Processing More Doesn’t Have to Cost More

You don’t have to go nuts to control IT costs—you can make effective optimizations to the infrastructure that you’ve already invested in.

Mainframe Cost Optimization

The mainframe is the best platform for running large-scale transaction processing because that is what it was designed for. It is also the most cost-effective platform for these large-scale operations. However, there is a problem—and it is in fact, cost.

It is not the cost of the platform. The dollar issue at hand is related to the constantly rising costs. And these rising costs are due to increased workloads from business growth—nobody is against increased business, but processing more business transactions just costs more.

Controlling costs becomes more difficult with higher demands

The typical way to deal with rising demands on the mainframe is to plan for regular system upgrades – for more MSU and CPU capacity. IT organizations run a two- to five-year cycle of system upgrades. This satisfies the need for more computing power to handle the rising demand on the systems, but it does nothing to help control costs.

Controlling costs these days includes a mix of complicated solutions and half-measures like scheduling, trying to use as much zIIP as possible, initiating sub-capacity pricing and performance capping scenarios, and various tuning techniques. Another popular “cost control” solution is migrating off the mainframe—a course of action fraught with tremendous risk. While effective to some degree, these solutions can only take you so far. Your costs are still going to increase; it’s just a matter of how much you’re willing to spend in time, energy, risk, and money.

Nobody is against increased business, but processing more business transactions just costs more.

Mainframe cost optimization solutions

High-Performance In-Memory Technology

High-performance mainframe in-memory technology can be used to make your existing applications more cost-effective—particularly those in environments experiencing ultra high transaction processing rates, like batch reconciliation or especially intense online transaction processing. This technology works by allowing select data to be accessed using a much shorter code path than most data. When only a small portion of data—the data accessed most often—is accessed this way it uses considerably fewer cycles. Lower system resource usage translates directly into lower operations costs.

IT Business Intelligence to Control Costs

IT organizations collect tremendous amounts of data about their own computing resources every day – both mainframe, midrange servers locally, or in third-party datacenters. So much data is collected, that you could call it their own “IT Big Data.” And with the right toolsets, this IT data can be used to reduce the cost of datacenter operations.

IT business intelligence solutions provide valuable information to decision makers at all levels—this includes SMF and other data from your mainframe systems, MXG, Win32 and WMI, SSH data from your server farms, along with corporate business and IT costing information. All this information, presented graphically, can show the various workloads over time, with associated cost shown as well.

Soft Capping Automation to Control Cost

IBM provides powerful cost and pricing control mechanisms to help contain mainframe monthly licensing charges: sub capacity pricing for z Systems hardware, flexible licensing charge options (like AWLC, PSLC, zNALC, CMLC, MWP, zWPC , etc.), and IBM Soft Capping. But managing these tools is largely a manual process that can be both challenging and risky. Worse, it can be a challenge to effectively control these costs without suffering either performance capping or risking inadvertent cost increases.

Fortunately, solutions exist that can dynamically automate mainframe soft capping, making the process much more flexible and predictable—without actually capping any business-critical application processing. IT organizations can avoid capping altogether by dynamically controlling LPAR defined capacity limits, and leveraging available capacity from other LPARs, to essentially provide capacity on demand. Using this technology, it is possible to reduce resource usage (and associated costs) by 10–15% or more. Perhaps more valuable than that is the ability to curtail long-term growth in MSU usage.

Multi-Platform Integration to Control Costs

Most large IT organizations run perfectly good mainframe applications representing many years of investment and containing priceless intellectual property that would be difficult and costly to reproduce or replace. Updating or improving existing mainframe assets can be dangerous – and not even possible in some circumstances like proprietary, off-the-shelf applications. An organization could address this challenge by completely re-engineering all mainframe applications and designing brand new systems to replace the existing mainframe systems. But that will be an extremely costly and time consuming solution.

A much better solution is to leverage existing assets, without reinventing the wheel. IT organizations can build new apps on distributed systems (or on a mainframe zLinux OS LPAR) using developers writing applications in server side JS, Java, .NET, etc., and running tight but powerful APIs that will allow those applications to communicate with the existing assets. Existing mainframe applications remain in operation, untouched. Meanwhile, new applications developed on distributed systems and running on the web or on mobile devices can access mainframe assets via TCP/IP or MQ. Legacy CICS applications respond by accessing mainframe data as required, and returning results to the requesting distributed application.

Want to Learn More?

Mainframe Cost Optimization

Optimizing mainframe costs

DataKinetics Z Mainframe cost optimization solutions provide a way to reverse the trend of large-scale IT cost increases, and to help the overall financial picture for those organizations running mainframe systems. The solutions mitigate one of the major perceived risks of staying on the mainframe: the ongoing operational cost. By leveraging existing IT investments, IT organizations can achieve a sharp decrease in cost-per-transaction and even ongoing operations costs. At the same time there will be corresponding throughput capacity and overall system performance improvements.

Learn more about the technologies that support mainframe cost optimization.


tableBASE can lower your costs and mainframe TCO, dramatically reduce batch processing time and optimize your MIPS usage, offering performance benefits and more powerful and efficient applications.

Download the Overview

IT Business Intelligence

IT Business Intelligence collects capacity and performance data from the IT infrastructure and combines these with business information such as costs, which application and organizational unit is using the resources, and for what activities.

Download the Overview

Soft Capping Automation

With Soft Capping Automation you can control your workload license charges by dynamically modifying the LPARs Defined Capacity limits taking into account the behavior and needs of all your LPARs.

Download the Overview

Multi-Platform Integration

Our multi-platform solution can integrate anything mainframe with anything distributed to extend existing mainframe assets to new users and uses, improving business processes and maximizing returns on mainframe investment.

Download the Overview