Routing Out Mainframe Performance Dogs and CPU Hogs

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The IT industry has now reached a state where the “do more with less” mantra seems like the good old days. The CxO is under the gun from the stockholders/board/competition and wants to know what you are doing to advance the business. They do not want to hear about servers, clouds or any of that other “computer stuff.” You know you need to get more offensive and less defensive: deliver new projects, update old systems, bring new skills to the department. But justifying any increase in budget is likely to be a long and winding road to nowhere and the classic low-hanging fruit for cost cutting was plucked long ago. Consider the usual suspects:

  • reducing head count
  • outsourcing services
  • consolidating data centers and platforms

These methods of cost control have already been done — and often more than once. Whatever benefits they provided in the past would now be more than offset by their overhead, both direct and indirect, as you sink even deeper into a defensive fire-fighting mode. It’s time to get creative and find a better way to carve out some budget to use for competitive advantage.

Reduce MIPS Usage

It’s a straightforward formula: Mainframe application and subsystem CPU consumption drives MIPS usage and MIPS usage drives mainframe hardware and software costs. If your applications are performing poorly, that increases CPU usage – and poor performance costs money. These performance dogs and resource hogs are often overlooked areas of waste that, when identified and corrected, can put dollars back in your budget.

So far so good, right? The classic “eliminate waste and save money” argument. But where’s the creative aspect of this solution? Many of the applications that should be tuned are either directly or indirectly supporting customer facing front ends. Numerous studies have shown a direct correlation between the speed of an application and customer satisfaction, and what CxO doesn’t want more satisfied customers? This is the win-win. Tune your apps (fractions of a second can matter). Your CxO gets more satisfied customers. You get a reduction in your hardware and software bills. Apply the savings to those budget items that you know will differentiate you from your competition – which is IT’s bottom line, after all.

How do you implement this plan? You need to

  1. identify what applications are most wasteful and,
  2. efficiently and effectively identify what to change and, finally,
  3. implement the change.

Steps 1 and 2 are what Compuware’s Strobe is made to do. Step 3 is up to you. You can find out more about Compuware’s mainframe performance cost-saving solutions here.

Original Author: J.D. Miner

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Spencer Hallman

Spencer Hallman is Compuware’s product manager for zAdviser, which uses machine learning and KPIs to help customers continuously improve development quality, velocity and efficiency. Previously, he was the product manager for Compuware’s Strobe and iStrobe performance tools. His diverse experience over the years has also included programming on multiple platforms, providing technical support, serving as a subject matter expert and working in the operations research field. He has a Master of Business Administration from Temple University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Vermont.