IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 33

Labor expenses should influence IT acquisition decisions
BY NATALIE BOIKE

I

I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y J U S T I N M E T Z

t would be tough to balance a scale with mislabeled weights, but that’s exactly what dec ision-ma ker s do when they leave the cost of IT management out of the serveracquisition discussion. IBM Sof t ware Group’s Competitive Project Office (CPO) wanted to quantify analyst trends that claim administration is the single largest component of a data center’s total cost of ownership (TCO). “If you focus on acquisition cost alone, you end up optimizing for only a small component of the overall cost structure,” says Scott Bain, CPO senior manager. “If you expand your view and look not just at the hardware and software acquisition cost, but also the operational cost, particularly labor, you’ll find a very different picture.” At its onset, the study set out to quantify the difference bet ween the TCO of distributed versus mainframe computing, specifically using the zEnterprise* System for a mixed-workload environment. According to Bain, the results show that IBM’s newest mainframe, when coupled

with structured management practices, enables a reduction of more than half of a distributed environment’s labor hours. “You multiply that times an administrator’s salary over a three-year horizon; those are substantial savings that can greatly impact the overall cost,” he says. The st udy put s some numbers behind a proof point that Joe Clabby, president of Clabby Analytics, has been s h a r i ng fo r y e a r s . A f t e r interviewing IT executives at corporations worldwide, he says he’s still amazed at how few systems managers it takes to support a complete mainframe environment, compared to systems managers supporting a distributed environment. “Mainframe customers tell me they have three to five, maybe seven, employees who manage the mainframe. The same companies have 40, 50 or even 60 people who manage their x86 environments,” Clabby explains. “Think of the cost. If each employee is $100,000 per person when fully burdened (salary, benefits, vacation) and you’ve got to hire 40 for your distributed-server environment, but you only need five for your mainframe—geez, the cost comparison is wild.”

distributed servers. He argues this simply can’t be done. “The mistake IT buyers make is that they look at cost of acquisition, when they should consider all of the other things that go into purchasing a mainframe,” he explains. For example, mainframes have built-in security and buyers likely aren’t adding security costs for the distributed server they’re considering. “Resiliency. Reliability. Availability. With a mainframe, you’re paying for the strongest security in the industry and the highest meantime between failures in the industry,” Clabby says. “It’s just not the same.” (For a list of other qualities that make the mainframe stand out, read “Added Benefit,” page 35.)

Numbers Speak
After hearing this kind of anecdotal evidence for years, Bain felt it was important to develop a way to quantify this difference, which is why the CPO developed a labor model from which IBM could calculate the administration component and add it to the overall TCO discussion. The analysis team started with an existing environment consisting of 10,000 mixed workloads–light, heavy and heavy I/O–modeled after companies in the financial-services sector. They first examined the results on an all-distributed env ironment of 1,603 x86 servers—both dedicated and

A Like Comparison
Clabby frequently sees companies t r y ing to make an apples-to-apples comparison between IBM mainframes and

ibmsystemsmag.com/mainframe

JA N UA RY/ FE B RUA RY 2 011

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IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011
Table of Contents
On the Web
Editor's Desk: Time is Expensive
Data Display: Utilities, Users and Devices Are Getting Energy Wise Are Getting Energy Wise
Think Smarter: Smart Storage Solutions Let You Have It All
Insider: Energy Efficiency is More Than an Optimized Server
Trends: Case Study Shows IBM’s zEnterprise System Reduces Costs Across the Business
Moving Forward: UniGroup Inc. develops a mainframe-based Web tool to create a more flexible business model.
Tipping the Scale: Labor expenses should influence IT acquisition decisions.
Four-Star Advantage: The Polaris Workshop maps out a custom platform strategy.
Tips and Techniques: Reduce Resource Consumption on DB2 10 for z/OS
Solutions
Advertisers' Index
Stop Run: System/360 Pioneer Fred Brooks Teaches Design That Still Shapes Computing
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Cover2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Table of Contents
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 6
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - On the Web
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 9
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 10
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 11
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Editor's Desk: Time is Expensive
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 13
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Data Display: Utilities, Users and Devices Are Getting Energy Wise Are Getting Energy Wise
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 15
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Think Smarter: Smart Storage Solutions Let You Have It All
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 17
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 18
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 19
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Insider: Energy Efficiency is More Than an Optimized Server
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 21
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 22
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 23
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Trends: Case Study Shows IBM’s zEnterprise System Reduces Costs Across the Business
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 25
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 26
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 27
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Moving Forward: UniGroup Inc. develops a mainframe-based Web tool to create a more flexible business model.
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 29
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 30
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 31
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Tipping the Scale: Labor expenses should influence IT acquisition decisions.
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 33
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 34
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 35
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Four-Star Advantage: The Polaris Workshop maps out a custom platform strategy.
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 37
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 38
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 39
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 40
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 41
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Tips and Techniques: Reduce Resource Consumption on DB2 10 for z/OS
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 43
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 44
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Solutions
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Advertisers' Index
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Stop Run: System/360 Pioneer Fred Brooks Teaches Design That Still Shapes Computing
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 48
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Cover3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Cover4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - RF1
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