Why Reducing Mainframe Operating Costs Can Be Difficult

Why Reducing Mainframe Operating Costs Can Be Difficult

If you’re running a mainframe (and many enterprises still are), then one of your biggest expenses will be the monthly licence charges (MLCs) imposed by IBM. Reducing those costs could make a considerable difference, but making those calculations can be tricky.

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In a blog post examining the recent release of an MLC cost reduction calculator from BMC, Forrester analyst Mark Batrick notes that while these tools can be useful, they don’t always consider the specific configurations used within a business:

One word of caution; you will need to include your IT colleagues in reviewing the results as there may be some mitigating circumstances whereby you can’t make the changes the tool suggests.

Modern mainframes are rarely isolated, and interdependencies with other systems need to be handled carefully.

Forrester Blogs [BMC]


  • Mainframe shops can also download the free SCRT (Sub-Capacity Reporting Tool) from IBM which provides reporting to determine which sub-capacity eligible MLC products are executing in each LPAR on a machine and the rolling 4-hour average utilization of each LPAR on an hourly basis. Additionally, SCRT can report on all Execution-based Sub-Capacity IPLA (OTC) products. SCRT can also report on products that do not generate SMF89 records by using the NO89 DD statement in the SCRT JCL to specify where these products execute.

    However, the best way to manage software costs in any environment (mainframe or distributed) is to establish and maintain an effective software asset management program that includes policies and processes for software acquisition, and the tools to maintain a database of software entitlements and deployments.

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