Mainframes still remain among one of the most cost-effective options for IT departments. In fact, even in this era of options like cloud computing, mainframes are the go-to solution for about 80 percent of business and government transactions. Yet any mainframer can tell you, if you don’t keep a lid on the mainframe, costs can go up more quickly than you anticipated. There are several ways to help improve operations so that you can keep those costs under control.
Conduct Regular Application Auditing
Send out your department’s best ninja to find those unnecessary applications and eliminate them. Ruthlessly. But be nice about it, because this is a cartoon ninja.
Every department has a gaggle of applications, each one they swear would end the business immediately if eliminated. But how many would they be willing to pay for if they were being charged back for? Ask. If you audit those applications and demand to know why each is necessary and exactly what benefits they provide to the organization, you’ll likely find that a healthy number can be scrapped. Take a look at the top least efficient applications with special interest, and see which ones can be eliminated. Some applications might have functionality that isn’t being leveraged, so those operations might be transferred to a more efficient application. Do the homework and cut deeply.
Optimize Management of Resources
One thing that drives up mainframe costs significantly is the increased need for more CPU capacity upgrades. You can lower those CPU costs with MFX for z/OS. This solution helps you meet those batch window requirements and improve the efficiency for lower operational costs. Also, take a look at when those batch workloads are scheduled. It might be possible to reschedule those away from peak times to lower the need for processing power and save on CPU upgrades.
Negotiate With Your Software Vendors
Don’t think you can get a better deal from your vendors? Tell them you’re looking into a competitor. Cha ching! You’re welcome.
Do you just pay whatever your software vendors charge you, or do you have a savvy negotiator on staff who can whittle them down on the costs and maybe even convince them to offer some extra services or features for free or cheap? If you can get more from one application, that might eliminate the need for some of the others. Use good software asset management (SAM) to keep track of licenses up for renewal, and start the negotiation process early enough that you can find alternatives to vendors who won’t work with you.
Replace SAS PROC Sort With Something More Efficient
There is an alternative to SAS PROC Sort called MFX PROCSort. This plugin product improves performance and efficiency for SAS applications, while lowering task CPU time by as much as 40 percent and lowering elapsed time by as much as 25 percent.
Offload to zIIP
Offloading to zIIP is an often-recommended way to distribute the processing load, helping stave off the number of CPU upgrades you’ve got to invest in. The ZPSaver Suite allows you to offload as much as 90 percent of Copy and SMS Compression CPU cycles to zIIP.
See? Mainframe costs are once again under control.