IBM S/390 users moving to the new z900 mainframe and z/OS stand to make massive savings in software licensing charges, according to analyst firm Gartner Group.
Gartner estimated that a customer moving from the S/390 to z900 and z/OS with a system operating at 88% capacity could save over $240,000 (£168,000) a year in software licensing charges.
Gartner's report, IBM's Workload-Based Software Pricing - Lower Cost for Growth, also predicted that the new mainframe architecture will have "a dramatic impact on all datacentre licensing and strategy over the next several years".
The z900 and its z/OS operating system use a new workload pricing model that lets users pay only for the software capacity they need, as opposed to the current approach which is based on system capacity.
"This sounds a much more appropriate method of pricing, where you pay for what you actually use," said Ray Titcombe, chairman of council at the IBM Computer Users Association. "Processor-based pricing can restrict future applications."
"Users who are moving to the z900 early should plan to get z/OS installed as quickly as possible," advised a Gartner spokesman. "In this way they can start to gain the benefit of the new pricing structure, which is focused on lowering the cost of growth."