Mainframe TCO - up to 60% advantage

More support for the mainframe's "better economics" case ...CXOtoday article:  Illuminata Reports IBM Mainframes Better than Rest 

*IBM demonstrates that mainframe TCO advantages are 30 to 60% better than 30 Sun servers or 300 Linux servers.

*Its focus on cooling technology means the mainframe typically requires less electricity and air conditioning than many 1U servers running the same workload.

*For a mainframe running different workloads, the people costs are a fraction of those costs required for distributed systems. 

*Mainframe software license costs are competitive with other platforms - IBM's license costs/unit of workload decreases as the workload increases; especially processors like zIIP, IFL, and zAAP offer even lower hardware and software pricing.

by Timothy Sipples December 29, 2006 in Economics
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The Green Machine

Information technology products consume vast and growing amounts of energy. We, as professionals within that industry, must do better. That means:

1. Reducing computers' direct electricity consumption.
2. Reducing data center cooling needs.
3. Creating durable technology assets based on timeless architectural patterns.
4. Minimizing materials waste when replacing older technology, and recycling as much as possible.

This interview explains why mainframes are the most environmentally attractive machines in data centers. Fact: A mainframe is typically 10 times more energy efficient than distributed servers.

You may believe, as I do, that protecting our planet's environment is a worthy goal on its own. Or you may strictly care about your own energy cost savings. Or both. Regardless, IT must address this energy challenge, now.

Does your employer have a written IT environmental policy, including specific targets for data center energy savings? Is your employer taking that policy seriously?

by Timothy Sipples December 18, 2006
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How Mainframe Linux Reduces Costs

I'm going to quickly illustrate a typical financial case for Linux on z. The only problem? The numbers are wrong, and I'd like you to tell me why and how.

You see, the problem with financial models is that they're never exactly about your situation. You have to adapt them to your particular circumstances. Please do by posting comments. Here's my set of assumptions for this model:

  1. I already have a production mainframe plus a standby mainframe for disaster recovery.
  2. I am not yet running mainframe Linux.
  3. I run a "popular middleware product" on distributed servers.
  4. The middleware's annual subscription and support is $10,000 per CPU.
  5. I am considering moving this middleware from 40 distributed CPUs (running some combination of production, development, test/QA, and disaster recovery).
  6. Two IFLs provide enough peak capacity for this total workload.
  7. I already have enough mainframe memory, disk, and tape.
  8. The distributed servers have no residual value, and I cannot resell any surplus software licenses.
  9. I pay $2,000 annually per CPU for distributed hardware maintenance and technology refreshes.
  10. Distributed server operating systems and support are free (or included). So are networks, electricity, cooling, and floor space.
  11. I pay $2,000 annually per IFL for hardware maintenance, and technology refreshes are free (included with my mainframe refreshes).
  12. The interest rate is zero, inflation is zero, and labor is free (or at least equal).
  13. I receive no IBM discounts, and I pay U.S. dollar prices.
  14. I don't consider any value in higher mainframe qualities of service, faster server provisioning, etc.
  15. The world ends in 5 years, and then I count my money.

Scenario #0: "Business As Usual"

5 Year Middleware S&S: $2,000,000
5 Year Hardware Maintenance: $400,000
5 Year TOTAL: $2,400,000

Scenario #1: "Move to Mainframe Linux"

5 Year Middleware S&S: $100,000
5 Year Hardware Maintenance: $20,000
2 IFLs: $250,000
2 IFLs CBU (on DR mainframe): $40,000
2 z/VM Licenses: $45,000
5 Year z/VM S&S: $34,000
5 Year Red Hat or Novell Linux S&S: $150,000
New Linux Monitoring Software Licenses: $10,000
5 Year Monitoring Software S&S: $8,000
5 Year TOTAL: $657,000

5 Year Estimated TOTAL SAVINGS: $1,743,000
PERCENTAGE REDUCTION in 5 Year Costs: 72.6%

Did I miss anything here? What are your assumptions?

by Timothy Sipples December 6, 2006
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