IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 20

CUSTOMER: Met Office
HEADQUARTERS: Exeter, Devon, England
BUSINESS: Weather modeling and forecasting, and
climate-change research
CHALLENGE: Choosing between a mainframe refresh or
maintaining a more distributed Linux computing environment
SOLUTION: After taking costing and benchmarking test results into
consideration, the company moved many of its formerly distributed
Linux workloads to an IBM zEnterprise 196
HARDWARE: Two IBM zEnterprise 196s with 17 IFLs each
SOFTWARE: Oracle database software

based on IBM POWER7* systems.
It analyzes a complex range of
parameters, including the obvious
temperature, pressure and
humidity. The forecast models
are run four times a day, with the
most critical being at midnight
and noon when the most
observational data is available.
The resulting forecast model
data is passed to downstream
systems including the
mainframes-one of which is
used for production and the other
for testing, development and
production backup-for postprocessing and weather-product
creation for both consumer and
commercial consumption.

A Rigorous Process
Prior to moving to the z196s,
Met Office had been running
several Linux instances on
an IBM System z9* Enterprise
Class machine, having been an
early adopter of Linux on other
mainframes since 2000, according
to Richard Cains, technical lead
with Met Office's mainframe team.
However, it had many more Linux
instances running on distributed
systems. This resulted in a number
of issues, including infrastructure
complexity and ever-increasing
software-licensing costs

associated with running commercially supported
products on distributed servers.
Met Office sought to upgrade its mainframe
environment in 2011 as part of a lifecycle refresh,
which is standard for most organizations running
older systems looking for greater performance
and newer built-in technologies. On this occasion,
however, there was push back from some Met
Office executives regarding the value of continued
investment in mainframe technology. Some thought
the organization might be better off operating in a
fully distributed environment, citing, for example,
the lower up-front costs of purchasing new
commodity systems as compared to a mainframe for
equivalent capability.
"To arbitrate this, we went through an extremely
rigorous process of putting the mainframe technology
up against commodity technology in terms of total
lifecycle management and business benefit," Catlow
recalls. "It took us about a year to develop a total cost
model relating to our environment. We looked at the
many different aspects of running both technologies
in terms of hardware, infrastructure support,
environmental and software-licensing costs. Once we
got past the hardware and infrastructure costs, the
focus then turned to the software-licensing issues,
and a test case was modeled specifically on the Oracle
DB product."
Because Oracle licensing costs relate to the
number of processor or cores on which it deploys, it
quickly became apparent that consolidation from the
relatively large number of underutilized commodity
servers to a tightly managed IFL mainframe
environment would result in significant cost benefits.
This was due, in large part, to the number of
commodity systems the organization had deployed

20 // JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 ibmsystemsmag.com

for the 120 or so Oracle instances.
Although already virtualized,
many of these servers exhibited
low utilization levels and had
relatively high software-licensing
costs because of the number of
processor cores.
Cains adds, "We already had
a few Oracle databases running
under Linux on the mainframe.
That was a pilot program undertaken a couple of years ago. It
proved so successful that it actually set the technical foundation
for consolidating more Oracle on
System z*. I think that was part of
our mindset when it came down
to conducting the overall technology refresh. It then came down
to the cost benefits of Linux on
the mainframe platform."

Technology
Comparisons
Several other factors supported the
Oracle consolidation proposition,
including performance and
scalability of the mainframe for
heavy I/O-based workloads and
its proven reliability. Even more
significant, and perhaps somewhat
surprising, was the comparative
cost of hardware.
"Commodity x86-based systems
do cost far less to acquire per unit
of capability, which drives a lot of


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IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014

Table of Contents
Editor's Desk: The father of innovation
IBM Perspective: Mainframe innovation continues
Trends: RDz family of tools helps organizations address new paradigms and business expectations
IT Today: Flash Express integrates secure, high-performance storage within System z
Case Study: Weather or Not: Met Office makes a cost-conscious and test-driven decision to consolidate Linux instances on the mainframe
Cover Story: The System z influence: How mainframe innovations have helped shape and reshape the IT world
Feature: Always moving forward: IBM's System z platform has many more tricks up its sleeve
Tech Corner: JES2 SAPI POST optimization can yield results
How To: How to successfully implement zBX hybrid computing
Solutions: Attunity Replicate 2.1, InSync Plugin, Storage Director 4.1
Stop Run: Coin collecting and history fascinate mainframe strategist
Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Mainframe
2014 Mainframe Solutions Edition Product Index
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - Intro
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - Cover1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - Cover2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - Table of Contents
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - Editor's Desk: The father of innovation
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - IBM Perspective: Mainframe innovation continues
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 9
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - Trends: RDz family of tools helps organizations address new paradigms and business expectations
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 11
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 12
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 13
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - IT Today: Flash Express integrates secure, high-performance storage within System z
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 15
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 16
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 17
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - Case Study: Weather or Not: Met Office makes a cost-conscious and test-driven decision to consolidate Linux instances on the mainframe
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 19
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 20
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 21
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - Cover Story: The System z influence: How mainframe innovations have helped shape and reshape the IT world
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 23
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 24
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 25
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 26
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 27
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - Feature: Always moving forward: IBM's System z platform has many more tricks up its sleeve
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 29
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 30
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 31
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - Tech Corner: JES2 SAPI POST optimization can yield results
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 33
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - How To: How to successfully implement zBX hybrid computing
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 35
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 36
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 37
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - Solutions: Attunity Replicate 2.1, InSync Plugin, Storage Director 4.1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 39
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - Stop Run: Coin collecting and history fascinate mainframe strategist
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - Cover3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - Cover4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Mainframe
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 2014 Mainframe Solutions Edition Product Index
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - SE2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - SE3
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