Software licencing is highlighted as a major cost issue for CIOs
November 19th, 2013

In a recent study by Computing Magazine CIOs from across the UK have identified their top five IT Budget killers as:

• Storage expansion
• Hardware sprawl
• Licensing
• Ensuring high availability
• Security

Licencing is proving to be a major cost challenge for many organisations. In the research carried out by Computing, licencing appeared in both the Top of Overall Expenditure and Unexpected Costs lists.

For organisations running IBM's mainframe systems, software licencing can be particularly complicated. Mainframe software charges are usually based on peak usage, so whatever an organisations' peak workload in a given month is what they pay for. This means that one workload spike could push costs up significantly.

‘Whilst customers recognise the security and reliability benefits of running their operations on IBM Mainframe hardware, rising software costs can be a real challenge. For many organisations, reducing the cost of running mainframe applications whilst continuing to provide a great service is a key goal.' Julian Stuhler, Solutions Delivery Director and IBM Gold Consultant, Triton Consulting.

It is possible to regain control of software charges by running an audit of the current environment and identifying when and where the workload peaks occur. Software licence costs can be reduced by implementing defined capacity and workload placement techniques. By tuning the workloads that contribute to peak usage, ongoing software costs can be reduced and mainframe upgrades potentially deferred. In addition, application performance will be enhanced and overall Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) reduced.

Triton Consulting's zTune service is usually carried out over three phases. Phase one includes the initial audit of the environment and provides "quick win" recommendations for reducing monthly licence fees.  Triton will guarantee that the Phase 1 study pays for itself in terms of reduced average MLC fees within 3 months of the recommended actions being implemented.  Phases two and three go into further detailed analysis and tuning activities. The analysis is conducted on workloads running during the peak periods responsible for the monthly licence costs. Specific workloads (CICS, DB2 IMS etc) are analysed to uncover scope for further cost reduction through additional tuning. Optimisation and tuning is then carried out to ensure that all workloads are running in the most cost effective and efficient way possible.

'I believe that the zTune service from Triton Consulting offers customers a unique opportunity to reduce spiralling mainframe costs, providing an end-to-end approach to mainframe cost management, from initial auditing and LPAR optimisation through to specific workload tuning. Having worked alongside Triton for many years, I highly rate their in-depth mainframe knowledge and professionalism, and I'm confident that many mainframe sites will benefit from this service' Paul Arnerich, Principal Consultant, TSD Consulting.

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