In a previous blog, I mentioned that most in-house mainframe operations would say that cost reduction is a top priority for them. This statement is supported by mainframe user data collected at the Gartner Data Center Conference, the Annual BMC Mainframe Survey, and the annual Arcati Mainframe Yearbook Survey.
Let’s take a quick look at a few hardware-related issues that often increase both cost and risk for in-house mainframe operations – along with some ideas for driving those back down. Here’s some food for thought:
- Consider replacing older hardware - Aging hardware is often unsupported by the vendor and non-upgradeable. Not only are you unable to exploit many software and hardware improvements, but as equipment ages maintenance costs also increase. Outsourcing to a provider that offers more up-to-date technology for you to leverage can be a great way to address this issue.
- Right-size your mainframe infrastructure environment – Don’t deploy a bigger box than you need. Outsourcing can enable you to “right-size” your mainframe environment by allowing you to provision the storage and computing resources you need, and nothing more.
- Consider transitioning away from dedicated, client-owned hardware - You can leverage an outsourcing provider to turn this capital expense into an operating expense, accommodate capacity fluctuations and spread the hardware expense across multiple clients.
- If your MIPS consumption is increasing, investigate other alternatives to reducing MIPS - You can migrate workloads (like your development and testing environments) to an alternative platform, exploit specialty engines, etc.. A partner with a long history of mainframe experience and a broad range of services in this space may be able to help you take advantage of these opportunities if you don’t have the internal expertise or bandwidth.
For more thoughts on driving your mainframe-related hardware costs down…check out HP's viewpoint paper on “Managing Mainframe Costs”.
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