Mainframe Blog

A Partnership for Mainframe Cost Efficiency—and Customer Success

Jay Lipovich
by Jay Lipovich
3 minute read

BMC and Compuware

On Feb 17, BMC Software and Compuware Corporation announced a technology and marketing partnership designed to help IT make mainframes more responsive and cost-efficient. In an age where partnerships may include more marketecture than substance, this announcement stands out for several reasons:

1. BMC and Compuware are innovators in the mainframe management space. While other notable mainframe vendors have been managing layoffs or struggling financially, BMC and Compuware have been delivering new solutions to market. You can read about two recent ones here and here.

2. Both companies have engineered solutions for improving the economics of the mainframe by reducing mainframe cost and improving availability.

3. The partnership includes strategic integration of products: BMC Cost Analyzer to Compuware Strobe and BMC MainView to Compuware Strobe.

4. Existing licensed customers of the integrated products will receive the integration enhancements at no additional charge.

The integration of BMC Cost Analyzer with Compuware Strobe extends IT’s ability to manage down MLC software costs by linking the MLC cost analysis capabilities of Cost Analyzer with the application analysis of Strobe. Visit the Cost Analyzer page and watch a short video to learn more about how it works.

With the BMC MainView and Compuware Strobe integration, IT can detect looping or high-usage jobs and invoke Strobe to get a detailed look at the code that is driving the activity. This process can be initiated manually or automatically. This approach could automatically flag excessive use, initiate a Strobe data collection, and provide the information needed to pinpoint tuning opportunities. Adaptive automation such as this in MainView not only helps reduce mean time to repair (MTTR), but also addresses the type of workforce skills issues that are increasingly confronting mainframe sites.

Before this integration, IT would have had to address the first use case manually. Technicians must make the connection between peak MSU activity and how tuning the code could reduce costs in order to identify high-return tuning efforts. With more to do and less time to do it, making the manual connection is no longer feasible.

Similarly, without the integration of MainView and Strobe, monitoring requires eyes-on-glass with MainView to spot high CPU consumers and manual initiation of detailed application data collection with Strobe. This approach is impractical in the modern data center, and the opportunities to spot and fix problems are missed—at least until an application’s inefficiency impacts quality of service to the users.

The IT cost savings available with these integrations can be in the hundreds of thousands for many IT sites. With active management, it’s estimated that mainframe IT organizations could save 10% to 30% off their MLC costs, costs that are approximately one-third of the total IT mainframe budget. You can read about an approach to achieving these levels of savings in a white paper, Ten Steps to Reducing Mainframe MLC Costs.

The cooperation in the interest of mainframe customers that this partnership represents may be a key step in supporting mainframe’s prominent role in the transformation of IT into a business accelerator. The scalability, reliability, and sheer performance of mainframes are qualities that endear the platform to so many key industries. The massive amounts of data being gathered from all of us, driven by pervasive social and mobile technologies, are finding a home on mainframes. And the analytics needed to turn the data into actionable intelligence will have mainframe as a key participant, according to 81% of respondents in the 2014 BMC Software Annual Mainframe Survey.

There is great promise in a partnership designed for the success of customers and the platform. This could be a real case where 1+1 really is 3.

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

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About the author

Jay Lipovich

Jay Lipovich

G. Jay Lipovich is a Principal Product Manager for mainframe systems management and cost optimization at BMC Software. He has many years’ experience in the design and development of strategies and solutions for infrastructure and data management. This includes design strategy and performance evaluation for a mainframe hardware vendor; infrastructure performance consulting for industry and US government agencies; and design and development of strategies and solutions for infrastructure management solutions. He has published numerous articles in trade journals defining approaches to infrastructure performance management and cost optimization. Mr. Lipovich is ITIL Foundation and CDE certified.