According to PEW Research Center, 95 percent of Americans own a smartphone. Mobile devices are undeniably a part of everyday life these days and, as a result, mainframe activity will never be the same.

In light of ever-increased mobile activity, z/OS systems needed a pricing model that was optimized to handle mobile transactions — a way to reduce the impact of mobile workloads on sub-capacity licensing charges.

In 2014, IBM developed the solution mainframe managers were waiting for: Mobile Workload Pricing (MWP). MWP is a software pricing model that reduces the effect of mobile transactions on peak reported utilization.

Put simply, MWP improves the way mobile transactions are reported. It regulates the rate of transaction growth and reduces the reported peak capacity values used for monthly sub-capacity charges.

MWP was developed as a way of contending with growing mobile device activity and the resulting increase in back-end transactions. But, if you’re not leveraging this pricing model correctly you could be overpaying on sub-capacity licensing charges.

How does MWP work?

MWP not only streamlines mainframe performance, but also reduces the cost of sub-capacity programs that run in the same LPAR as mobile workloads. Essentially, MWP reduces the effect that mobile transactions have on the metric (4-hour average value) used for monthly billing.

For every one hour measurement interval, the million service units (MSU) from mobile transactions is reduced by 60 percent. This results in a lower rolling 4-hour average value anytime mobile transactions occurred during the month.

The objective of MWP is to mitigate the impact of mobile workloads on monthly licensing charges. Overall, the pricing metric is meant to make System Z environments more conducive to growing mobile transactions.

Benefits of MWP

MWP is particularly beneficial if mobile transactions are causing spikes in machine utilization since the MSU reduction helps level-off outlier activity. Whether or not MWP will lead to cost-savings depends on many factors, but chief among these to consider for your environment include:

  • Do mobile transactions significantly contribute to consumption hours?
  • Do mobile transactions occur during monthly peaks?

If you can answer “yes” to the above questions, your z/OS environment is probably a good fit for MWP reductions. (See our MWP whitepaper for more details on eligibility, and a step-by-step guide to uncovering optimal MWP savings).

MWP and Sub-Capacity Reporting

To qualify for MWP savings, users must report new data to IBM. A key difference between a standard sub-capacity report and a sub-capacity report generated with MWP is the addition of the Mobile MSU Reduction Column within the Product Max Contributors section.

This new column shows the adjustment that the sub-capacity reporting tool (SCRT) applied to products’ sub-capacity values using the MWP algorithm. To receive MWP reductions, you need to collect and report mobile program CPU time by hour and LPAR in order to subtract mobile MSUs from peak.

To properly report mobile consumption data you can easily aggregate it into a CSV file with the help of a Capacity Management Tool (CMT).