Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Controlling Mainframe Software Costs

Although this blog usually focuses on DB2 issues, I sometimes use it to focus on other IT issues, usually mainframe-related. The primary purpose of today's blog post is to promote a webinar I'm conducting this Thursday called, Managing Your z/OS Software BillThe webinar is sponsored by Data Kinetics, the North American distributor of a product called AutoSoftCapping (or ASC for short), that can be used to help control the rolling four hour average and thereby reduce monthly software bills.

Cost containment is of critical importance for IT departments in this day and age of financial austerity... especially so in the mainframe world.  Every decision regarding your computer resources is weighed based on not only the value that they can deliver to your organization, but upon their cost to procure, implement, and maintain. And, in most cases, if a positive return on investment cannot be calculated, the software won’t be adopted, or the hardware won’t be upgraded.

An important opportunity for mainframe cost containment is to better manage the peak monthly capacity of your mainframe on an LPAR (logical partition) by LPAR basis. The pricing model for most mainframe software is based on the capacity of the machine on which the software will run. Note that this pricing model reflects the potential usage based on the capacity of the machine, not the actual usage. Some vendors offer usage-based pricing. You should actively discuss this with your current ISVs as it is becoming more common, more accurately represents fair usage, and can save you money.
IBM offers several subcapacity pricing models for many of its popular software offerings, including products such as z/OS, DB2, IMS, CICS, MQSeries and COBOL. Some of the benefits of subcapcity pricing include the ability to:
  • Grow hardware capacity without necessarily increasing your software charges
  • Pay for key software at LPAR-level granularity
  • Experience a low cost of incremental growth
  • Manage software cost by managing workload utilization
By tracking MSU usage by LPAR you can be charged based on the maximum rolling four hour (R4H) average MSU usage, instead of full capacity. Most organizations with mainframes have shifted to some form of subcapacity pricing model, but not all of them understand how all of the "moving parts" work together. Thursday's webinar will help to clear that all up!
Managing mainframe software costs by adopting subcapacity pricing, soft capping techniques, and software like Data Kinetics' AutoSoftCapping can help your company to assure a cost-effective IT organization. In today’s cost-cutting, ROI-focused environment, doing anything less than that is short-sighted.


Anonymous said...

Yup. Nice summary Craig. And taking on new workload in time-slots that are NOT in the R4H can appear as almost "free" work.

Joe Polizzi said...

Sorry I missed this - did you happen to record it? Thanks, Joe Polizzi

Craig S. Mullins said...

Yes, the webinar was recorded and you can view it here --> http://data.dkl.com/30-04-15-watch-webinar.html