Recently IBM announced Mobile Workload Pricing (MWP) for z/OS which can minimize the impact of mobile workloads on Sub-Capacity license charges, delivering optimized pricing for System z environments extending their workloads to incorporate mobile devices.
MWP only applies to Mainframe customers deploying a zEC12 or zBC12 in their enterprise, as per the AWLC or AEWLC (AKA Advanced/Entry Workload License Charges) metric; MWP is also extended if a zEC12 or zBC12 enterprise is deploying a z196 or z114 via the AWLC or AEWLC metric.
The primary consideration for MWP is determining how a Mainframe customer can comply with the tracking requirements for mobile workloads. On the plus side, MWP does not require an isolation of mobile workload transactions in separate LPARs, using enhanced reporting for software pricing. This is a major step forward when compared with Integrated Workload Pricing (IWP), which ideally requires large LPAR container structures, minimizing costs for WebSphere workloads, applying to the CICS, IMS and WebSphere MLC software products. Conversely, MWP includes DB2 in the list of eligible software products for cost reduction.
If a Mainframe customer is eligible for MWP pricing they will then need to utilize the Mobile Workload Reporting Tool (MWRT), which is analogous to the original Sub-Capacity Reporting Tool (SCRT). This is an either/or situation, the Mainframe customer only submits MCRT reports to IBM if they’re MWP eligible, or the status quo remains, where non-MWP Mainframe customers continue to submit SCRT reports.
The Mainframe customer must track and report General Purpose (GP) CPU time for mobile transactions, reporting those values in a pre-defined format to IBM each month to benefit from MWP. MWRT utilizes reported mobile transaction data to adjust the Rolling 4 Hour Average (R4HA) Sub-Capacity software eligible MSUs, with LPAR granularity. Optimizing mobile transactions impact for peak LPAR MSU values delivers benefit when higher mobile transaction volumes generate MSU resource usage peaks (Workload Spikes).
MWRT calculates the R4HA for mobile transaction GP MSU resource usage, subtracting 60% of those values from the traditional Sub-Capacity software eligible MSU metric, with LPAR granularity, for each and every reporting hour. The software program values for the same hour are aggregated for all Sub-Capacity eligible LPARs, deriving an adjusted Sub-Capacity value for each reporting hour. Therefore MWRT determines the billable MSU peak for a given MLC software program on a CPC using the adjusted MSU values.
Most committed zSeries Mainframe customers will be deploying CICS, DB2 and WebSphere software, while IT trends dictate that mobile device usage (I.E. Smartphone, Tablet, et al) is increasing. Therefore most z/OS applications that require such mobile access have evolved accordingly over time. Therefore it seems to be one of those “No Brainer” type scenarios, where the Mainframe user should plan to benefit from MWP, either as they upgrade to the latest zSeries technology, namely zEC12 or zBC12, or immediately if already deploying a zEC12 or zBC12 server.
The only minor consideration is a requirement for the zEC12 or zBC12 customer to engage their local IBM account team, to determine what data they need to report on mobile transactions for MWP consideration. This one off task will deliver optimized WLC pricing forever more.
Of course IBM are encouraging customers to consider the Mainframe for new applications, driven by mobile transaction requirements. Equally, there is no reason why longer term Mainframe customers can’t benefit from MWP, benefitting from reduced MLC costs, a major consideration of Mainframe TCO.