Agency Best Practices to Manage Mainframe Consumption
Best Practice: Reconcile the Bill with Agency Consumption Reports
The agency should always begin consumption management of GETS services by reviewing and understanding the reports that document its use of these services and reconciling that information with its monthly invoice. For mainframe services, the agency should review the Mainframe Invoice Detail Report found on the GETS Portal. It includes:
- Agency and Cost Center
- Job Name
- RACF User ID
- Report Category
- Resource Description
- Invoice Number
- Usage Start and End Dates
- Rate and Amount Charged
If a potential discrepancy is identified:
- The agency should first match the expected change with the invoice collection date. Some services do not roll off the agency’s bill for almost two months depending on the request date.
- Once the agency determines that the discrepancy was not caused by the invoice collection date, the agency should submit a dispute using the Finance tab in the Remedy Service Request Catalog.
Best Practice: Reduce CPU Hours
The most effective way to reduce costs associated with mainframe services is to reduce CPU hours. Agency staff or third parties hired by the agency may:
- Maintain, optimize and/or tune applications to increase the efficiency of DB2 and Customer Information Control System (CICS) code.
- Review and optimize frequency and scheduling of batch jobs.
- As DB2 code levels are upgraded, rebind all application code.
- Implement CICS Threadsafe:
- More information is available in the IBM Redbook Threadsafe Considerations for CICS, SG24-6351
- Combine CICS regions after implementation of CICS Threadsafe
From a long-term perspective, the agency may decide to migrate applications to non-mainframe processers when possible. Moving application code to servers and using the mainframe as a database server allows code running on the Mainframe to use the less costly z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP engine).
Best Practice: Optimize Mainframe Storage and Back Up
There are also best practices for mainframe storage and backup. Since GETS provides, real time, off-site backups for mainframe data, the agency should terminate redundant backups. Additionally, the agency should implement its data retention plan for long-term data storage.