Enterprise Technology

Need to Lower IT costs? …. Leverage Existing Mainframe Investment

Those of you planning to keep your IT costs low, as testing times continue, would need to monitor your Mainframe MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second). Very often, cutting down MIPS utilization is the first step towards IT cost optimization. For those of you who want to optimize mainframe operations to bring down costs, a couple of approaches are outlined in this blog.

Approach # 1:

Offload/reduce your MIPS utilization

Critics of mainframe technology usually consider replacing mainframes, thereby reducing MIPS usage and its annual software licensing cost. One alternative to completely moving away from mainframe is to retain your legacy application running in the production environment and offload development and test activity to a distributed platform, eg. IBM’s RDz (Rational development for System z). This will enable your development team to deliver applications in a short turnaround time. It will also allow them to enhance their applications, test, and roll out patches to core production environment. If deploying major releases of applications, there is an option to do one-time regression testing on mainframes.


  • Reduced MIPS utilization, savings in terms of operational expenses
  • More capacity available for production
  • No bottlenecks on CPUs


  • Nominal upfront investment required
  • Not applicable for production environment

Approach # 2:

Leverage your mainframe setup and yet reduce software cost

Trends show that IBM’s MIPS growth on zLinux (Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) engines) has exceeded its general purpose (CP engines) growth. Recently, IBM has unveiled its new mainframe zEC12, it has world’s fastest chip running at 5.5 GHz and it comes with strong in-built security features designed to meet security and compliance requirements of different industries. This option enables your existing mainframe setup to be leveraged by moving applications to zLinux Logical partitions (LPARs).

There are currently over 3 million “Linux MIPS” installed across the world, so moving your legacy application from traditional Multiple Virtual Storage (MVS) to zLinux will help reduce MIPS utilization, in turn reducing costs. This will also ensure and increase your existing ROI (Return of Investments).


  • Open system: Stable, secure, and reliable platform
  • Both MVS and zLinux existence possible in single hardware
  • No software usage and recurring cost


  • No ISPF (Interactive System Productivity Facility) driven panels
  • Modern ISVs may not be available as compared to zOS