IBM pressured to reduce the entry point for workload pricing

IBM has came under pressure to reduce the entry point at which it switches to workload charging on its z/series mainframe...

IBM has came under pressure to reduce the entry point at which it switches to workload charging on its z/series mainframe servers.

Speaking at last week's UKCMG industry forum in London, Phil Payne, analyst at Isham Research, said, "The entry level for the workload pricing model is too high."

Lowering it from its current level of about 250 million instructions per second would make smaller applications more viable on the mainframe, he added.

The workload charging model was announced by IBM nearly two years ago and is designed to allow z/series users to pay only for the applications they use. Traditional pricing structures meant that users paid for total system capacity.

The scheme, however, has had limited success with z/series users, said Payne. He explained, "Most of the users that I have spoken to have said that it takes a year to implement and only the household names will benefit."

IBM, however, argues that recent initiatives involving the new z/series 800 entry-class mainframe have effectively lowered the entry level for users.

IBM S/390 software sales manager Roy Hunt said, "Recent announcements provide a lower level of entry cost for customers that want to put relatively small applications on the z/OS platform."

With the launch of the z/800, the hardware giant unveiled the machine-based z/series Entry Licence Charges and engine-based z/OS.e pricing structures.

The new pricing models are geared specifically towards smaller machines, said IBM executives, although they acknowledged that there is the possibility of combining them with workload charging.

Hunt said, "You could have workload charging, z/series Entry Licence Charges and z/OS.e running in a parallel sysplex so you could have complete flexibility."

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