Mainframe Storage Economics: Part 1
by David Merrill on Aug 6, 2012
As I was pulling this presentation together, I realized that most of the cost issues (waste, reclamation, optimization) have been in the open systems side of the IT department over the past few years. That is not to say that the ZOS environment cannot benefit or make improvements to unit costs of storage, but most of our consulting work as been with SAN, block, file systems, NAS and open systems applications and servers. After meeting with HDS colleagues to put virtualization impact for the mainframe in the right context, there are new twists to be covered in my next few blogs.
To start, it is important to understand that the operating systems, skills, backup solutions, and archive solutions have a 20-500 year head-start compared to Linux, Hadoop, UNIX and Windows. Many of these mature processes can be reflected in the unit costs of storage, but there are areas for improvement. Controller-based virtualization can have an important impact on mainframe apps, and on holding down server and storage-related costs. A summary (included in my presentation) of the cost sensitivities that exist in the mainframe domain are as follows:
IT Common Pressure Points (mainframe as well as open) have to be measured and tracked. We have to do more than talk about Economic Pain-Points. There are plenty of solutions in the MF space as there is in other server platforms in the data center
- Capital expense is under pressure, not like OPEX but still present
- Cost of growth can be altered with new architectures and presentation of SATA drives through a virtualization platform
- Poor utilization of tier 1 disk due to short-stroking can be remedied
- Resulting in poor utilization, wasted capacity
- Have to buy more (6-10x more) capacity than what is actually needed
- MIPS Preservation, and therefore cost avoidance
- Deferring any and all MIPS upgrade costs whenever possible
- Look to off-load MIPS that are busy with storage tasks
- MIPS overhead reduction to improve performance
- Power, cooling, and floor space is everyone’s business these days
- Performance costs, if IO and throughput can be increased, than many times revenue improvement follows performance improvement
- Backup is a good part of mainframe storage costs. What options can virtualization, archive and tiering help with mainframe costs?
I will spend more time later this week and next week diving into some of these key topics, primarily around virtualization impact, MIPS offloading, dynamic provisioning and tiering. The compounded impact of combining multiple options also presents a faster rate of savings in the mainframe space, just as we see in the open systems space.
If you are at SHARE this week, stop by to say hi. Otherwise stay tuned for my upcoming blog posts.