Mainframe Blog

Demystify Mainframe Monthly License Charge (MLC) Costs with a Structured Approach

Tom Vogel
2 minute read
Tom Vogel


IT budgets are tight and the pressure is on to reduce mainframe costs, but where do you even begin? Since IBM® mainframe Monthly License Charge (MLC) software costs can represent more than 30% of a typical mainframe budget, anything you can do to reduce those costs – while still meeting the demands of digital business – can make a huge difference. Yet many mainframe organizations struggle with making a significant stride in reducing these monthly bills.

As a result, BMC has developed a model that takes a structured approach to simplify the MLC math and help organizations understand what’s driving peak usage. It also shows you how to reduce costs without risking availability. This approach is based on implementing best practices from over 30 years of experience as well as automation. For example, even if you have already made some progress with application tuning, manual capping, and workload shifting, a large opportunity still remains for you to increase savings. This model shows you how.

Simplify and Control Cost Management

As you familiarize yourself with this model, be aware that you’re not alone in the struggle to control MLC costs. In fact, our research indicates that most people don’t understand how MLC works. See David Schipper’s blog about understanding MLC pricing. You’ll learn how sub-capacity pricing works and how to move from one cost-saving activity to another. You can even track your results and map your savings. The details are described in this new white paper, “A Model for Transforming Mainframe MLC Cost Management”.

The MLC Cost Management Model is based on achieving key objectives that include:

  • Cost driver analysis
  • Workload tuning
  • Resource usage capping that is cost aware
  • Optimized subsystem placement
  • Advanced contract negotiation strategies

How Companies are Transforming MLC Cost Management with this Approach

Here are a few examples of ways companies are taking control over MLC costs and achieving great results.

  • A global provider of reinsurance services moved from using homegrown Excel-based approaches to BMC Cost Analyzer to quickly reduce costs with a projected total benefit of $2.68 million over 4 years despite a 10% increase in workload.
  • A large international bank used cost analyzer and BMC’s Intelligent Capping, slashing MSUs by 17 percent and saving thousands of Euros a month, along with other benefits.
  • After using cost analyzer, a government agency used BMC Subsystem Optimizer, saved 4 percent in test and development, and expects to cut peak workload and save $870,000 over 5 years.

 Get Started Now with MLC Cost Management

Read the white paper, “A Simple Model to Save Up to 30% on Mainframe Monthly License Charge Costs” to help identify where you are in the process and discover more ways to save while improving availability, productivity, and profitability.

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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

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.