Mainframe shops that are counting their pennies are going to catch a financial break from one of the suppliers of performance monitoring and management tools for the box. BMC Software has reworked its various mainframe tools so that some of the code underlying them executes on IBM's specialty engines instead of on generic …
After spending millions on a platform which legally now belongs to you why on earth must you pay IBM a tax for usage.
"After spending millions on a platform which legally now belongs to you why on earth must you pay IBM a tax for usage."
1) Some mainframers in fact lease the machines, they do not own them.
2) The OS! Not justifying what IBM charges, but if you want to get all legalistic, I don't think IBM could do a thing to prevent you from using the machine you legally own, if you run your own OS on it. You don't, you are using IBMs OS, which they don't sell, they license to you as long as you make your payments to them.
Are mainframe prices out of site? Yeah. Are they worth it? I think so. The machines are rock-solid reliable, scalable, and well-supported; they are expensive, but I've read about plenty of instances where a company either spent like 20 years of mainframe fees on a project, which then failed to replace the mainframe.. or successfully replace it but find the replacement cost more than the mainframe did.
Firstly, I agree that mainframes are very reliable but they are not totally "rock solid", If you want a system that provides this then you need to go to clustering - either Sysplex or multi-site Parallel Sysplex. Once you do this then the inherrent reliability of the individual box is not so important as the plex can cope with individual box outages. TPF has been doing this for decades.
Once you move to clustering you can now use much cheaper commodity technology. Staying with a single "mainframe" and assuming you will be able to get 100% availability is risking it!
How do Google and Amazon survive without running their systems on mainframes?
Secondly, regarding the companies that failed to "replace the mainframe" and wasted money, time and effort - I've also seen lots of companies who have successfully done the migration and are making considerable cost savings from "ditching the mainframe".
The key is how well the migration is planned and managed and making sure the "what" and "how" is well understood before starting. It also depends on what vendor you are moving to and what architecture.
If you are moving from IBM mainframe to another IBM architecture you may find that they have reasons for not wanting the project to proceed.
Not casting aspersions but, IMHO, those that most support staying with mainframe are the "grey backs" currently employed to look after them.
BMC is on thin ice...
Didn't another company, albeit with less deep pockets try the same thing?
I doubt that BMC will shout the "A" word and we should expect a nice legal battle.
Fail because in the mainframe world the customers are always the lusers.
When will customers learn?
Why does anyone stay with IBM mainframe?
The amount of time and money that must be wasted by customers trying to reduce the cost of running workloads by jumping through IBM marketing loops (i.e. zIIPs, zAAPs, etc.).
They are being forced to upgrade to newer hardware with minimal price/performance improvements and then installing new software or updating applications for no real business benefit.
They should use the time and money to ditch zSeries and move to a more competitive environment - without the IBM lock-in.
Even worse, why would any customer in the right mind consider a proprietary IBM mainframe for a new application when they see things like this happen?
IMHO the IBM mainframe is dead - except for companies with deep pockets (esp. bailed out financial institutions).