Container Pricing, which was introduced in late-2017, is a new pricing solution that makes scaling workloads more economical. Container Pricing is a framework for hosting simplified and flexible software pricing for qualified workloads running on z13 or z14 processors.
The main benefit of Container Pricing is that it allows customers to do more with their mainframes without taking on extra costs. The SCRT analyzes which workloads are eligible for this pricing model, and then applies discounts at the end of the month depending on container type.
The best candidates for Container Pricing savings include:
- Companies in need of greater development capacity: Many companies hesitate to grow because testing can be especially expensive. To skirt increased costs, companies might hastily install applications, but this can cause extra consumption, crashes, loops, etc. To address the issue of testing costs, IBM has made test and development capacity free of charge — up to triple the amount of current capacity.
- Companies processing a lot of payments: Payment processing is invoiced on a per-payment basis, and with Container Pricing these workloads are completely excluded from SCRT reports when MSU is recorded. This significantly reduces the price of payment solutions.
- Companies hosting new applications or rehosting applications previously running on distributed servers: IBM offers discounts for future customer activities. To encourage further mainframe activity from customers, IBM provides discounts on MSU generated from new or rehosted applications.
As is standard with other mainframe pricing models, invoicing will depend on the type of workload. The following workload classifications are eligible for Container Pricing:
- IBM Z Workload Pricing for Cloud (zWPC)
- Integrated Workload Pricing (IWP)
If your system depends on these workload types, Container Pricing could significantly improve your z/OS efficiency and affordability.
Currently, Container Pricing supports the following solutions:
- Advanced Development and Test Solution: z/OS development and test workloads that take place on dedicated LPARs. In this environment, Container Pricing allows SCRT to remove the direct impact of these workloads from the R4HA. In effect, users can triple MSU usage at no additional cost.
- Note: Software will depend on mainframe configuration.
- Payments Pricing Solution: Per payment pricing metric tied to payment volume. Invoicing is based on a per transaction basis.
- These transactions are charged separately from the usual MLC model. You pay in terms of number of transactions performed rather than MSU.
- Uses IBM Financial Transaction Manager (FTM) software.
- New Application Solution: New z/OS applications that do not currently run on a client’s IBM Z server. These applications must be approved by IBM to qualify. Growth in existing applications or re-architecting existing applications does not qualify.
How to Set Up Container Pricing
To integrate Container Pricing into your mainframe you must contact an IBM Sales representative who will define a solution and create a Solution ID. The Solution ID is used to tie the system to a certain solution.
In order to qualify for Container Pricing, users must collect billing data using SCRT. All data used for invoicing derives from SMF 89, which means Container Pricing does not require a new SMF report.
Contact zCost to learn more about the value of Container Pricing, other pricing models, or z/OS software solutions. zCost is an independent software vendor that specializes in cost control, capacity management, capacity planning, and operation data analytics for Z System (z/OS) IBM mainframes.