Welcome to Tailored Fit Pricing

For as long as DancingDinosaur has been writing about the Z users have been captive to the rolling 4-hour avg.(R4HA) pricing.IBM’s announcement earlier this week changes this if you want to. And most of you probably will want to once you recognize all the constraints you have been chafing against for decades.

As IBM puts it, Tailored Fit Pricing (TFP) is a new cloud-like pricing model for the IBM Z models. The objective is to further position the z as the center of a secured enterprise hybrid cloud strategy. The promise is to empower z customers to expand the use of their z in pursuit of different forms of cloud computing as well as to give them the pricing flexibility to build and manage their new cloud-based environments.

This is not going to be a sure-bet no-brainer. To begin, you will need to figure out how you will want to incorporate the z into a hybrid cloud strategy now and, more importantly in the future as those strategies further evolve.

For now TFP comes in two basic flavors:

  1. The Enterprise Consumption Solution, a tailored consumption-based licensing model.
  2. The Enterprise Capacity Solution, a tailored full-capacity licensing model.

Both flavors promise to simplify the existing pricing landscape, delivering flexible deployment options that are tailored to reflect today’s rapidly evolving customer individual environments. Each model includes additional capacity for development and test environments as well as reduced pricing for all types of workload growth.

Beware, however. TFP was not designed to reduce Z pricing overall. Eliminating the R4HA may not reduce your software costs. In fact, your new hybrid cloud strategy may increase your processing volume in such a way that your overall software costs may go up. IBM has no interest in reducing your overall software costs unless your are increasing your overall MSU consumption in the course of doing more work and more new types of work on your z.

Don’t want to be crass but IBM’s goal is to sell more z MIPS, and it will give up the R4HA, which is doomed anyway, to do that. Your challenge is to figure out how best to use what IBM is ceding to come up with the most advantageous hybrid system strategy at the lowest cost your can come up with within the new rules, which amounts to consumption-based pricing, with economies of scale for workloads on z/OS. As with consumption based pricing the pricing adjusts with usage, removing the need for complex and restrictive capping, and includes aggressive pricing for growth–remember, IBM is rigging this to encourage z MIPS growth

As such, the capacity solution allows you to mix and match workloads to maximize the full capacity of the z. At the end of the day, TFP is designed to both unlock the full power of the z platform and deliver optimal response times and service-level agreements.

And IBM is not stopping here. It also has some new goodies to drive z usage: Specifically, it is adding z/OS container extensions. This is intended to modernize and extend z/OS applications by adding the ability to run Linux on IBM z Docker containers in direct support of z/OS workloads on the same z/OS system. The z/OS Container Extensions will enable access to the most recent development tools and processes available in the Linux on the Z ecosystem, which enables developers to build new, cloud-native containerized apps and deploy them on z/OS without requiring Linux or a Linux partition.

Finally, IBM is introducing the z/OS Cloud Broker, which gives you the ability to access and deploy z/OS resources and services on IBM Cloud Private, leting you customize your unique data landscape with an open, endlessly extensible architecture on any cloud.. This should help you achieve a more seamless and universal cloud development experience. The z/OS Cloud Broker is designed to encourage cloud application developers to provision and deprovision z/OS environments to support the app development cycle. As a tool for simplified management and access to critical enterprise services; IBM z/OS Cloud Broker provides a single control plane across z/OS, Linux on Z, Power, and public clouds. In turn, this can help optimize management efficiencies and achieve speed of innovation.

In its pricing announcement IBM also slipped in references to the IBM Cloud Hyper Protect family of cloud-native services. Hyper Protect offers a range of on- and off-premises deployment choices for extending IBM Z services and data—while balancing performance, availability or security.

In the end, notes IBM, the company sees a secure hybrid and multi-cloud as the future enterprise IT with IBM Z at the center. DancingDinosaur sees that too, but not in exactly the same terms.

DancingDinosaur is Alan Radding, a veteran information technology analyst, writer, and ghost-writer. Follow DancingDinosaur on Twitter, @mainframeblog, and see more of his work at technologywriter.com.

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