IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - 21

people when making technology
comparisons," Catlow says. "But
the longer-term costs, including
support, infrastructure, environmental issues and mirroring for
resilience, quickly add up.
"The amount of money you
spend on distributed systems can
be staggering. You're not only
looking at licensing costs, but
also the lifecycle and resilience
aspects. By consolidating
distributed commodity servers,
however, you can save a great
deal of money. And believe you
me, when we looked at all of
these parameters, it just made
sense to move the workload to
the mainframe."
This becomes especially
apparent when considering the
scale of savings from software
licensing. Before consolidating
the distributed Oracle instances
to Linux on the mainframe,
204 x86 processor cores were
allocated to Oracle. Now, that
number is down to around 17
IFLs. According to Cains, "We
reduced costs by a similar ratio."
Before making the final decision
on continuing with mainframe
technology, and to verify the
hardware capability assumptions
of the cost model, Met Office
worked with IBM to conduct
benchmarking tests. These tests
were intended to evaluate the
actual relative performance of the
mainframe versus the commodity
platforms it would replace. "We
went to great lengths to ensure the
workload testing was fair for both
platforms-mainframe and x86,"
Catlow remarks.
They iteratively ran repeatable
workload benchmarks, including
I/O-based loads and CPU-based
loads. In the former case, the
System z platform came out
indisputably ahead, with x86
server workload seizing up as
load increased. In the latter

case involving CPU load, x86
boxes performed as well as
the mainframe core for core,
which was perhaps slightly
surprising given the faster z196
processor speed. But the results
were obtained under extreme
conditions, pushing both
architectures to limits that didn't
necessarily represent the actual
processing conditions under
which Met Office works.
"In production, the majority
of our Oracle workloads have
proved to be typically I/O oriented, with one or two notable
exceptions that drive CPU very
high. We found this mainly due
to inline SQL function calls, but
those can be tuned to reduce
impact," Catlow says. "During
the migration process, we also
took the opportunity to review
and refine applications with
anomalous response times,
in one instance resulting in a
reduction of data ingestion time
from many minutes to a few
seconds. I would say indications
are that 80 percent or more of
our distributed production workloads could migrate effectively
to the mainframe, including Web
services. There's certainly a proportion of workloads that simply
aren't suited to [System] z, and

those would be the ones with
very high CPU requirements
or chipset architecture dependence, like endianness [how
bytes are ordered within computer memory]."

Costing and Testing
Although some internal
discussion occurred regarding
which direction Met Office
should take regarding its IT
infrastructure-mainframe
refresh and Linux consolidation
versus distributed systems
running Linux-cost
considerations and objective
performance testing led
the organization down the
mainframe path.
Now, thanks to its POWER*
systems-based supercomputing
environment and mainframe
propagation services, Met
Office's customers have access
to the latest weather forecasting
when they need it. And they're
more likely to be assured that
when the forecast calls for sun,
they can leave their umbrellas
at home.
Jim Utsler is senior writer for IBM
Systems Magazine and has been
covering technology for more than
20 years.

CRUNCHING
NUMBERS
Global climate
change research is
a huge consumer
of Met Office's IT
capabilities. The
data produced by
this activity to date
amounts to around

17PETABYTES
CUTTING
COSTS
Met Office
consolidated its
Oracle database
instances from 204
x86 processor cores
to about 17 System z
IFLs. In the process,
they cut costs by a

12:1 RATIO

"By consolidating distributed commodity servers, however,
you can save a great deal of money. And believe you me,
when we looked at all of these parameters, it just made
sense to move the workload to the mainframe."
-Martyn Catlow, Met Office portfolio lead
for centralized IT infrastructure



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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