Timothy Sipples’ blog Mainframe recently ran a piece listing free software you can get for the System z. The piece, here, is pretty exhaustive, including direct links. In keeping with DancingDinosaur’s continuing search for ways to lower mainframe computing costs, listed below some of Sipples’ freebies; find more in his full piece.
While freebies are always welcome, another proven way to lower mainframe costs is by paying close attention to mainframe software usage and costs. For this, BMC introduced a mainframe software cost analyzer tool that promises to reduce mainframe software operating costs by 20%. Called the BMC Cost Analyzer for zEnterprise, it aims to help IT departments plan, report and reduce their mainframe licensing charge (MLC) by identifying system peaks and recommending preemptive cost-reduction strategies. After deploying the BMC Cost Analyzer, a typical customer consuming 5,000 MIPS — at an annual cost of $3.6 million — could save $720,000 or more with the new BMC solution, according to the company.
Linux, an open source operating system licensed under the GNU Public License (GPL), is the first place Sipples looks for mainframe freebies. The GPL license means you don’t have to pay a license fee to obtain and use Linux; Linux distributors like Novell and Red Hat, however, do charge fees for their optional support services. Here are Sipples’ freebies for Linux on z:
- Novell offers its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for zEnterprise for download to evaluate. If you like it, you’re encouraged to subscribe to Novell’s support services.
- Red Hat offers its Enterprise Linux for zEnterprise for evaluation, too.
- Other Linux distributions for zEnterprise include Debian Linux and Fedora Linux.
- An older release of z/VM is available from IBM for evaluation.
- A release of the discontinued OpenSolaris is available for zEnterprise from Sine Nomine Associates.
- ZZSA is not actually an operating system. However, it doesn’t need an operating system to run. It’s a useful set of tools that can start up on a “bare” LPAR on its own. You can display and edit data on disk, and it’s helpful to diagnose IPL problems.
Sipples’ list of IBM Freebies for z/OS, z/TPF, z/VSE, and z/VM
- IBM makes its Java Software Development Kit (SDK) releases for z/OS available at no additional charge. You may also be interested in the Java technologies available from Dovetailed, such as Co:Z and Tomcat for z/OS.
- The DB2 Accessories Suite for z/OS (5697-Q02) includes many useful tools and accessories to make DB2 for z/OS more powerful and more useful. Examples include IBM Data Studio, SPSS Modeler Server Scoring Adapter, Spatial Support, International Components for Unicode, and Text Search.
- Go graphical! You can manage your z/OS system much more easily with graphical interfaces for every major subsystem and component. Grab the z/OS Management Facility. From the Explorer for z/OS you can then use (or directly install) plug-ins for CICS, IMS, IBM’s application development tools, IBM’s problem determination tools, and other products.
- The XML Toolkit for z/OS (5655-J51) adds to the XML System Services that’s already part of z/OS.
- IBM offers many more z/OS-related downloads including the IBM Encryption Facility for z/OS Client, Logrec Viewer, LookAt, z/OS UNIX System Service Tools and Toys, and many others.
- Be sure to install the Alternate Library for REXX to run compiled REXX programs on your z/OS and z/VM systems. Compiled programs won’t run as efficiently as when the regular licensed REXX library is installed, but at least they’ll run.
- The z/OS Ported Tools (5655-M23) include OpenSSH, IBM HTTP Server, and many other useful products. (Rocket Software also offers several ported tools.)
BMC conducts an annual survey of z data centers. This year, as in previous years, cost concerns were the number one issue. The number two concern was business availability. The full survey will be released at the end of this month when DancingDinosaur expects to cover it in a little more detail.