Mainframe Blog

IBM just issued another MLC price increase. We have a mitigation plan. Do you?

John McKenny
3 minute read
John McKenny

At BMC, we were not surprised to see another 4% MLC price increase from IBM, which takes effect in January. Granted, BMC is an IBM Business Partner, but IBM MLC costs are a significant portion of our mainframe budget, just like every other mainframe customer. We’re not happy about it, so we have a plan to manage MLC costs. BMC has forged a path by inventing a 5-step approach to MLC Cost Management, a structured approach that is proven to help save customers up to 30% on their monthly bill.

Our MLC Cost Management solutions are designed specifically to lower MLC costs. BMC and our customers diligently use a cost analysis tool to monitor changes in workloads and identify new opportunities to save. We look to optimize where MLC products are running, and take full advantage of changes in pricing models and new technologies.

Our customers are also using an intelligent capping product to ensure they save the maximum MLC possible without affecting critical work. They are also depending on a subsystem placement optimizing product to ensure that their subsystem placement is optimized, which saves them a significant amount on MLC, while enhancing availability.

The 5-Step approach includes:

  1. Identify drivers of cost so that you can make changes to reduce them
    Use a cost analyzer to identify the peak rolling four-hour average (R4HA) of all logical partitions (LPARs) on which a product runs. Your solution should be able to model changes, too. That way you can see the impact of running utilities during peak, moving workloads, aligning batch to minimize costs, and exploiting defined capacity.
  2. Tune or Move Peak Workloads
    Through monitoring, you can discover high-level application performance issues caused by inefficient resource utilization and pinpoint and tune wasteful resource consumption. This can yield tremendous savings.
  3. Implement Intelligent Workload Capping
    By using an intelligent solution to capping, you can set policies to factor in workload importance and dynamically adjust caps to ensure that critical workloads run on-time, while reducing costs. Intelligent Capping is cost-aware, so you’ll only make changes that are safe and while saving money.
  4. Optimize Transactional Subsystems
    Because the charges for most MLC software are based on the peak R4HA of the LPAR on which they run, you can reduce costs by moving transactional subsystems to separate LPARs and still have the subsystems talk to the database. And, you can do this safely using a subsystem placement solution.
  5. Develop Advanced Negotiation Strategies
    At some point you’ll have to negotiate your next contract. However, you must implement MLC reductions on your current contract before negotiations begin to show that your estimates are accurate. Completing steps 1 through 4 and bringing in an expert in MLC cost reduction to guide you, puts your organization in a better position to negotiate the next contract.

Now is the time to hit back hard on MLC costs. BMC can help. Our solutions for database and systems management run efficiently and offload work to zIIPs. After all, every dollar you save can go to other, more strategic initiatives for your business.

Give us a call and we can show you how to neutralize IBM’s annual MLC price increase. In the meantime, visit our MLC Cost Management page to learn more, and see how to use a structured approach in this white paper: “A Simple Model to Save up to 30% on Mainframe Monthly License Charge Costs.

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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

John McKenny

John McKenny

As Vice President of Strategy for ZSolutions Optimization at BMC Software, John leads the Product Management and Solutions Marketing teams for mainframe solutions. Prior to joining BMC in 1995, he spent 15 years in various IT technical, management, and consulting roles in the transportation and insurance industries.