Take the Wheel and Manage Mainframe MLC Costs

Take the Wheel and Manage Mainframe MLC CostsChances are that the last time you purchased a car, you looked at all the costs and features carefully as you considered the type of automobile you wanted. You needed to determine how many passengers it could carry. You might have thought about the price differences between buying and leasing. Other considerations impacted decisions around the loan, such as how many years it would cover, the monthly payment, and the amount required for a down payment. And, of course, you’d want to take the car for a test drive to make sure it lived up to your expectations.

In an effort to get a more complete picture of the deal over time, you probably evaluated the miles per gallon, or whether the car would run on gas, electricity, or a hybrid engine. If you live in a city where electric vehicles qualify to use the carpool lane during peak commute times, this may have also influenced your decision. Essentially, you likely identified your requirements based on your preferences and budget, did the math, made your choice, and then developed a strategy to negotiate the best deal.

Drive full speed ahead and control mainframe MLC costs

In many ways, you can apply these same considerations to understanding and managing mainframe Monthly License Charges (MLC). By actively managing MLC costs, you can quickly reduce them while protecting the most critical business services on the mainframe. In fact, with the right solutions and strategy, you can save thousands, or even millions of dollars each year through cost analysis, intelligent capping, and optimizing where subsystems are placed.

It’s a rough road out there, but it doesn’t need to be

The demands of the digital enterprise are putting more pressure on the mainframe to take on an increase in workloads that offer digital engagement, driving a higher peak 4-hour rolling average. MLC costs can run as high as one-third of your total mainframe budget. Based on our discussions with customers and industry experts, we’ve determined that if you don’t actively manage your MLC costs, you tend to pay 15 percent more. Conversely, if you actively manage these costs, you are likely to pay as much as 15 percent less. That’s a 30 percent difference!

So, it’s time to take the MLC steering wheel in hand and head in the right direction. Look at your MLC software products that you license and where they are consuming excessive MSUs. Use cost analysis tooling to uncover ways to help you save.

Understand the impact of peak traffic and curb costs

Hybrid and electric cars as well as many newer vehicles give you more data than ever before so you can optimize your energy usage. For example, dashboard displays can show the miles remaining until the next charge or tank fill. Some vehicles display the miles per charge or gallon you’re getting in real-time. You can make changes in driving behavior to reduce costs based on this information, such as braking more lightly or accelerating more slowly.

This level of increased awareness is also available for the mainframe, maximizing your understanding of and ability to manage peak traffic. A cost analyzer tool gives you visibility into the types of priority work running at peak times so that you can understand what’s driving that resource usage and make appropriate decisions to reduce costs based on that information. It also provides insight into any batch jobs that might be driving the peak.

Set limits and optimize mainframe usage

When you lease a car, it’s important to be aware that if you go over the mileage limits you can end up paying a steep fee at the end of the lease. Similarly, if you go over the target number of MSUs on your mainframe MLC software, you could owe a big check at the end of the month or year. That’s why cost analysis tools are essential to model changes, and their impact, before they are made. When you combine that capability with intelligent workload capping, you can adjust thresholds and know that the most important services won’t be impacted.

When you buy or lease a car, the monthly payment is a major consideration. The same is true with monthly MLC costs. What if you could reduce MSUs and lower your monthly payments? After a cost analysis, you can add intelligent capping to your tool set and implement your own policy-driven capping strategy to reduce costs.

Maximize subsystem efficiency to drive farther

When you purchase a car, energy efficiency is an important criteria, especially if you have a long commute. Operational efficiency also applies to the consumption of your applications. Again, here’s where subsystem optimization comes in, by enabling the most efficient MLC products – like CICS, IMS, and DB2 – to talk to each other without being on the same LPAR. That’s important because MLC products are charged based on the peak rolling 4-hour average of the LPARs on which they run.

Get ready to negotiate

You wouldn’t walk into a car dealership eager to pay the sticker price without looking for ways to save, would you? You’d do your homework, know which features are most important to you and identify their costs in order to get the best deal. The same concept of understanding costs and requirements applies when you prepare negotiation strategies for your next MLC software contract. You’ll want to be sure your MLC costs are as low as possible before entering that negotiation.

Webinar: Manage MLC Costs to Optimize Mainframe


Webinar
Watch this 13-minute webinar and discover how to reduce MLC costs and accelerate the value of the mainframe. Learn about cost drivers, how to tune or move peak workloads, dynamic capping, optimizing subsystem license charges, and negotiating contracts.

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

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Tom Vogel

Tom Vogel

Tom Vogel has enjoyed 25 years in the software industry, in various technical, marketing, and business development roles. At IBM Corporation, Tom managed product launches for various database products on all platforms. Previously, Tom managed the marketing and communications for a host of middleware software packages, such as OpenTV interactive TV software. At Automation Anywhere in San Jose, Tom was the Director of the ERP Business, managing Business Development and Marketing for the company's rapidly growing ERP process automation and testing automation solutions. Tom is experienced in building customer and partner relationships, and has an MBA from Santa Clara University. Today, Tom is the Lead Solutions Marketing Manager for innovative mainframe cost optimization and data management offerings at BMC Software.