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5 Posts authored by: Dani Scherer Employee
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Optimize MLC Spend


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.

Learn More

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
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Date and Time



Wednesday, September 25, 2013 11:00 am CT






Want to learn about the current state of the mainframe – as portrayed by over 1,100 mainframers themselves? Interested in the answers to questions such as:


• What issue did 85% of survey respondents’ rate as most important?

• What are the reasons why organizations continue to invest in the mainframe?

• Is the mainframe really growing, or not?

• How many sites are experiencing unplanned outages, and why?


Join our experts as they discuss findings of the industry’s largest mainframe survey. Hear what made this year’s list of high-impact business initiatives and where top IT organizations are focusing their time and money.


See how mobility, Big Data and other technology trends are influencing IT organizations around the world. Learn how companies are tackling the toughest IT problems including cost optimization and increased demands for availability. And that is not all -- you will gain insight into mainframe outlook, perception, staffing which are key to understanding the modern mainframe ecosystem. Plus, get an overview of a prescriptive approach for managing one of the respondents’ biggest challenges.





G. Jay Lipovich

Dir of Solutions Management

BMC Software






April Hickel

Principal Product Manager

BMC Software








Hosted by IBM Systems Magazine



Register Today


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Over the past five decades, SHARE has become synonymous with high-quality, user-driven education and resources to make enterprise-computing specialists more effective professionals. SHARE serves more than 20,000 individuals representing over 2,000 of IBM's top enterprise computing customers.  Stop by booth #509 and visit BMC at SHARE, August 3-8 in Pittsburg, PA. 


MF Economics: What the Past 50 Years Can Tell Us About the Future jadams.png

Lively Discussion (Breakfast & Learn)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014:  7:20am – 8:20am

Room 304 (David L. Lawrence Convention Center)

Speaker: Jonathan Adams,

General Manager of BMC Mainframe Solutions


While the mainframe has been a platform of choice for the past 50 years, as IT transforms into a partner with the business, there is an increased focus on finances, and the economics of the mainframe. Breakfast is on us and so are the prizes! Come join us and share your experiences in this interactive session. We’d love to hear about your mainframe highlights and how you’re making your mainframe more cost-effective. We’re all celebrating the incredible advancements and achievements of the mainframe from the past 50 years and tomorrow’s amazing future.


Stop by Booth #509

BMC’s mainframe solutions reduce your overall mainframe costs and ensure highest availability of applications and business services. See how this is done at our booth #509.


Live Demonstrations


Fun Give-Aways

  • Pick up your "50 Years of Mainframe" t-shirt
  • See the special BMC Mainframe 50 Commemorative coin
  • Enter to win a pair Beats headphones


For more information on BMC Mainframe Solutions.

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Ninety percent of the nearly 1,300 respondents to the recent annual BMC mainframe survey of mainframe users worldwide agree that the mainframe acts as a long-term strategic platform that provides the foundation for cutting-edge business applications.


This example from an insurance company illustrates this point: You can download a smartphone app that monitors your speed, travel locations, and other factors as you drive your car. The app can evaluate you as a driver based on the collected data. Another app will display your auto insurance policy options. A mainframe is a key component of both apps.


People are tapping into mainframe-hosted data in new ways, forcing IT to modernize mainframe applications, stretching the mainframe further. This poses interesting challenges. As new applications are rolled out, these applications generally require additional MIPS. More applications means increased complexity in the data center, which creates a staffing issue. Fortunately, technology can help meet these and other challenges.


Focus on disaster recovery. Workload demands placed on the mainframe are stressing its resiliency. As a result, IT must re-examine disaster recovery strategies to ensure rapid recovery if a disaster occurs. An outage could disrupt the business, and in some cases, cost millions of dollars.


Though database mirroring is a common way to protect data, it may not be enough to ensure fast recovery post-disaster. One IT organization experienced a corruption that occurred in the primary database, which was then replicated by the mirroring. As a result, the problem resurfaced after recovery.


Solutions should enable IT to recover from an earlier point in time at which the operation was normal. Additionally, solutions should coordinate the recovery across all components of multi-tiered business applications, both mainframe and distributed.

Address the skills shortage. Approximately 75 percent of respondents were concerned about losing skills due to the retirement of seasoned mainframe workers. At the same time, mainframe operations are becoming more complex, requiring the management of a more difficult environment with a less-experienced staff.


Technology can address this challenge by providing expert guidance to a more junior staff.  Solutions are available that provide built-in advisors that encapsulate mainframe expertise, such as DB2 tuning, and leverage it to recommend the best course of action.

Other solutions involve self-learning in the environment. Technology can analyze workloads, learn to distinguish between normal and abnormal variations, and alert the staff of situations that require attention. Some solutions can take action automatically based on expertise and analysis, which reduces the need for highly skilled experts.


Achieve cross-platform visibility and automation. More than 55 percent of respondents reported the need to integrate the mainframe into an application environment that spans multiple platforms and technologies.


You need automatic discovery of the components in your infrastructure and this information should be consolidated into a unified, enterprisewide view. This view should show the interdependencies of the components and their relationships to business services. This is particularly critical for technology that enables your cross-platform business services, such as middleware. It’s also important to automate cross-platform processes, such as the coordinated deployment of application updates, across all affected infrastructure components.


Reduce costs. Cost reduction is the number-one concern of IT management with 69 percent of respondents identifying this as their primary focus. A major mainframe cost contributor is MIPS consumption, with 59 percent of respondents expecting MIPS capacity to grow as they expand and add applications. This makes minimizing consumption a top priority. As you reduce consumption, however, you must maintain service delivery at the levels required by the business.


The technology you use should let you move appropriate processing tasks to System z Integrated Information Processors (zIIPs). Some tools also offload a substantial portion of their own processing to zIIPs. In addition, the cross-platform visibility and automation solutions can help reduce mainframe management costs by enabling IT staff to operate more efficiently.


By addressing these challenges with automation, you can continue to exploit the unmatched power, resilience, and security of the mainframe.

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The increasing influence of mobility and other emerging technology trends are having a direct impact on how customers use the mainframe, according to the results of the seventh annual BMC mainframe survey.


"Each year the survey reflects trends that are taking shape globally. It should be no surprise that mobility and complex data centers are at the top of the list this year," said Bill Miller, president of Mainframe Service Management. "People want to access applications from anywhere and at any time, and this will be a key part of the future of our products."


Due to the increased velocity, volume and variety of data being processed as a result of these new trends, there is greater demand on IT infrastructures.

"The mainframe has a strategic advantage in this area, because of high availability, security, centralized data serving and performance capabilities," said John Barnard, chief technology officer for Mainframe Service Management.


The results also show that customers need to integrate the mainframe into highly complex enterprise IT systems that include both mainframe and distributed platforms, which shows the need for simple, cross-platform solutions.


Other observations from the survey include:

  • Ninety percent of respondents consider mainframe to be a long-term solution, and 50 percent agreed it will attract new workloads.
  • Keeping IT costs down remains the top priority, as 69 percent of respondents identified this as their major focus area, up from 60 percent from 2011.
  • Fifty-nine percent expect MIPS capacity to grow as they modernize and add applications. This highlights the need for software that minimizes expensive MIPS consumption.




Read the full results of the Mainframe Survey

Watch the video

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