Mainframe costs soak up a considerable portion of the IT budget, with IBM Monthly License Charge (MLC) costs typically representing 30 percent or more of the total mainframe cost. Moreover, IBM is increasing MLC prices at a rate of four to seven percent each year. Consequently, MLC costs present an opportunity for substantial savings and should be a prime focus for mainframe cost optimization.
Achieving optimization requires considerable insight into MLC cost drivers. But the complexity of the IBM MLC pricing model and the complexity of the IBM mainframe products make gaining this insight extremely difficult. The IBM Sub-Capacity Reporting Tool (SCRT) provides little help in that it indicates only the peak Million Service Unit (MSU) consumption of each product, with no indication of either the resulting cost or the cost drivers.
An Insightful Approach
To gain insight, many IT organizations have resorted to homegrown manual analysis methods typically based on spreadsheets. IT manually adjusts MLC factors to drive down costs based on the analysis in the spreadsheets. Although these efforts yield some cost reductions, organizations usually end up sub-optimizing and missing opportunities for substantial savings. Moreover, manual methods introduce risk in that the resulting adjustments to MLC may have unintended consequences in other areas such as negative impact on service quality or even an increase in MLC costs.
BMC Cost Analyzer for zEnterprise® — a cost management software solution that reports and predicts MLC costs — and BMC Intelligent Capping for zEnterprise— a mainframe software solution that dynamically automates and optimizes defined capacity settings to reduce MLC costs — provide a solution. With this advanced combination, IT organizations can gain significant insight into and control over their MLC costs, and realize significant benefits, including:
- Reducing MLC costs by 20 percent or more
- Increasing mainframe cost transparency for IT management and line of business owners
- Reducing business risk associated with making changes to reduce MLC costs