This isn’t breaking news: reports of the mainframe’s demise are not only premature, they are utterly wrong.
But what is true is that companies are trying to do more with less in this economic environment, and that includes the trusty mainframe.
Macro 4 has just completed a survey of 97 mainframe users in which 84% said they wanted to free up mainframe processing power.
This would let them delay purchases of costly CPU upgrades and immediately reduce monthly systems software license charges which vary in line with how much CPU power was used in the previous month.
In a bid to control costs, Tesco has made use of performance management software from Macro 4 to help generate a significant reduction in MIPS usage before Christmas, when mainframe activity approaches peak levels.
The retailer commissioned Macro 4 partner, CPT Global, an independent performance management specialist, to consult on the project. Phase one involved CPT Global using Macro 4’s software to identify opportunities where changes to databases, systems software and applications could generate MIPS savings. In the next stage CPT is providing a more detailed assessment of these opportunities so its developers can go in and make the necessary changes.
Gartner has estimated that most large mainframe users can expect their systems’ consumption of processing power to increase by 15-20% annually, measured in MIPS.
Each additional MIPS typically costs around £2,500 in hardware and software charges. So if a company running a 10,000 MIPS system increases capacity by just 10% per annum, the incremental cost will be in the region of £2.5 million.
Still, that didn’t stop IBM’s z Series mainframe revenue being even more robust than its other server lines in its latest quarter – people may be trying to do more with less, but they’re not abandoning the mainframe just yet either.