Macro 4 introduces 'no gain, no fee' programme for IBM mainframe users

Source: Macro 4

Following a research project which identified that 84 per cent of mainframe users are looking to reduce the rate at which their systems consume expensive CPU capacity in the current tougher economic climate, Macro 4 has announced a 'no gain, no fee' programme to help tackle the issue.

"We've just finished a study of 97 UK mainframe users in which we found an overwhelming 84 per cent wanted to free up processing power. With budgets tightening, this can bring huge cost savings, including delaying purchases of costly CPU upgrades. It also means immediate reductions in monthly systems software license charges which vary in line with how much CPU power was used in the previous month," said Chris Limberger, Marketing Manager - Application Availability, Application Performance, from Macro 4, which is a mainframe performance management expert.

Macro 4 is offering mainframe users a short term consultancy project which guarantees to achieve processing power savings worth at least twice the value of its fee or they will not be charged

IT industry analysts have estimated that most large mainframe users can expect their systems' consumption of processing power to increase by 15-20 per cent annually¹, measured in Million Instructions Per Second (MIPS). This forces them to upgrade their CPU or risk slower application response times and ultimately reduced productivity and customer service.

"Even in the most stable IT environments MIPS consumption gradually increases over time due to small changes to applications, environments and databases. And the negative effects of these essentially minor alterations in programming code can be multiplied as database size and transaction volumes grow. Macro 4's MIPS reduction programme provides a risk free way for organisations to identify and correct these changes," said Limberger.

The initial consultancy phase of the programme uses Macro 4's performance management software to guarantee to free up CPU capacity equivalent to at least 200 per cent of the project fees or customers pay nothing.

"We have never failed to deliver at least this level of saving," pointed out Limberger.

The initial short term engagement will also identify further savings that could be made by unde undertaking a more detailed project using Macro 4's software.

According to Macro 4 the specialist programme is able to achieve much greater savings than mainframe users could achieve on their own, thanks to an expert system which identifies areas of excessive MIPS consumption, together with a very simple 'drill down' approach which guides users directly to inefficient program code so that it can be corrected easily.

"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 ten per cent per annum, the incremental cost will be in the region of £2.5 million. That's pretty typical and we come across many large organisations that are paying millions of pounds extra every year due to increasing MIPS consumption,says Limberger.

"In fact it's likely that customers' forced investments in CPU upgrades are a factor in why revenues for systems such as IBM's z series servers continue to increase, while sales of other server products are currently on a downward slide as indicated by IDC's² 2008 third quarter figures announced in December," Limberger concludes.

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