Lowering that peak rolling 4-hour average (or as BMC calls it, R4) just became a lot easier. On September 8th, BMC announced V2.0 of each of its MLC-busting products, as a comprehensive suite named BMC Mainframe MLC Cost Management.
You might already be familiar with the products – Cost Analyzer, Intelligent Capping, and Subsystem Optimizer. You also probably know that moving the needle lower on MLC can be difficult – but there are answers today. In the IDC Analyst Connection piece “Controlling Mainframe Monthly Licensed Software Costs: What's the Best Approach?” Tim Grieser explains that “Monthly licensed software costs can run as high as one-third of total mainframe operational costs.” That’s a big chunk, but you can take action today with options that you didn’t have just a couple of years ago.
Here’s what you want to ultimately achieve:
- Understand your cost drivers and mechanisms
- Identify/validate cost-reducing actions
- Manage MLC budgets (present state/future state/options)
- Monetize the use of defined capacity (capping)
- Optimize subsystem license costs
Big news with BMC Mainframe MLC Cost Management – now you can cover all these bases with a swing of the bat. The suite brings together a combination of techniques for saving big money on MLC. Really, the key point here is that you now have the flexibility to choose how you want to save. Here’s more information:
Cost Analyzer 2.0
Using Cost Analyzer, companies are achieving some amazing benefits today. Mainframe IT and management can now understand, on a daily basis, what drives their MLC costs. In V2.0, Cost Analyzer has added deeper insight into specific batch jobs and workloads, providing a more granular view of these cost drivers.
So now you can track and manage your annual MLC budget like never before. You can also model changes you might be planning to your MLC software – in some cases, projects that were thought to bring MLC costs down turn out to be cost increases. Why spend the cycles on a project that won’t save you money?
Finally, we talk with many customers who say their peak 4-hour rolling average does not occur during batch processing. After using Cost Analyzer, some of them realize that this is not the case. Batch workloads are often the key driver of monthly peak. So you can see how Cost Analyzer can shed some needed light on key drivers of peak.
Intelligent Capping 2.0
Some organizations are using defined capacity (soft) capping to limit MLC costs. However, many sites are still incurring higher costs due to a lack of confidence in their ability to set effective caps without impacting business work. BMC Intelligent Capping enables you to set your own policy-driven, automated capping strategy that monitors your workload activity and dynamically adjusts your caps to ensure your most critical workloads are not delayed.
In V2.0, Intelligent Capping includes patent-pending technology that makes it “cost-aware”, meaning that no increase to MLC costs will result from balancing capacity limits across systems. So now you have a great capping solution – automated, dynamic, flexible, safe, and - most of all - cost aware.
Subsystem Optimizer 2.0
Optimizing subsystem placement can have a very significant impact on MLC costs. By enabling the most expensive MLC products, like CICS, IMS, and DB2 to talk to each other without running on the same logical partition, your MLC costs can drop significantly. BMC is working with many customers today on this – and light bulbs are flashing – “Why didn’t we do this sooner” some say. The high returns are driving a lot of interest in this solution.
Here’s why. You probably already know about the technical restriction that exists for MLC software. That is, when a transaction request comes in, say for DB2 via CICS, both these subsystems must reside on the same logical partition. BMC Subsystem Optimizer can provide new flexibility by enabling you to place them on separate LPARs and still communicate with each other. The amazing part is that this separation often changes the MLC math and quite often can lead to significant savings – and this happens with no application changes.
The solution already supported CICS-to-DB2 and CICS-to IMS DB. In V2.0, IMS TM-to-DB2, a very common transaction system combination, is available.
One thing to keep in mind about Subsystem Optimizer – it provides an important failover capability in case a subsystem temporarily goes down. If a request comes in, and if the DB2 or IMS subsystem is down, you normally need to wait until that subsystem is restarted before the transaction can complete. With Subsystem Optimizer, you can redirect that request immediately to another running subsystem on a different LPAR. This is a big advantage that you might not have today.
Learn more about BMC MLC Cost Management in the 2-minute video, or check out the web page. Also be sure to check out the helpful white paper: “5 Levers for Lowering Mainframe MLC Costs”, which provides a tips on how to go about lowering MLC costs.