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Are you considering a migration or an operating system switch away from your mainframe report archive solution? Are your mainframe MIPS usage requirements and costs increasing while your IT budget is being cut?  Do you really know all of the mainframe components being utilized by your current report viewing and archive solution? Customers often overlook key factors when calculating the total cost to support a typical mainframe report archiving product such as the BMC Control-D product. However, you can and should take the time to fully understand the costs involved.

You can start by looking at the MIPS cost associated with hosting a report archiving product on the mainframe. Gartner and several other research firms estimate that the average company spends more than $3,500 to support each mainframe MIPS. These costs include, but are not limited to, software, hardware, hardware floor space footprint, disaster recovery and personnel.

Obviously, the software cost represents the actual report archiving product license, but also includes any supporting component like a required database or capture utility. Annual maintenance cost for each product is an important factor that is often overlooked.

The hardware costs include usage of the mainframe CPU and storage devices. With the price of mainframe DASD and/or Virtual Tape storage costing as much as $100,000 per terabyte, the savings potential of migration becomes quite noticeable. The floor space required to accommodate mainframe storage devices is also becoming a bigger issue each and every year.

If a report archiving product such as BMC Control-D runs on a mainframe, it will more than likely need to be included in regular mainframe disaster recovery exercises. These are typically more complicated than the equivalent efforts required for open systems environments. If reports within the mainframe archive are stored or need to be recalled from a mountable media, this requires personnel to be allocated for this effort.

These are some of the cost justifications for migrating an archive off the mainframe, but some organizations are justifiably concerned about retaining data validity during such a migration. The better solutions I’ve encountered include post-migration audits to ensure that all data was moved appropriately. These solutions also handle critical tasks like retaining the original creation and expiration dates for each migrated report.

When all factors are considered, the costs of housing a report archiving product on a mainframe may far outweigh the actual cost of migrating the archive process to a distributed system.  In some cases, companies have justified the migration and re-platforming of their mainframe report archives using just the cost savings from a reduction in storage and floor space.

Rest assured, there are solutions available that will allow you to realize real savings and successfully migrate Control-D archives using a structured and proven process. Spend some time researching this subject with your favorite search engine or contact LRS for advice on distributed system report viewing and archiving solutions. The small time investment can pay big dividends down the road.

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