Friday, September 6, 2013

BMC’s Cost Analyzer for zEnterprise, simplifying mainframe optimization

By Rich Ptak

Seasons change. New technologies emerge. Next-gen solutions proliferate. Analysts pontificate. Fads burst on the scene, then disappear. Solutions appear for problems you never knew you had. It seems that opinions, advice and recommendations for optimizing operations, increasing margins, attracting productive millennials are more numerous, louder and more insistent than ever. Log onto the internet, scan your e-mail or turn on your mobile device and someone is there to tell you how to solve whatever problems you have.

However, for those in the enterprise and IT, the basic issues that disrupt peaceful slumbers of managers and staff alike persist. For mainframe (and other) IT operations, issues that just won’t go away include:

  1. Solutions and tools must be increasingly approachable and easy to use, as the workforce changes and technologies evolve.
  2. While hardware costs may drop and more economical specialty engines proliferate, operational costs continue to rise and must be controlled.
  3. CPU and MIPS utilization rise driving up the cost and expense of software licenses and resource consumption.
  4. Getting information that helps understand, manage and control mainframe software costs has been a difficult and frustrating task.

As we’ve mentioned before[1], BMC’s mainframe group has shown itself to be especially responsive to the concerns and efforts of mainframe users to optimize, not simply minimize, the costs and expense of mainframe operation.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that they took on the challenge of making sense of the available data about mainframe software utilization (MLC software) and resource (MIPs) consumption. The recently shipping BMC Cost Analyzer for zEnterprise[2] uses the same data used in IBM’s Software Cost Reporting Tool (SCRT). Familiar to mainframe management and operations staff, SCRT software data has been notoriously difficult to use. Until now.

BMC’s solution uses data for both MLC (Monthly License Charge) and 4HRA (4 Hour Rolling Average) to create reports that provide insight and information to get software costs and MIPs consumption under control. Using models developed by BMC and minimal customer data input costs can be  determined by product, CPC as well as average and incremental costs. Early use customers have found[3] that they can realize MLC savings ranging from 5% to 20% (or more) based on the insight they now have into what is driving up costs.

Based on the demonstration we were shown, it’s clear to us that zEnterprise mainframe customers of all sizes can get immediate value from this solution. And, the glimpse into BMC’s roadmap for the future indicates to us that there will be even more as they move forward. We highly recommend a look at BMC Cost Analyzer for zEnterprise to all current users.

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