It seems like only a couple (three in fact) weeks ago that I was talking about specialty processors, and here I go again! Last time I mentioned Tom Harper’s presentation to the Virtual IMS Connection virtual IMS user group, DataDirect’s Shadow software (which exploits zIIP specialty engines), and CA’s survey of IFL specialty engine usage.
Just for clarification for those of you who tuned in late, zIIP stands for System z Integrated Information Processor, and zAAP stands for System z Application Assist Processors.
Since I wrote that last blog, we have had two specialty engine announcements – one from NEON Enterprise Software and one from WinterGreen Research that links with DataDirect’s Shadow product.
WinterGreen Research, an analyst firm, has announced that it has completed work on a Web-based calculator to measure the Total-Cost-of-Ownership (TCO) of mainframe SOA enablement when utilizing a zIIP specialty engine in combination with DataDirect Shadow integration middleware. The calculator can compute the daily and annual savings in dollars and MIPS capacity that can occur by exploiting the zIIP specialty engine rather than the General Purpose Processor (GPP). DataDirect Shadow Version 7 expands the utilization of the zIIP specialty engine beyond DB2 to include Adabas, IMS/DB, IDMS, and VSAM as well SOAP/XML parsing necessary for creating Web services within the mainframe to applications residing within CICS, IMS/TM, IDMS, and Natural – the company claims. Full details are available from www.datadirect.com/company/news/press/pressitem/pressrelease_1249553/index.ssp.
More interesting is the announcement from NEON, which has announced NEON zPrime, which can facilitate the transfer of as much as 50 percent or more of a company’s IMS, DB2, CICS, TSO/ISPF, and batch workloads from System z CPs to zIIP or zAAP processors, and consequently reduce mainframe costs significantly – the company claims. Mainframe users now have more options of what workloads to move to a specialty processor to meet capacity planning and cost optimization objectives. NEON zPrime is 100 percent compliant with IBM specifications, rules, and conditions for System z processor access to assure a seamless environment that makes IMS, CICS, TSO/ISPF, DB2, batch jobs, and NEON IMS utilities workloads eligible for processing on zIIPs or zAAPs. Full details are available at www.neonesoft.com/neon/news_063009.shtm.
Now, I’m not here to recommend any organization’s software – they pay people to do that, and I haven’t noticed a brown envelope full of bank notes being slipped into my hands – but it seems this kind of software is going to make NEON popular with everyone except IBM! Obvously, MSUs (Metered Software Units) are IBM’s way of ensuring a regular income – and it’s based on GPP usage. If people find a way of running their software on zIIP and zAAP specialty engines then IBM will have to come up with a new pricing model.
It seems that they best policy for users is to get in quick and pay for zPrime with the savings that will be made on monthly licence fees. And then bank all future savings until IBM changes the pricing rules.