Mainframe MLC, Jobs/STCs, and Neapolitan Ice Cream – Part 1: How to Choose?

BY

This is a special 3-part blog series focused on helping you better understand the best practices for identifying key drivers of your mainframe costs, using the most efficient technology available today.

neopolitan_blog

Choosing a single flavor of ice cream on a hot day can be a tough choice, especially since there are so many choices. Finding ways to save on mainframe Monthly License Charges (MLC) can be even harder given how IBM charges for sub-capacity licensed software products and the complex nature of workloads running on the mainframe. IBM calculates the “peak” Rolling Four Hour Average (R4HA) of MSU utilization for a LPAR or combination of LPARs as the major charge factor when billing for MLC. Identifying work that can be rescheduled to run out of that peak, thus lowering the MSU count, can be a chore. What if the answer was a simple as Neapolitan ice cream?

Neapolitan ice cream contains three flavors in a single box. Comparing this to MLC, the box is your R4HA, and the ice cream is all of the workloads, or groupings of Jobs/STCs, which contribute to the hourly MSU count. Jobs/STCs have a MSU volume that contributes to the hourly MSU count and once the peak R4HA is identified, a cost can be associated to each of them.  So the question really becomes are Jobs/STCs running in the peak R4HA worth what you are paying for them?

In my household, a box of Neapolitan ice cream would mysteriously be emptied by preference; chocolate first, followed by vanilla, and lastly strawberry.  In the world of Jobs/STCs, the importance levels defined in the WLM service classifications frequently have very little bearing on if they can be rescheduled or not, tending to be more of a factor of SLA’s and dependencies. Movability coupled with cost makes it much clearer which would be more appetizing than others to reschedule from a cost savings standpoint. If we equate the workloads (Jobs/STCs) into ice cream flavors we have:

  • Strawberry – least likely to be moved, very little value
  • Vanilla – possible but not the first choice to move, somewhat valuable
  • Chocolate – easiest to move, most valuable

Obviously the Chocolate Jobs/STC would be the first place to look, but don’t be surprised if additional cost savings are found in the other flavors. This type of classification requires understanding, at a detailed level, what specific jobs/STCs are running in the peak, their cost-savings potential, and feasibility of rescheduling. The technical and business teams should work together to identify the Jobs/STCs to target and take scoop out of the peak R4HA!

Read more in Part 2. What Drives Peak and Monthly Cost?

Related posts:

12th Annual Mainframe Survey Results


The BMC annual mainframe survey is a key indicator of the future health and viability of the mainframe—and this year’s report busts 5 common myths about the platform.

Download Now ›

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

Share This Post


Jeremy Hamilton

Jeremy Hamilton

Jeremy Hamilton is a technical Software Consultant for BMC’s Mainframe Cost Optimization Suite (R4). He has over 9 years’ experience in the software industry, primarily in the technical sales role. He started his career as a physicist for IBM Research before moving into the mainframe software world. At IBM he worked with many large corporations and government agencies, and wrote three IBM Redbooks regarding the IBM Application Development Tools. In his current role, he works with various customers to educate, consult, and implement the R4 solutions, as well as drive enhancements for the products. Jeremy has a Masters in Information Systems from Santa Clara University, and an American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Sequoyah Fellow.