Over the years, I’ve written a bit about the longevity and durability of IBM mainframe solutions, especially about the company’s ongoing efforts to keep its IBM Z platform up to date with business computing trends and practices. However, it’s also worth considering how IBM has adapted mainframe offerings (and adjusted its own attitude) to stay aligned with other external forces.
This is especially true in terms of hybrid cloud computing – an area in which, as CEO Arvind Krishna noted at his recent IBM Think conference, the company is “all in”.
Essentially, IBM has reassigned its business model to support customers and partners in maximizing the value of cloud computing. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that these efforts are tangibly influencing and affecting their systems portfolio. The recent announcement of tailor-made pricing for IBM Z hardware highlights this strategy.
What are custom pricing for IBM Z?
Simply put, the new pricing model is designed to allow IBM customers to pay flexibly and transparently for only the mainframe resources they use. The company introduced a similar solution for IBM Z software when it launched the z15 platform and solutions in 2019. Since then, more than 100 IBM customers of different sizes, including the fashion chain and online retailer Dillard’s , have deployed the solution.
This new announcement also extends the same model to IBM Z hardware. In essence, bespoke pricing for the IBM Z provides instant access to additional IBM mainframe computing capability whenever needed. In order to take advantage of the new offering, IBM Z customers get a fixed-price fixed-capacity broker always located at the peak of the capacity they already have. This always-running broker can be used whenever needed at a predictable price, while supporting optimal response times and complying with Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
Why is it important? As modern business workload requirements have become increasingly unpredictable as they focus on supporting business transactions, including mobile payments and real-time analytics, to name just two. This volatility is likely to grow as firms increase their analytics usage, implement a new advantage over network workloads, and expose existing assets to new uses.
Aren’t the custom fit and the hybrid cloud the same?
If prices tailored to the IBM Z look a lot like cloud computing offerings, you should. In fact, when the company originally introduced the new offering in 2019, it was described as “a simple pricing model in the cloud for today’s business IT environment”.
But IBM has designed its solution to address basic problems with the public cloud, including the substantial amounts companies spend on “wasted” cloud services. In fact, the company cited a recent Turbonomics report that explores this issue and estimates that companies will spend about $ 21 billion (nearly $ 2.4 billion per hour) on unused, idle or oversupplied cloud resources in 2021.
This sum is obviously good for the results of cloud computing providers, but wouldn’t it be better for business customers to invest these resources in their own projects and strategies? To get an idea of the difference in IBM Z hardware and software-adapted pricing from cloud-based solutions, an IBM white paper compares the new solution to three common public cloud scenarios.
Superior technologies and performance have long been vital to IBM’s Z solutions. However, the company has always been careful to ensure that its new innovations also provide reliable and measurable business value to business customers. In the case of prices tailored to IBM Z hardware and software, these benefits include responding quickly to rapidly changing business needs and dynamic workload requirements, while supporting fully transparent, consumer-based costs.