- · Complexity - IBM lists 8 major pricing plans plus others. Plans are dynamic changing from time to time, for example, IBM recently changed its pricing to provide favorable treatment (i.e. reduce costs) for transactions originating from mobile devices.
- · Overwhelming data quantities - A medium-sized system can generate so many SMF records in a month that analyzing them is an overwhelming task.
- · Transparency – with no automated way to consolidate and plot the data to get a clear picture of what is actually happening, auditing IBM charges is challenging.
- · Inability to plan – Manually analyzing raw data to optimize usage to get the best results at lowest cost is very difficult. Customers turning to manual spreadsheets to address these problems have found their use tedious, frustrating and error-prone.
- · Providing graphic reports that show exactly the usage of the various LPARs in the system.
- · Breaking out the cost drivers by products and by workloads
- · Allowing What-if scenarios to evaluate the effect on billing of workload placement, product placement, and capping.
- · Facilitating audits of IBM software bills.
- · Start by getting the facts on how much is spent on the mainframe. Make sure to count only actual mainframe expenditures. In many data centers, all costs for power, cooling, etc. are allocated to the mainframe with none attributed to other servers.
- · Get exact figure for MLC software costs. This is necessary to identify the amount of potential savings. How does it relate to overall mainframe costs? If no active management has been done, potential savings could exceed 20%. The potential amount provides a savings goal, and is a guide to how much to budget for tools/efforts to save.
- · Permanently assign someone to monitor mainframe software pricing, to pay attention to the various IBM plans and determine which apply.
- · Actively monitor what is going on in the datacenter. In addition to running the mandated reports and sending IBM the output, review BMC’s 10 step program. Review the helpful series of videos BMC prepared with an outside consultant, Mr. David Wilson of SZS Consulting. The program includes the Cost Analyzer, but covers many other subjects as well, such as managing negotiations with IBM.
- · If using spreadsheets to monitor pricing, closely examine the value realized versus the time taken to prepare them. There may be a less expensive solution.
- · Review BMC’s Cost Analyzer, identify potential savings from its regular use. The tool will give maximum value only if used as a part of a comprehensive plan to manage software costs.