of 20 hours per week, although still the same number of cores. Then each month would be 4x60x8 for WAS and 4x60x4 for MQ – so 240 hours per core in these busier months. The good news is the licensing provided in this announcement includes a cap on monthly usage of 160 hours per core. So although each core used for this workload is running for 240 hours each month, the reporting mechanism will make it clear that only 160 hours of usage per core is chargeable.


This new licensing includes support for both the new Virtual Processor Core Hours part, as well as the existing VPC month part for MQ. If you are deploying MQ or WAS inside IBM Cloud Private, rather than simply using it for reporting on usage, then PVUs can also be used for container deployments.


You can now get on with deploying and using IBM MQ and WebSphere Application Server to run your business, however and wherever you need. And the licensing will help you better reflect your container usage. Try to contain your excitement!



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to “No need to watch the clock with new hourly container-based pricing for IBM MQ”

  1. Francois van der Merwe Says:

    Hi Leif
    I’m not sure I understand the “cap” portion of your message. For simplicity, let us only talk about MQ. For the example you use, for “normal” time, you will pay for 4x20x4 = 80 x 4 cores = 320 MQ core hours per month.
    For the high usage month, you are using 4x60x4 = 240 x 4 cores = 960 MQ core hours.
    Are you saying that you will in fact pay for a maximum of 160 x 4 cores = 640 MQ core hours?
    If this is true, does it mean that I can use MQ every day for 24 hours but I will never pay for more than 160 hours pr month? So the maximum charge will be 160 MQ core hours for every core?

  2. leifdavidsen Says:

    Francois. You have understood – there is a cap per core of 160 hours per month. But the hourly pricing is designed to provide flexibility and there is a premium for that. So that for lower numbers of hours per month there will be the chance to make savings but for higher numbers, at the cap level, then there are cheaper ways to buy entitlement. The VPC monthly price is priced at the same as 120 hours per month. So you can certainly buy hourly entitlement for all your usage, with the knowledge you will be capped at 160 hours per core per month, but you will be paying a 33% premium over the same capacity bought as VPC months – but VPC months are pre-bought as a peak capacity quantity rather than usage based as hourly is.

  3. Francois van der Merwe Says:

    Thank you, 🙂

  4. MQGem Monthly (September 2018) | MQGem Software Says:

    […] IBM announced new hourly container-based pricing for IBM MQ. Read more from Leif Davidsen here. […]

  5. Trying to contain your excitement – IBM MQ and Containers | Leifdavidsen's Blog Says:

    […] based devops environment, that might be the best way to deploy and manage MQ. And there is a new way to license MQ running in containers as described here. However, the long running nature of MQ might also lead you to review whether, if MQ might be […]

  6. Not the great state of Texas but the Integrate state of Texas. Learn more about IBM Cloud Integration Platform and IBM MQ at the 2019 Integration TechCon | Leifdavidsen's Blog Says:

    […] have written about MQ and containers before here and here and let’s face it, I will be writing about them again in the future. Just about every customer is […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: