In a challenging business environment, the mainframe continues to be the trusted platform for critical business transaction processing according to BMC Software’s (NASDAQ:BMC) Fifth Annual Worldwide Survey of Mainframe Users.

According to the survey, 84 percent of respondents expected to see growing or steady MIPS usage on the platform – a figure that has remained consistent over the past several years. In addition, almost 60 percent of respondents indicated that the mainframe will attract new workloads over the next year.

This year’s survey found that an overwhelming number of respondents were concerned about reducing IT costs in the next year – with 65 percent of participants stating that reducing costs was one of their top four priorities. Also included in the top four priorities from the survey are disaster recovery (34 percent), application modernization (30 percent) – both of which were stated as top priorities last year – and business/IT alignment (29 percent).

IT Cost Optimization

With IT organizations facing increased pressures of reducing IT costs, it’s little surprise that the survey indicates increased interest in ways of supporting mainframe growth requirements while also enabling cost reduction and optimization. More than 50 percent of large IT shops indicated they would expand their use of specialty engines in the next 24 months, with zIIP engines leading as the most popular specialty engine of choice.

BMC has played a critical role in managing costs through zIIP-enablement and MIPS growth for its customers with its MainView, DB2 and IMS monitoring solutions.

“As the largest IT services provider to Germany’s cooperative financial system, FIDUCIA believes mainframe availability is critical to its business success. We need 100 percent confidence in the monitoring solution, or we risk jeopardizing mainframe availability and performance,” said Thomas Heitlinger, System z® product manager at FIDUCIA. “BMC MainView has been instrumental in increasing efficiency and lowering operational costs for 10 years. With BMC, we have the efficient and integrated monitoring tools we need to manage the complexity of operating systems and subsystems – and we can detect system performance issues before they disrupt the business. With these BMC monitoring tools which are eligible to run on IBM zIIP processors, BMC Software is yet again showing other vendors the way forward in mainframe monitoring. FIDUCIA has now offloaded 30 percent of its MainView workload to the zIIP environment, reducing general purpose processor utilization and saving a significant amount of money.”

Support of Hybrid Data Center

Following the successful launch earlier this year of IBM zEnterprise, this year’s survey found a strong interest in hybrid management tools across z/OS, z/Linux and other operating systems. Monitoring and event automation was cited as an important cross-platform tool by 74 percent of respondents, with similarly high responses for system/task automation (73 percent), workload/batch management (69 percent) and performance tuning (66 percent).

BMC has been providing hybrid software solutions that help businesses manage their data centers for more than 30 years. BMC’s event, workload and middleware management solutions provide customers with greater visibility into their overall business across the enterprise. By integrating its mainframe and distributed solutions, BMC enables business prioritization and resolution, thus helping IT departments to meet their business-driven service level objectives.

Innovating While Reducing Costs

As previous surveys have found, respondents see availability, security, a centralized data management system and transaction speed as the primary reasons for continued MIPS growth on the mainframe.

BMC Software has unveiled several initiatives this year that enable organizations to better manage and automate their mainframe investments while reducing costs and improving efficiencies, such as:
  • The enablement of many of its BMC MAINVIEW, IMS and DB2 for z/OS solutions to take advantage of zIIP specialty engines to reduce operational costs
  • BMC Fast Path Online Restructure/EP – Reduces critical database downtime/avoid costly outages
  • IBM zEnterprise Support – BMC’s BSM platform enables customers to manage the new zEnterprise and all other cross-enterprise components
  • BMC Control-M 7 – Automates the management of dynamic workloads across the mainframe and distributed enterprise
BMC Announces Latest DB2 10 Support

BMC’s recent survey findings also revealed that 50 percent of respondents plan to migrate to IBM’s newly updated DB2 for z/OS offering in the next 18 plus months. With today’s announcement, BMC is building on 20 years of leadership in DB2 mainframe management and optimization, by announcing its support of IBM’s DB2 10 for z/OS. The solutions offered by BMC enable customers to reduce costs, minimize costly downtime, overcome staffing constraints, focus on business-critical issues and ensure that critical data is performing optimally.

“We are seeing that the mainframe continues to be viewed as a core component of the datacenter by many IT organizations,” said Tim Grieser, vice president for system management software at IDC. “Mainframe user surveys, such as the one recently conducted by BMC, show the ongoing business value of mainframe capabilities such as reliability, security, high scalability and the ability to process both new and traditional workloads with high efficiency.” “This year’s survey results only confirms that our continued investment in the mainframe is the right decision,” said Bill Miller, president of Mainframe Service Management at BMC. “Through our many new innovations, including zIIP enablement, Fast Path Online Restructure/EP, IBM zEnterprise Support and Control-M 7, BMC continues to help our customers take advantage of a platform that is second to none in availability, security and reliability.”

Mainframe Survey Background

More than 1,700 global mainframe users participated in the BMC survey, now in its fifth consecutive year. Almost half of companies surveyed have revenues in excess of $1 billion.

The survey pool was comprehensive and definitive and included pre-qualified respondents from across the mainframe industry. Participants provided insight into questions focused on the current and future state of the mainframe. Responses were then analyzed using standard statistical practices.